Whew! What a day we had at the 2015 Queens Baseball Convention on Saturday at McFadden’s Citi Field. Where to begin?
First off I want to thank all those who put together the QBC, not only was it an honor to be a participant; it also gave me something to write about. So many people came up to me asking when I’d be posting again here at Kranepool and the answer I gave was when the Mets do something for me to write about. Well, the QBC gave me the material I needed for a post.
Ed Marcus and I were asked to moderate a panel with Mookie Wilson. While we were on our way to Queens we were discussing on how Mookie would receive us and we went over our line of questioning. Our fears were erased when we met with Mookie before heading to the panel room. You’ll not meet a nicer man than Mookie, cordial, upbeat and ready to go. He enjoyed the hour long Q & A we conducted and from the reaction of those in attendance many thought Ed and I connected well with Mookie but it was Mookie who made it very easy as he connected brilliantly with the audience.
After the Mookie Wilson panel, Ed and I were ready to head to our next moderating assignment a panel on 86′ Mets: The Movie with Heather Quinlian and author Erik Sherman who was Mookie Wilson’s co-author and is currently working on a book about the 1986 Mets in a Boys of Summer type narrative. I was impressed that Heather interviewed Ed Kranepool for the movie and I’m very jealous that she got to do the interview on Ed’s yacht in the Hamptons. It got me to thinking and pitching a pilot for a TV show.
Me and Kranepool sitting on his yacht having a beverage or four watching a Mets game and giving our critique of the game. Then I toss out some random games from the past like “Hey Ed remember back in August of ’65 when Tug McGraw out pitched Sandy Koufax at Shea”? Then I just sit back and sip my drink and let Ed take it away.
I missed most of the Wally Beckman panel but I did get to meet Wally in the back room of McFadden’s. There were a few of us back there talking and carrying on and Wally enjoyed the bantering so much he said “close the door and let’s talk baseball” Sorry my lips (fingers?) are sealed but I will say Wally Backman is everything you thought he was and more, just a great guy and straight shooter.
You know how after you’ve been to a big affair like a wedding and you kick back at the end of the evening with a night cap and just relax? Well the QBC nightcap was the fantastic and moving presentation of the Gil Hodges Unforgettable Fire Award to Ed “The Glider” Charles. Greg Prince was the M.C. for this event and in the way Greg handles everything with class and grace, this was the perfect way to end an outstanding day of Mets baseball and fandom. The Glider had the fans rapped attention with his stories of his days in the minor leagues in the Braves organization and his shot at big leagues with the KC A’s. It was his story about facing Satchel Page though that had everyone smiling as it’s not every day you get to meet a man who played a big part in your teams world championship and played against the great Satchel Page.
I got to meet so many good people and real die hard Mets fans that it has given me a big boost in my Mets fandom. There were no cranky pants fans there, no owner bashing or second guessing of front office moves, it was just die hard root for the Mets win or lose Mets fans in attendance. Sure there is a day and time for rising up but Saturday at the QBC it was all sunshine and blue and orange balloons.