A Secret Service agent once threatened to shoot Mr. Met if he came too close to former President Bill Clinton, according to a man who once donned the outfit.
The incident is part of a new book called “Yes, It’s Hot in Here: Adventures in the Weird, Woolly World of Sports Mascots” by AJ Mass, who, in 1994, became the first person to wear the Mr. Met suit since the mascot was retired by the baseball team in the 1960s.
In an excerpt published on The Huffington Post Wednesday, Mass, who now works for ESPN.com, recalls the April 15, 1997 game at Shea Stadium.
During the game, a Secret Service agent who did not “see the humor,” in his Mr. Met routine gave the mascot a frightening warning, he wrote:
“We have snipers all around the stadium, just in case something were to happen,” he says. “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?”
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. Then he says the same thing again, only a little bit slower this time, making sure I know his warning is not in any way to be misconstrued as some sort of gag. He’s dead serious, and if I don’t believe him, then I’ll be dead–seriously.
“Approach the president, and we go for the kill shot,” he repeats. “ARE–WE–CLEAR?”