A recent “Antiques Roadshow” had a Mets spin on it. If you’re not familiar with the show, a viewer brings in a collectible, like the souvenir spoon collection they inherited from their Aunt Lillian and experts tell them what it’s worth. It could be $20, or if they are lucky the collection includes the rare commemorative spoon from the dedication of the Eiffel Tower and is worth thousands.
But this time an expert was asked to evaluate a collection of New York Met memorabilia! It consisted of items mostly from the first few years of Met existence. There was a scale model of Shea Stadium, an autographed ball from the inaugural season of 1962, and a Mr. Met bobble head, among other items. There was also an image of “Lady Met.”
I was aware of Mrs. Met, but not Lady Met. To the best of my knowledge, Lady Met first appeared in the mid 60’s as the companion of Mr. Met, who had come along a bit earlier. Lady Met sported a fiery reddish-orange hairstyle and was seen in cartoon form. Then Lady Met took a hiatus (one of several) and returned in the 70’s as Mrs. Met, presumably having had a fictional marriage in between. The now Mrs. Met returned again in 2013 with brownish hair and has an actual human portraying her.
It just goes to show you can learn about a piece of Met history from an unlikely source. The collection itself was not valued very highly by the PBS expert, just a few hundred dollars.
Another example of learning about the Mets from offbeat places, a trip to the local library a few weeks ago found a new autobiography by retired astronaut Mike Massimino. The book, titled “Spaceman,” chronicles his life, highlighted by two missions into outer space to repair/update the Hubble telescope, and the spacewalks needed to perform the tasks. But also in the book was the nugget that Mr. Massamino is a lifelong New York Met fan!
The Long Island native grew up only 20 minutes from Shea Stadium. He makes references to attending games and idolizing Tom Seaver, (Massamino was a pitcher as a youth in the Police Boys Club league). He also took a Met jersey into outer space and then presented it to the team, and he even threw out the first pitch at Shea Stadium in June of 2002 in a subway series game.
The book is a good read if you are interested in space travel and learning about the effort that Massamino needed to accomplish his goal of becoming an astronaut. And its a bonus if you are a Met fan. It’s always fun to find Met references in unexpected places.