For Your Calendar: Hang Out With Mr. Met

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This week the New York Mets and New York Yankees start what some are predicting will end up being one of the most disappointing summers of baseball in recent New York history, thanks to injuries, bad trades (seriously, Mets, you trade the reigning Cy Young winner?), and the impending retirement of the one Yankee that even Red Sox fans will tip their caps to, Mariano Rivera. All we can hope for is that there are plenty of unoccupied beach houses in Montauk, so we can escape the boredom usually filled up by our beloved baseball teams. But no matter how dire things look, you know you’ll still be itching to catch a game or two. And starting this week, the hardest working mascot in showbiz, Mr. Met, gets ready to take the field night in and night out.

Mr. Met started entertaining fans during long Mets games that usually ended up as losses in 1964. While we aren’t exactly sure how he got stuck with a baseball for a head, at least he isn’t a San Diego Chicken or Philly Phanatic (seriously, what the heck is a Phanatic?), and he always has a smile on his face. He’s believed to be the first human mascot a Major League team put out on the field, and even when the Mets brass thought there wasn’t any reason to have Mr. Met on the field in the ’70s and ’80s, fans kept begging and begging for their beloved baseball-headed mascot back, until 1994 when they finally got their wish, and the man with the baseball head came back to Shea.

So this week, when the Mets take the field for their home opener against the San Diego Padres, grab a hot dog, grab a beer, and if you can’t root for the home team, root for the mascot The New York Times once called “the red-stitched Übermensch born without a first name.”