The question I’m most frequently asked: “What if a costumed mascot got too close to the President of the United States during a baseball game?” Of course the answer is: That mascot would be dropped instantly by a sniper. With extreme prejudice.
And that includes Mr. Met.
We now know this because a guy who formerly wore the Mr. Met costume, AJ Mass, has written a book about being a mascot. In “Yes, It’s Hot In Here”, Mass tells many tales: among them the time at Shea Stadium that a Secret Service agent told him that if he got too close to the President, he would be shot. Excerpt:
Mass was angling to get his picture taken with ex-President Clinton on April 15, 1997 — the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s first major league game.
That’s exactly the vibe I’m starting to get from the man in the dark suit. Needless to say, he has my full attention.
“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?”
But if all this is true, then WHAT THE HELL IS THIS? (See last photo).