My bucket list isn’t very long just few things I’d like to do before my ass burns in hell:


Capture Osama Bin Laden and put him on display at Astroland there by saving Coney Island.


Land a jetliner in the Hudson River (yeah I know that Sully guy did it already but it looked so cool on the video I’d just like to try it once)


Watch baseball highlights in a heart shaped bath tub with Hazel Mae


Go clothes shopping with Don Cherry 


Hit Mega-Millions and use the money to reopen CBGB and wear spandex and boa everyday and hang out with David Johansen.


Meet my favorite Mets player of all time Ed Kranepool


Well, scratch that last one of the list as yesterday my 44 year journey was complete as I finally met my Mr. Met, steady Eddie Kranepool. Oh I’ve come close a few other times. Once at a bank opening on 18th Ave in Brooklyn, Kranepool and Mets bullpen coach Joe Pignatano were at the grand opening signing autographed 8 X 10’s. When I arrived at the bank, Ed had already left but “Piggy” was there and not only gave me and my kids autographed pics but also found a few that Eddie had signed to give out later so needless to say the are prominently displayed at the World Headquarters of The Eddie Kranepool Society (a/k/a my basement) next to my Mr. Met bubble bath and my Ron Swoboda 12 oz tumbler from Sunoco.


A second time was at Keyspan Park when Ed was doing color commentary on a Brooklyn Cyclones game and I tried very hard to conceal my fanboy admiration so I could infiltrate up to the press box (this is how I get around Highlander Stadium like a Special Opps agent I go in watch the game and get out and none of the Highlander faithful know there is a spy amongst them) so when I received an e mail about yesterdays event I was as happy as Navin R Johnson (Steve Martin’s character in The Jerk) when he got his new phone book. I called right away and reserved my seat.


So now here I am bopping into Gallagher’s Restaurant yesterday and the first thing that I notice was the plethora of fat, bald middle aged guys in attendance (as opposed to moi as I may be bald and middle aged but I’m svelte <sticks out tongue>) and I thought here we are on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the 1969 World Champion team and the vast majority of the attendees were teenagers back then and for the next couple of hours we are all teenagers again. As I look around the bar I see Ron Swoboda holding court with a small group of businessmen (by the way I didn’t know what the dress code was for this event so I decided to gussie myself up real nice and wear a collar shirt over my orange Mets t-shirt that I got for filling out my 485th Bank of America Master Card application at Shea. That’s why I have more blankets than the Red Cross) I saw Emerson Boozer and shook his hand (which still has an ice pack on it from his grip) I acknowledged Art Shamsky (I’m sure you all read the NY Post this morning and I wish I hung around longer as I would have ran inference for Art when the ex came after him) and then as I made my around the bar there he was, Steady Eddie.


At first I felt a little intimidated to speak to him. When I told him I’m the guy who named his blog after him I didn’t know if he’d take it as the compliment I set it out to be or if he start screaming “You? YOU”RE THE GUY”? but thankfully it was the former. Krane seemed to get a kick out it and said he heard about it and asked me if I had a card with the website on it which of course I did, and then Ed gave me HIS BUSSINESS CARD!!!!.


I don’t know if it was fear of him being mad about the blog or just the anticipation of meeting him that my childhood was flashing before my eyes (visions of Ebingers Bakery, egg creams, The Sea Beach Line, The Worlds Fair, The Beatles on Ed Sullivan, my Mr. Met megaphone that I just ate popcorn out of, and cans of Rheingold the Orange and Blue aluminum shingles of early Shea, all set to the sound track of Jane Jarvis and her Thomas Organ) but I was nervous talking to Ed and he was just the opposite calm and relaxed, Steady Eddie. He got a laugh as I told him that he was and still is my favorite Mets player of all time because I was a left hand and played first base and not fleet of foot and went by the nickname “Kranepool” and how I had a Mets uniform with 7 on it and how I wish the Mets would retire that number since he still holds or is in the top ten in most Mets lifetime hitting categories. I tried not to ramble but I’m sure I did but he seemed to enjoy my carrying on.


