Legendary New York Mets mascot “Mr. Met” once ran afoul of the United States Secret Service, according to the man who once suited up in the costume.
In his new book, A.J. Mass, an ESPN writer who played the part of “Mr. Met” from 1994 to 1997, described a situation that transpired during President Bill Clinton’s trip to Shea Stadium, the Mets’ former home, in 1997, CBS New York reports. Clinton was in town for Major League Baseball’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the league color barrier.
During the visit, a Secret Service agent allegedly warned Mr. Met about the dangers of getting too close to President Clinton.
“Now listen to me very carefully. … We have snipers all around the stadium, just in case something were to happen,” the agent allegedly told Mass, according to a book excerpt. “Like I said, do whatever it is you normally do. Nobody will bother you. But approach the president, and we go for the kill shot. Are we clear?’
It’s unclear if the Secret Service agent’s warning was standard procedure, or if Mr. Met had done something in the past to draw the government’s ire. In the memoir, Mass wrote that he felt as if the agent wasn’t “only looking into my eyes, but also into my very soul with his blank, unblinking stare.”
The unnamed Secret Service agent then left Mr. Met with one final warning. “Approach the president, and we go for the kill shot,” he said. “ARE-WE-CLEAR?”
Mass’ memoir, “Yes, It’s Hot in Here: Adventures in the Weird, Woolly World of Sports Mascots,” is now available everywhere.
[h/t The Big Lead]