Tell the unknowing that a guy with a giant baseball head, cartoonish nose, and goofy wide smile is one of the most beloved characters in sports history and you’re bound to get a reaction of disbelief.
But such a claim holds true for Mr. Met, the long time mascot of the New York Mets.
The simple truth is that Mr. Met is sure to make you smile whether you’re a diehard Mets fan, a casual fan, or are just human with a charitable nature.
As an early pioneer of team mascots, the humble beginnings of the Mr. Met character date back a full decade or more before most MLB teams adopted costumed characters to amuse fans. While it’s quite expected these days to see mascots engaging with fans at the ballpark, they all owe a debt to the groundbreaking Mr. Met.
He originally existed in animated form when he graced the cover of the Mets programs, scorecards, and yearbooks during the 1963 season. Several artists, including acclaimed comic book illustrator Al Avison, contributed to the concept and design of Mr. Met.
The team moved stadiums from the Polo Grounds to Shea Stadium in 1964, an occasion enhanced by the debut of Mr. Met as a live mascot.
Mr. Met graced Mets games and promotional material until 1976, when he was phased out of appearance. Presumably, he retired and was playing golf in Florida, although this has never been confirmed.
Passionate fan appeal sparked the Mets to reintroduce Mr. Met in 1994, and he has been rightfully entertaining the masses at Shea Stadium and Citi Field ever since.
In addition to being a fixture at the ballpark on his own, Mr. Met is a devoted husband, occasionally bringing his lovely wife Mrs. Met along to the games.
Mr. Met’s unwavering support for the Amazin’s through thick and thin is an inspiration to every fan, especially in down seasons like the current. The crosstown fans might peruse the lines on BetStars any given day and see the Yankees as 4/6 favorites over the Twins. As the Mets faithful, we haven’t had that luxury often in 2017.
So while he has always worn the hat of his favorite baseball team, Mr. Met has worn many figurative hats throughout his career. Off the field, he has been a cheerleader, a fundraiser, a marketer, and even a hired wedding guest.
Of course, Mr. Met is a man of giving back to communities. He has appeared at numerous charity events over the years. Everywhere Mr. Met goes he’s met with smiles and hugs, and the inevitable questions about his baseball head and toothless grin.
Beyond his role as the stellar ambassador of the Mets organization, Mr. Met is a savvy advertiser for anyone who will call him up for a commercial. He has appeared in several spots for ESPN in their fan favorite This is SportsCenter ad campaign, as well lending his red stitched face to Sony PlayStation and MTA New York City Transit.
Mr. Met played himself in a 2016 episode of the CBS sitcom The Odd Couple. Not that he could possibly be anyone else.
A noteworthy career of entertaining and delighting fans across the world doesn’t go unrecognized. The Mascot Hall of Fame inducted Mr. Met in 2007, where he joined the Phillie Phantic of the Philadelphia Phillies to became only the second MLB mascot honored by the organization. In 2012, Forbes magazine heralded Mr. Met as number one on a list of America’s favorite sports mascots.
Mr. Met has enlivened Mets fans and beyond for more than 50 years. In that time, multiple generations have grown up enjoying his jovial personality and zany antics at the ballpark. We tip our caps to you, Mr. Met. May you keep us young at heart for another 50 years.