Darryl Strawberry and John Franco Will Be At Bryant Park Today For The Mets Citi Tickets Pre-Sale

 

If you are in the area by Bryant Park (42 St bet.  5th and 6th Ave) today between 12PM and 1PM who can meet former Mets stars Darryl Strawberry and John Franco who will be on hand for the kickoff of the Citi card holders pre-sale for 2013 Mets tickets.

The three day exclusive presale will begin on Monday, February 25 and run until Wednesday, February 27 at 11:59 PM. Citi customers will have special access to purchase single home game tickets online at http://mets.com/Citipresale, Citi Field or any Mets Clubhouse Shop.

The Citi exclusive presale is the first opportunity for fans to purchase Opening Day, as well as Subway Series tickets. Fans must use their Citi credit or debit card to take advantage of this special offer.

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LET’S RAISE A GLASS TO THE ’86 METS

Man, 25 years ago. So where was I 25 years ago tonight when the most famous ground ball in baseball history went through the wickets of Bill Buckner?

I wasn’t at the game, I was home watching with my wife as we were in month seven of our marriage. The only game of the series I attend was Game 1, the game that turned on a ball getting through the legs of Tim Teufel, a play that gets lost in the Buckner Blunder, ruining a beautifully pitched game by Ron Darling with help from Roger McDowell.  

One of the issues with watching Mets games on TV back in ’86 was Bay Ridge Brooklyn was NOT wired for cable television back then. There was a whole quagmire with franchise rights by the cable companies, if you wanted the lucrative Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights account you had to take the less desirable East New York, Flatbush area as well. So after all the graft and bribes were dished out, I think it wasn’t until 1988 when we Bay Ridgeites  got  hooked up to Time-Warner Cable, so back in ’86 I spent most of my time in the numerous bars of Bay Ridge that were equipped with these enormous satellite dishes on their roofs to watch Mets game televised on SportsChannel.  So when games were on “free TV” I’d give my wallet and liver a break and stay home.

Game 6 was on a Saturday night, I remember we went for an unusually early dinner (my kids have a hard time believing that the same couple who fall asleep on the couch at 9PM used to go out until 4 or 5 the next morning on a regular basis. It’s the same way their stare at our wedding picture in which I have this incredible crop of curly brown hair. The tilt their heads from side to side like it’s some abstract painting in a gallery trying to figure out who the guy is with their mom. Lovely.) and then came home. Before getting home I stopped at the deli on 5th Ave to pick up some Molson Golden for my game libation. My wife sat with me for the first few innings (she is not big on watching Baseball or any sport on TV, she’ll go a games in person and enjoy it but to sit and watch on TV? Ain’t happening) then decided she go to the bedroom and watch something else. Of course she fell asleep, so it was just me, Vin Scully (Mets fans were very upset with Scully’s critiques of the Mets during this series)  Joe Garagiola and my six bottles of Molson.

Everyone knows about the bottom of the 10th inning of this game but the inning that gets lost in history is the bottom of the 8th where the Mets were down a run. Former Met, Calvin Schiraldi comes in for the Red Sox to help preserve the lead and bridge to Bob Stanley, the Boston closer. After a Lee Mazzilli (pinch hitting for Jesse Orosco) leadoff single, Davey Johnson went against the Earl Weaver book he was weaned on, to play small ball. Lenny Dykstra comes up (by the way after six Molson on top of the cocktails I had at dinner, I’m now talking to the TV like I’m sitting with Scully and Garagiola. I wish there was Twitter back then, my drunked Tweets would have been memorable) and lays down a sac bunt that he beats out, so now the Mets have 1st and 2nd no outs.  Wally Backman comes up and he lays down a sac bunt that moves Maz to 3rd and Nails to 2nd after an Intentional Walk to Keith Hernandez to set up a double play at any base, up stepped Gary Carter.

Here is why Mets fans love Gary Carter, nobody loves a pressure situation and came through in those situations like Kid.  That’s why when you sit in Citi Field and the Get Well Soon video comes on the screen, everyone stops and watches. That’s why when I see Ron Darling in the Stand Up For Cancer PSA, with his I Stand Up For My Catcher sign, I get a lump in my throat. Gary Carter was a great Met, retire his #8 PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I digress, Kid comes though with a Sac Fly scoring Maz and we are tied at 3.

After the top of the 10th where Rick Aguilera gave up 2 runs, all I need is a hand gun as I’ve turned into Elvis Presley , looking to shoot my TV. After two quick outs in the bottom of the 10th I am one ornery intoxicated Mets fan, with my TV remote in my hand I was ready to turn off the set as there was no way I was watching the Red Sox celebrate this World Series (the pain of 1973 was flashing through my mind) but then, he comes that man again, Gary Carter with the base hit but here I was pissed at Kid for that hit. Please put me out of my misery already but my misery turned to ecstasy.

“HONEY, WAKE UP! WAKE UP! THEY WON!!! THEY WON!!! THE METS WON!!!! YYYYYYEEEEAAAAHHHHHH!!!! GAME FUCKIN’SEVEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!WWWWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO”

My wife thought I’d lost my mind, I told get up and get dressed we got to go out. She looked at me like I was nuts but then she heard all the commotion coming from 5th Ave and then the phone started ringing as friends and family wanting to talk about the most improbable win in Mets history. There was no sleep that night/early mornings, bars and clubs of Bay Ridge were hoppin’ till sunrise and so was I.

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GARY COHEN & RON DARLING WILL BE TENDING BAR AT FOLEY’S NY TOMORROW NIGHT FOR CHARITY

Gary Cohen and Ron Darling will team up tomorrow night to bartend at the fabulous Foley’s NY all in the name of charity, specifically the Pitch In For Good Cause, that Gary’s wife Lynn is the head of :

WHAT:           Gary Cohen and Ron Darling guest bartend at Foley’s during the Mets-Yankees “Subway Series” game to raise money to help victims of domestic abuse.

WHO:              Gary Cohen, Mets Broadcaster

Ron Darling, 1986 WS Champion, Mets Broadcaster

 

WHEN:           Saturday, May 21, 2011

                        6:30 – 9:30 p.m.

 

WHERE:         Foley’s NY Pub and Restaurant

18 W. 33rd Street (near 5th Ave, across from Empire State Bldg)

 

WHY:              All proceeds go toward building a safe house for victims of domestic abuse and their families.

For more info, visit www.pitchinforagoodcause.org/index.php/get-to-know.html

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SCRATCH ONE OFF THE BUCKET LIST. THE EDDIE KRANEPOOL SOCIETY MEETS EDDIE KRANEPOOL!

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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