Sports mascots are a lot of fun and the beloved Mr. Met might be top of the heap (unless you’re a dirty, scruffy Phillies fan). It’s only fitting that they’d finally get a chance to shine in print with AJ Mass’ new memoir, Yes, It’s Hot in Here — Adventures in the Weird, Wooly World of Sports Mascots, about his time under the mask as Mr. Met from 1994-1997.
Aside from revealing that Mr. Met is not just a drunken bum from the nearby bus terminal, the book carries a lot of interesting stories a long with it. This includes the time that Mass was too big to fit through the metal detectors during a visit from President Bill Clinton. From The New York Daily News:
A Secret Service agent threatened to put some high heat in the Mets mascot’s oversized dome if he ventured too close to former President Bill Clinton during a 1997 game at Shea Stadium.
“We have snipers all around the stadium, just in case something were to happen,” the agent warned. “Like I said, do whatever it is you normally do. But approach the President, and we go for the kill shot. Are we clear?”
“He pauses for a moment to let the words sink in, and it feels like he isn’t only looking into my eyes, but also into my very soul with his blank, unblinking stare,” Mass wrote.
He recalled the agent staring directly into the mouth of his huge faux leather head to deliver the warning that sent chills through all eight of Mr. Met’s fingers.
“‘Approach the President, and we go for the kill shot,’ he repeated. ‘ARE — WE — CLEAR?’”
I once thought the worst thing that could happen to a mascot is being forced to post with kids in a suit full of liquor piss, but I was quite wrong. This story takes the cake. Sure, the image of Mr. Met being blown away by Secret Service snipers is mildly amusing in a Naked Gun sort of way, but it does lend itself to the horrifying scenario of having to drag a dead body from the costume and throwing it on some other poor bum to entertain a pack of drunks between innings.
Of course any normal team would just cancel the ballgame at that point, but this is the Mets. They are far from any normal team and still have to finish paying for Bobby Bonilla’s new poolside bar.
(Via New York Daily News)