Tag Archives: The New York Mets

Fresh Meadows middle school will walk to stop bullying


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

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One Queens middle school is taking a stand against bullying with a walk-a-thon.

J.H.S. 216 George J. Ryan in Fresh Meadows is hosting its “Respect For All” walk-a-thon on Tuesday, May 13, on the school’s track, to celebrate diversity and discourage bullying.

“We are trying to get kids to stop name-calling, and do whatever we can to get this building the way it should be,” said Hal Fuchs, an academic coordinator in the school. “And something like this we feel could do that. It’s about respect. We want kids to have respect for each other.”

Three students from each homeroom, approximately 150 kids, will represent the school’s 1,400 students in the event. From 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. the participating students will lap the track four times, which is the equivalent of one mile, Fuchs said.

The New York Mets have donated tickets to the upcoming game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 21 for kids who take part in the walk-a-thon.

The school is also selling 800 “Respect For All” bracelets for $1 each. The proceeds from the event will be donated to an anti-bullying charity to be named.

Photo courtesy J.H.S. 216 

 

 

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Mets roll back ticket prices for 50th anniversary of Shea Stadium


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy the New York Mets

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Mets fans will have something to cheer about, at least when it comes to the cost of tickets.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the team’s former home, Shea Stadium, the New York Mets announced Sunday that it will roll back ticket prices for games this coming weekend.

A limited number of tickets will be available for $3.50, when the Mets host the Atlanta Braves from April 18 to 20. Shea officially opened on April 17, 1964, when the Mets hosted the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The team will also offer some baseline box seats for $19.64, with an eight ticket per person limit. Tickets must be purchased in advance over the phone or online at Mets.com/1964.

The offer will not be available at team stores, ticket windows or on game day.

 

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Mets David Wright becomes ‘Face of MLB’


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy The New York Mets

Follow me @liamlaguerre 

 

Mets captain David Wright won the MLB’s “Face of MLB” contest.

The contest came down to a match up against Oakland’s Athletics’ infielder Eric Sogard and Wright.

“Captain America,” as Wright has come to be known, gained more retweets than Sogard by fans to win the contest.

 

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Hall of fame player and Mets broadcaster Ralph Kiner dies at 91


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo: Marc S. Levine/New York Mets

Hall of fame player and beloved Mets broadcaster Ralph Kiner died on Thursday.

He passed away from natural causes at his home in California.  He was 91.

“Ralph Kiner was one of the most beloved people in Mets history—an original Met and extraordinary gentleman,” Met CEO Fred Wilpon said. “After a hall of fame playing career, Ralph became a treasured broadcasting icon for more than half a century.  His knowledge of the game, wit, and charm entertained generations of Mets fans.  Like his stories, he was one of a kind.  We send our deepest condolences to Ralph’s five children and 12 grandchildren.  Our sport and society today lost one of the all-time greats.”

Kiner spent most of his 10-year playing career with the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 40s and 50s.

Kiner retired with a .279 batting average and 369 career home runs. Kiner led the league in homers in each of his first seven seasons and stopped playing due to a back injury.

He then went on to have a storied broadcasting career. He was a Mets broadcaster since the team’s inception in 1962, and called games for more than 40 seasons. Kiner was inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame in 1975 and is a member of the Mets Hall of Fame.

 

 

First Queens Baseball Convention reveals spirit of Mets fans


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

New York Mets fans have heard this maybe a million times—they have a troubled franchise.

The team has not won a World Series in nearly three decades, and have been disappointing in the last five years as they have struggled just to stay above .500.

That’s just scratching the surface of issues, but even as frustrating as that has been, the spirit of Mets fans is alive and well, and was strongly represented by more than 400 fans at the first-ever Queens Baseball Convention (QBC) Saturday.

“It’s pretty exciting. We may not be in the playoffs every year, but it’s cool to see everyone, and the spirit of Mets fans,” said Andrew Hermida, an illustrator, who was selling his original Mr. Met drawings at the QBC.

The event, which was at McFadden’s bar in Citi Field, was organized by a trio of die hard Mets fans—Shannon “Shark” Prior and Keith Blacknick, the pair behind blog site Metspolice.com, and The 7 Line clothing brand founder Darren Meenan.

