Yesterday I attended the the Mets annual coat drive that helps provide warm winter jackets to homeless and less fortunate New Yorkers who need warm clothing to survive the brutally cold northeastern winters.
This was my wife and I’s first return to Citi Field since late August Jonathan Niese was beaten down by the Arizona Diamondbacks. It was the Mets Hall of Fame induction game where the likenesses of Doc, Straw, Davey and the Bow-tie would forever grace the halls of the Mets museum, Immortalized.
My wife and I donated a warm winter-coat each to a volunteer who gave us a recipt for tax purposes and a 15% off coupon for the team store. We were told that we missed David Wright, Jason Bay Ike Davis and newly coronated manager, Terry Collins by a few hours.We were then directed to go to the room where the Jerry Manuel had given many a sad – yet funny post game interviews, and we were asked to fill out a form which gave us five games in April for us to choose from. When my wife and I were finished, we handed in our form, when we saw a older man who seemed depressed venting to a few Mets employees about the lack of big ticket moves thus far thi season.I interrupted the conversation by saying to the man “ But you know aside from Lee there isn’t any great pitcher out there for us to obtain via free agency” The man sheepishly replied “ I know, but I want them to do something”I talked to this man at length and he has been a fan since before I was a mass of cells within my mothers womb. He had seen it all, the good times as well as the bad , but when I asked him didn’t he have faith in the new regime – he politely nodded his head and said “ Yes – I have just been waiting so long”
That reverberated inside my head. Us Mets fans have been waiting a long time for the glory of watching our team raising the World Series Trophy.
So we parted with some warm words and my wife and I ambled through the frigid weather to the team store , she bought herself a Mets ski hat with her discount – I was bolder and bought myself a 1983 Tom Seaver throwback jersey and for fifteen bucks I picked up a Jeff Francoeur jersey – Sorry but they were all fresh out of Mo Vaughns !
But in closing I had a good feeling once my wife and I got back into our blue Kia Soul and left the cold yet soothing confines of Citi Field. Yes it’s been a long cold off season. But I felt a little warmer knowing that I made a slight impact in another persons life with the gift of a winter coat.
And with that said ….HERE COMES THE INFAMY !!!
Born on this date:
Mets alumni celebrating birthdays today are :
Fork-balling middle reliever from ’82-’85, Tom Gorman is 53 (1957) .
Reserve outfielder from the ’90 seaon,Chris Jelic is 47 (1963) .
Reserve outfielder/first baseman from ’95-’96, Chris Jones is 45 (1965) .
New York Mets signed free agent pinch hitter/outfielder, Rusty Staub of the Texas Rangers on December 16, 1980. I know at least one red headed Mets fan who was happy that day.
In what was a way to end a terrible wrong, The New York Mets traded pitcher, Charlie Puleo and ” The Franchise” minor league infielders, Lloyd McClendon and Jason Felice to the Cincinnati Reds for Tom Seaver on December 16, 1982. This was a very happy day for Mets fans. It was the return of the favorite son who was wrongfully run out of town by a clueless regime. His stay would only last a year, but he helped revitalize a dying organization.
New York Mets signed free agent outfielder, Jim Lindeman on December 16, 1993.
New York Mets signed free agent outfielder, Rick Parker on December 16, 1993.
New York Mets signed free agent middle reliever, Doug Linton on December 16, 1993.
New York Mets signed free agent pitcher, Jonathan Hurst on December 16, 1993.
New York Mets signed free agent Rickey Henderson on December 16, 1998. And so “ Rickey Ball ” and in game poker sessions would become the norm.
New York Mets traded outfielder, Tsuyoshi Shinjo and utility infielder, Desi Relaford to the San Francisco Giants for young starter, Shawn Estes on December 16, 2001.
New York Mets signed free agent reliever, Mike Stanton of the New York Yankees on December 16, 2002.
New York Mets signed free agent pitcher, Pedro Martinez of the Boston Red Sox on December 16, 2004. We Mets fans new this was a risky deal. But it was a deal that did in the short term make the Mets a relevant , desirable organization that free agents would want to come to. I can’t fault Omar Minaya that the luster would wear off within three seasons .
Florida Marlins signed utility infielder, Wilson Delgado of the New York Mets as a free agent on December 16, 2004.
Kansas City Royals signed first baseman,Doug Mientkiewicz of the New York Mets as a free agent on December 16, 2005. Doug ( If you think I will attempt to spell his name again you are sadly mistaken !) was a good defensive first baseman in his only season with the Mets, but his offense stunk to high heaven.
Toronto Blue Jays signed relief pitcher and post game brawler, Lance Broadway of the New York Mets as a free agent on December 16, 2009.
And while you are fighting the bitter chill of “Old Man Winter”, just remember, there are just 106 days until the Mets open the 2011 season against the Florida Marlins in Miami and 113 days until the Mets 2011 home opener against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field.
If you ever vacation down in the Miami Florida area and you see a emperor penguin with a thyroid problem – do not panic !!! It’s just Mo Vaughn wearing a white speedo !