Tag Archives: Mookie Wilson

Baseball meets art at All-Star FanFest


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Terence Cullen

It was a bright day at Citi Field, Mr. Met on the JumboTron and traffic on all surrounding parkways was bumper-to-bumper.

Then the sky fell dark as artist Charles Fazzone took a paintbrush to the heavens and made it a midnight blue. A group of people gathered around his work station and marveled as Fazzone painted the 3-D portrait of the ballpark.

His goal was to have the portrait, intended to portray a night game, finished in time for the Major League Baseball All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 16.

“They’d like me to finish it by Tuesday so I’m kind of rushing and so forth,” he said on Saturday, July 13. “I started at the studio—the drawing part of it—the painting part of it I’ve been working for quite a few days.”

Fazzone and his art were one of many attractions at the T-Mobile FanFest last weekend as the baseball world gathered in New York for the Mid-Summer Classic. He has done the cover art for every All-Star Game program since 2003, with the exception of the 2006 match-up in Pittsburgh.

Along with Fazzone’s exhibit, FanFest included pieces of history, games and some of baseball’s legends. Mets alumni John Franco, Edgardo Alfonzo and Mookie Wilson served as ambassadors, with team captain and third baseman David Wright as its spokesperson.

Fazzone said his paintings for the game are auctioned off by MLB, will all proceeds going to Stand Up 2 Cancer, which helps fund cancer research. Fazzone said the painting he worked on at Fan Fest could go for anywhere between $18,000 to $35,000.

The New Rochelle-based artist, who considers himself a “New York fan” when it comes to baseball, said he was glad this year’s game was in the city, where he has a large group of collectors.

“It’s very special to me because this is my largest collector base of fans,” he said. “It’s really nice to be to be here in New York because all the FanFests have been in different cities for so long. And I know the city so well and people familiarize my artwork with being New York artwork.”

 

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Famed Bill Buckner ball sold at auction


| brennison@queenscourier.com

“Little roller up along first, behind the bag! It gets through Buckner! Here comes Knight and the Mets win it!”

Any Mets fan knows this is the call by Vin Scully in the 10th inning of Game 6 in the 1986 World Series. The baseball that scored Ray Knight, ending the organization’s most memorable game, recently sold at a Dallas auction house.

According to the collectibles site, Heritage Auctions, the infamous ball sold for $418, 250.

The ball is signed by Mookie Wilson, who hit the dribbler that found its way through Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner’s legs and into history, who addressed it to Mets traveling secretary Arthur Richman.

The collectible is inscribed, “To Arthur, The ball won it for us, Mookie Wilson 10/25/86.”

The Mets, famously down to their last out trailing by two, mounted a miraculous comeback culminating in Buckner’s error.

Two days later, the team won Game 7 for their second World Series Chamionship.

Heritage Auctions told the AP that the ball was being sold by songwriter Seth Swirsky.

 

Mets ’86 champs reunite at Strawberry’s


| bdoda@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Bob Doda

The World Series Champion 1986 New York Mets – one of the most memorable teams in New York baseball history – recently gathered for their 25th anniversary celebration at Strawberry’s Sports Grill in Douglaston. With Game Six on every television screen, almost all of the storied team filed in, including fan favorites Keith Hernandez, Mookie Wilson, Ray Knight, Howard Johnson, Jesse Orosco and owner Darryl Strawberry.

“This is a great celebration of who we are and what we have meant to Met fans and all the things we accomplished here,” said Strawberry, who put the series out of reach with a homerun in Game Seven.

Also in attendance was Bill Buckner, first basemen for the Boston Red Sox, whose name has become synonymous with the ’86 Mets team. His error on Wilson’s dribbler up the first baseline ended Game Six after a monumental three-run comeback with two outs and no runners on base.

“He’s one of the classiest players ever,” said Ron Goldstein, a Mets fan who had his picture taken with both Wilson and Buckner. “It feels like a lifetime ago.”

“I wasn’t going to be the goat and make the last out,” said Kevin Mitchell, who singled and scored the game-tying run during the Game Six comeback. “It was an honor for me to play with these guys. It brings back a lot of great memories.”

One Met who was missing from the festivities was Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter, whose team leading 105 Runs Batted In during the regular season led the Mets to the post-season. He is currently battling cancerous brain tumors and recent reports show him making progress

“We are just praying for him,” said Strawberry. “It’s hard not seeing him here because he was such a big part of what we accomplished.”

For Mets fans in attendance, the evening was a surreal experience to rub elbows with their idols of yesteryear. Queens resident Bill Betrulo, who was at Shea Stadium for Games Six and Seven, said it was hard to put in words his feelings toward the team but eventually described the victories as “absolute jubilation.”