The premise was simply to celebrate the past figures of the franchise, a hopefully fruitful future, and just being Mets fan–and there was plenty for fans to do. Wearing orange and blue shirts, jerseys, caps, socks, shoes, and jackets, the Mets faithful played games, enjoyed Mets trivia, bought parts of the old Shea Stadium and Mets memorabilia, paraded in their jerseys, and talked about the past and the upcoming season.

“Hundreds of people paid $35 to celebrate a team that hasn’t won anything in years. It’s like some weird cult,” said Mets fan and comedian Jeff Hysen, who was the event’s MC.

Parents attended the QBC with their children, who brought their children, as generations of fans were present. The kids tried their hand at a dunk tank and got their faces painted.

The event surely attracted many fans for its guest speakers, which included former players Ron Darling and Ed Kranepool, members of the Mets 1986 and 1969 World Series teams respectively.

The former players signed autographs for fans, and had question-and-answer sessions. Even Darling, who is now a baseball broadcaster, was astounded at how much love fans showed their troubled franchise.

“You guys never give up,” Darling said about Mets fans during his forum. “I don’t know how you do it.”

That’s because to some, being a fan isn’t about winning.

“Sports is not about winning, it’s about enjoying the sport. I don’t think it’s exciting to be on the winning team every year. You have to have something to play for,” said Heidi Springer of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, who attended the event with her husband and two sons.

The first QBC attracted a strong crowd, many of whom said they would like to see the event return. Organizers did say they would like to make it an annual event, but are just happy for the turnout of the first QBC.

“The good part about it is everyone that’s involved in it is a Mets fan,” Meenan said. “It’s really a team effort.”

 

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Mets fans organizing first Queens Baseball Convention


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Darren Meenan

Baseball may be out of season, but Queens residents can still enjoy the game this winter, thanks to a trio of die-hard Mets fans.

Shannon “Shark” Prior and Keith Blacknick, the pair behind blog site Metspolice.com, have teamed up with Darren Meenan of The 7 Line clothing brand to bring the first ever Queens Baseball Convention  (QBC) to McFadden’s bar in Citi Field on January 18.

The event is a fan fest for Mets fans of all ages to enjoy and meet team legends, including Ron Darling, who was on the 1986 World Series team, and Ed Kranepool, who was on 1969 championship squad.

“Even if I wasn’t involved in it I was going to be there,” Meenan said. “It’s something that will bring fans together, whether you’re a young kid or someone who just likes jerseys. There’s something for everybody.”

The idea came together after Blacknick and Prior considered how fun it would be for the Mets to have a fan fest, much like numerous teams around the league.

The pair contacted Meenan, who has a record of bringing Mets fans together, for designs and the marketing aspect of the event. Then they started to create fun events for the QBC and advertising it.

They expect to have many events there, including a baseball jersey parade, a children’s drawing contest, a panel discussion about the Mets, a banner parade, and an award ceremony for Mets players, among others. Kranepool and Darling will also hold autograph sessions.

The QBC trio is still adding more events and planning for more appearances, but aren’t saying what just yet. The Mets have not signed on to the event as of the writing of this article, but Prior said they are in discussions with the organization.

“Right now I just want to do the first year,” Prior said. “I am hopeful that this becomes an annual event that everyone can enjoy.”

Prices for the QBC are $35 for adults and $10 for kids 12 and under. It will run from about noon to 7 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets visit click here.

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Mets to host 2014 Anthem Search


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

O say can you sing?

The New York Mets will host their 2014 Anthem Search on Thursday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Citi Field.

The first 100 contestants to arrive will be guaranteed an audition, which is 60 seconds to perform a song of their choice, excluding the Star Spangled Banner. The winner of this year’s Anthem Search will be allowed to sing on 2014 opening day on March 31, when the Mets host the Washington Nationals at 1:10 p.m.

This is the first year the winner will have the opportunity to sing on opening day. Past winners choose dates throughout the season.

The contest will be judged by SNY anchor Gary Apple and Z100 radio personality Skeery Jones. The judges will select finalists from the auditions and Mets staff will select one winner from that group.

Upon arrival, participants should enter at the Citi Field’s Hodges VIP entrance.

For more information visit Mets.com/anthemsearch.

 

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The 7 Line brand becomes part of Mets culture


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Terence M. Cullen

In the bar where Darren Meenan once sold t-shirts, he now holds court. People shake his hand and wish him well.