One of the dangers in meeting someone who you grew up being a huge fan of is when you do get to meet them the experience is not what you had hoped, but I would like to thank Ed Kranepool for not disappointing me by being so gracious and making yesterday even better than I had hoped it would.


Now back to that bucket list. I wonder what Gretchen Mol is doing Saturday night?





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  1. everything about this post has solidified that you are my hero.

  2. Kranepool will always play a huge part in Met history and I thank you for speaking for all 50+ year old fans.

  3. Barry Newman says:

    I liked reading your blog. The Krane was also one of my favorite all time players. I actually ate at “The Duguot”, the restaurant he co-owned briefly with Ron Swoboda, in 1970. Anyway, I have been trying to get an answer to the following question, in vain, for several years, and you are my next and possibly last hope, so here goes:
    My favorite TV show for the past few years, at least until ABC cancelled it, was Boston Legal. If you know the show what I’m about to write is stuff you are familiar with but if you don’t you’d be interested to know that the show is about a law firm with mostly sleazy lawyers, the sleaziest being the eccentric and (at least when he was younger, probably while he was playing Captain James T. Kirk) brilliant lawyer, Denny Crane, played by the legendary William Shatner. The name of the fictional law firm in Boston Legal is Crane, Poole and Schmidt and I wondered if it was named after the Krane himself? Do you know the answer?
    Thanks for your time and consideration.
    Regards, Barry Newman (also a Met fan and sometimes fellow blogger and also a regular contributor to the Newsday RANT section)

  4. Bruce (from Queens) says:

    I met Eddie tonight at a restaurant in Rockville Centre, L.I. He was at the next booth. We had a very brief but very pleasant conversation. Made my day. Second time I met Eddie. The first time was at a Knicks game about five years ago – also a good conversation. Great memories of the early days at Shea and, of course, 1969. Both times he had a great way about him – not bothered to be approached but also not looking for, or expecting, attention.

  5. Taycotrains says:

    Congrats on finally meeting him !!!
    As I mentioned in a earlier comment my grandmother used to frequent his restauraunt
    out in Amityville back in the 70s and he was the most gracious host.
    Good for you Steve and in honor of your big day…”Im picking out a thermos for you”


  6. I too, have had the honor of meeting Eddie The Krane, twice…once when he came to the school I work at to help dedicate the re-working of the field, by one of thegroups he works with…the other back in 1984(5?) he and a bunch of the ’69 Mets beat (again) the ’69 Cubs in a charity game in Arizona, I had a chance to get some autographs in the lockerroom, and I got his autograph. The most memorable part was, though, the line The Krane gave me after I asked him to help me find the guy who was my mother’s favorite player…he asked who that was, and I told him Jerry Grote (I know he was kidding, at least for the most part, because I knew of Mr. Grote’s “personality”) the reply was, “your mother has really bad taste, kid.” I cracked up, and Mr. Kranepool pointed me in the right direction.

  7. Congrats once again. Of course when I met him in the Diamond Club, I was all – um, I’m not old enough to remember you play…but my dad loves you. LOL I know what you mean, by far my fave player in the 80s was Gary Carter (as opposed to me meeting Ronnie Darling last year, I was a lot calmer – I guess Ronnie is used to amped up fans meeting him, he put me at ease right away) – anyway, I met Kid at KeySpan Park, and I nearly lost my mind! All I could say at first was – I’ve waited my whole life to meet you! I think he truly appreciates the fandom…as I got more at ease, i start rambling like crazy – meanwhile I am old enough to be his daugher (my mom is actually his age so yeah…) – anyway, I’m all – You know, I had a mets cabbage patch doll and named him after YOU!! LOL – I’m sure he was a phone call away from getting the white coats at Bellevue to take me in. All good though. Well done my friend!!!

  8. Aaaah, the Rheingold can! And you needed a CAN OPENER for it — no poptop, no pulltop.

  9. Steve, I’m so glad you got to meet steady Eddie. Everybody who meets him nowadays says what a great guy he is. Yet when he was young, he had a reputation for being kind of surly. I love your catalog of memories. I think we had close to the same childhood. I still want Rheingold to be “my beer” when I’m all grown up. I want to time the foam head to see if it really lasts for 10 minutes!

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