Wikipedia: Mr. Met
Mr. Met is the official mascot of Major League Baseball's New York Mets. He is a man with a large baseball for a head. He can be seen at Citi Field during Mets home games, has appeared in several commercials as part of ESPN's This is SportsCenter campaign, and has been elected into the Mascot Hall of Fame. On April 30, 2012, Forbes Magazine listed Mr. Met as the #1 mascot in all of sports.
Mr. Met was first introduced on the cover of game programs, yearbooks, and on scorecards in 1963, when the Mets were still playing at the Polo Grounds in northern Manhattan. Comic book artist Al Avison was at least one of the artists who contributed to the character's design. When the Mets moved to Shea Stadium in 1964, fans were introduced to a live costumed version, portrayed by team ticket office employee, Daniel J. Reilly. Mr. Met is believed to have been the first mascot in Major League Baseball to exist in human (as opposed to artistically rendered) form. He was also the first person on the Mets to be represented by a bobblehead doll.
In the 1960s, Mr. Met occasionally appeared in print with a female companion, Mrs. Met (originally called "Lady Met"), and less frequently with a group of three "little Mets" children; the smallest was a baby in Lady Met's arms. Mrs. Met was debuted in a short lived live costumed form in 1975 before being reintroduced in 2013.
New York Mets (MLB.com)
THE STORY OF MR. MET
On the first spring morning of '63, with the dew still dampening Coogan's Bluff, Casey Stengel, the old skipper of the young Mets, saw a figure in the distance. Deep in the Polo Grounds' center field stood a fan like no other -- a fan clearly born to root for the New York Mets. Casey so took to the big guy, he invited him to join the Amazin's the next year at their new park, Shea Stadium. Mr. Met was home. Mr. Met moved along with the team into a new home, Citi Field, in 2009 continuing to cheer on his favorite team.
MR. MET'S VITAL SIGNS
Mr. Met Bio Information
Born: April 11, 1962 (date of the first Mets game)
ML Debut: April 17, 1964
Hometown: Flushing, NY
Height: 6'10" (A stitch taller than a standard doorway)
Weight: Top Heavy
Throws: T-shirts, Cracker Jack, and great parties
Bats: Sleep upside down
New York National League Baseball Club
Revised Official 1963 Year Book
MASCOT OF THE METS
Meet "MR. MET"
28 April 1963, New York (NY) Times, "Yankee Fans vs. Met Fans" by Robert M. Lipsyte, sec. 5, pg. 1, cols. 4-5:
"The Mets must mean metropolitan area, a polyglot melting pot. And I've noticed on ads this year that they have a picture of a baseball with a man's face superimposed, Mr. Met - a kind of a John Q. Public caricature."
28 September 1963, Sporting News, pg. 10, col. 1:
For a sign carried by one person, the winner was Lawrence Carnahan of Manhattan, who wore a cardboard box over his head as Mr. Met.
10 October 1964, Sporting News, pg. 42, col. 5:
Adults received lapel pins which has the Mr. Met insignia on them, while youngsters were given 12-inch metal rulers with Mr. Met printed on them.
August 9. 2012
The mystery of Mr. Met solved â sort of
I've always loved Mr. Met. Not the live mascot (I've never really cared about him), but the cartoon character -- I grew up thinking he was the coolest. I loved his sense of playfulness. I loved how he looked clever and smart, sort of like Bugs Bunny. I loved how his pupils were little baseball diamonds (bet you didn't know that, did ya?). I loved how he always wore an orange-brimmed cap, even though the Mets have never worn an orange-brimmed cap (it was his special Mr. Met cap that only he got to wear!). I still love all of these things today.
Mr. Met, who made his first appearance on the cover of the team's 1963 yearbook (the live mascot debuted a year later), was clearly the work of a talented illustrator, but I didn't think about that when I was growing up. And by the time I did think about it, it was too late: The Mets no longer have any records of who created him -- believe me, I've asked -- and there's no illustration credit for any of the program or yearbook covers he appears on. (The ’63 yearbook included a whole page introducing Mr. Met and mentioned that he was the product of "hundreds of drawings" but made no mention of the artist. Grrrrrr.)
Parsippany, N.J., is a comfortable suburban town about 30 miles west of New York City. One of its more interesting residents is Charles Palminteri, a retired advertising art director and graphic designer.