Only about four years ago Meenan, a Queens native, founded The 7 Line clothing company.

Now he and his brand have become fixtures in Mets culture. It’s hooked a younger generation, he said, that might not have the fond memories of the 1969 or 1986 World Series.

“Although there’s not a winning team on the field right now,” he said. “I try to turn our events into a mini playoff atmosphere.”

The 7 Line launched its 2014 calendar, the third of its kind, at McFadden’s at CitiField on Saturday, November 16, kicking off another year for the burgeoning brand.

Eighty women applied to be on the calendar, Meenan said, and then it was narrowed down to 31 as a “little tip of the hat to [Mike] Piazza.” The former catcher was enshrined in the Mets Hall of Fame in September. In total, he said, about 34,000 people voted to select the 12 ladies to be featured.

The calendar was photographed by Bryan Dewitt over two days in September and hundreds turned out to meet the dozen calendar girls and pose for pictures.

“It’s really exciting to support a growing fan base,” said Nayi Castro, who will adorn the August 2014 page. “It’s really fun.”

The brand’s fan base has increased in the last three years. What started as a clothing line is now part of team culture.

Last year, The 7 Line hosted seven group trips to Mets games – five at CitiField and two away games – with double that amount set for the 2014 season.

Those games include trips booked to Yankee Stadium, Miami, San Francisco and Philadelphia.

“It’s the fans,” he said. “The fans are doing it. They come to the games. They have a great time. They tell their friends. And that spreads like wildfire.”

Chris Leuth has been the Mets ticket representative for Meenan for the last few years.

“It’s a pleasure. Darren’s a great partner,” he said. “When I met Darren, I knew there was a lot of potential.”

The evening featured raffled paintings of Mets third baseman David Wright by David Majowicz.

Majowicz, a Mets fan, said the fan base wasn’t something he pined for, but fell in love once it came.

“I don’t know if it was something I was waiting for,” he said. “But when it happened, it was immediate.”

Meenan, however, said the growth of “The 7 Line Army” had nothing to do with him, but rather fans who wanted something more.

“We call it ‘The 7 line Army,’ but we’re a great group of people,” he said. “We enjoy having fun. We’re very respectful when we go to other ballparks. I think that kindness is kind of addictive. We’ll go to a Cubs bar and everyone will have a good time.”

 

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Mike Piazza inducted into Mets Hall of Fame


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of The New York Mets

It was a Piazza palooza at Citi Field.

The New York Mets inducted legendary catcher Mike Piazza as the 27th member in the Mets Hall of Fame on Sunday before the team played its final game of the year.

Piazza received a proclamation from Mayor Michael Bloomberg, which declared September 29 as Mike Piazza Day.

“I’m very, very proud to be a New York Met,” Piazza said. “I’m glad they took recognition and gave me this honor.”

Citi Field was packed for Piazza’s induction as many cheered for one of the franchise’s most prominent figures.

Piazza threw out the first pitch of the game to Mets captain David Wright and Piazza’s former teammates Edgardo Alfonzo and John Franco presented him with a plaque and shared some kind words.

“You were a tremendous teammate,” Franco said. “You played hurt, you played hard and you are a great guy to be around. So I just want to say congratulations from one Italian brother to another.”

Piazza is known as one of the greatest hitting catchers of all time. He has the most home runs for a catcher ever with 427, a career .308 batting average and 2,127 hits.

Piazza played 972 games for the Mets, eight of his 16-year career in MLB. He hit 220 home runs with the Mets, ranking second in franchise history, behind Darryl Strawberry (252). He ranks first in team history with a .542 slugging percentage and is third in RBIs (655). Piazza was a seven-time All-Star when he played with the Mets and set a team-record with 124 RBIs and hit 40 home runs in 1999.

Then in 2000 he finished with 38 home runs and drove in 113 runs to lead the team to win the National League Division Championship.

Fortunately the Mets won the final game of the year 3-2 against the Brewers to top off the Hall of Fame celebration, despite another year with a losing record, 74-88.

Piazza is looking forward to a time when the Mets are once again on top of the league standings. He also joked that the organization will have first crack at his son, but he won’t be cheap.

“I’ll teach him how to hit and the rest is up to him,” Piazza said.

 

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