Tuesday marked the 17th anniversary of President Bill Clinton’s appearance alongside Rachel Robinson commemorating Jackie Robinson Day during that night’s Dodgers/Mets tilt at Shea Stadium. I attended said contest, one marked by a heavy security presence given Clinton’s visit to Queens and until now, I’ve thought Mr. Met being stuck in the Diamond Club elevator next to myself and Spike Lee was the beloved mascot’s biggest thrill, but it turns out, I’m not even close, as author AJ Mass explains. In excerpts from ‘Yes, It’s Hot In Here’ that appear in today’s New York Daily News, Mass, a former Mr. Met, claims his attempts at having his picture taken with Clinton were stymied by an overzealous Secret Service :
Mass recalled how the agent stared directly into the mouth of his huge faux leather head to deliver a warning that sent chills through all eight of Mr. Met’s fingers.
“’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. 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,” Mass writes.
“’Approach the President, and we go for the kill shot,’ he repeats. ‘ARE — WE — CLEAR?’”