Author Archives: Shawn V

The 2018 Queens Baseball Convention is in the Books and was Tremendous

Queens Baseball Convention 2018

Leading up to the 2018 Queens Baseball Convention on Saturday Jan 20th, there were just a few tickets remaining. The Met fans who purchased those remaining tickets came to realize just how fortunate they were to attend the 2018 Convention at Katch Astoria. It was a sellout and all fans attending were on the edge of their seat for many of the panels and discussions. Chris Flexen, Todd Hundley, and Brandon Nimmo were the featured guests. They shared fascinating details of growing up, getting the call to the major leagues, and plenty of stories of the game. The players became very comfortable and open in the setting. which allowed us to learn so much more about them.

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Met fans have endured an offseason that has been less than uplifting. It is safe to say that while we have many concerns for this team, at least for a day, we could gather, discuss, and share our love of the team.

Finding Nimmo

Brandon Nimmo will be remembered as the breakout star of this convention. He was greeted with great enthusiasm and his smile was as broad as ever. Brandon exemplifies all that we hope for in our young men, and connected with the audience In a way that was a joy to be a part of. The fans attending the convention were excited to see Brandon.

Queens Baseball Convention

Pete McCarthy of WOR and Brandon Nimmo

Queens Baseball Convention

Brandon Nimmo autographed photo

While many who attended were fans of Brandon because he is a Met, that seemed to change late Saturday afternoon. Brandon quickly became a fan favorite among those present. He shared stories of growing up, of his baseball career, of his recent move to the New York City area and all were told with honesty and a sense of humor that was captivating. Nimmo answered questions about his role on the 2018 Mets with candor and honesty that can only come from a man with such character. This young man certainly connected with the fan base in a special way. It was truly a blessing, for all in attendance, to hear him speak.

Queens Baseball Convention

Brandon Nimmo and I at the QBC 2018

Panels and Pics

The state of the Mets Panel, The Mets Execs Panel, The Uni Panel, and the live edition of “Mets Hot Stove” were all on par with their normal level of excellence. Lots of great guests, information, as well as plenty of exchanges between the panels and the audience. The layout allowed the fans to ask questions and interact with the sports writers, TV and radio personalities, and the bloggers that we all count on for our Mets info fix. Can’t explain how much fun this was.

Queens Baseball Convention

Chris Flexen Panel

Queens Baseball Convention

Todd Hundley. He could hit.

Queens Baseball Convention

John Harper and Sal Licata provided a Live showing of Mets Hot Stove. This was a blast!

Queens Baseball Convention

State of the Mets Panel. These folks are always fascinating.

Links and Resources

I would like to thank the Queen’s Baseball Convention team for putting on a tremendous event. Fantastic job. Lots of Mets vendors as well as giveaways and contests ALL DAY long added to the Metscentric vibe. Met fans can be proud of this off-season gathering.

Below are links to a couple of the panels. It is well worth the time to take them in. I have also included Twitter links to some of the folks that helped stage the convention. They are a great Mets resource and can give interesting views on the boys of summer.

Brandon Nimmo Panel is here….Must Watch!

Chris Flexen Panel is here.

Follow these folks on TWITTER. (Click Name)

Keith Blacknick of MediaGoon

Dan Twohig

Shannon Shark of METSPOLICE.com (Interesting perspective)

Queens Baseball Convention

You can check out my post about the 2017 Convention here.

You can follow me on TWITTER right….HERE

 

 

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Holiday

A Mets Christmas Wish List…on a Budget

 

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Acceptance

Perhaps the joy of the holiday season has quenched my furor over the Mets off-season. Sadly, reality has set in and I realize the Mets are constructed with a small market mentality. It would seem we should not expect anything substantial in terms of signings or trades. Maybe Jay Bruce, maybe not. Leave it to the Mets and Sandy Alderson to lower our expections before the Winter Meetings. It is what it is and I am trying to accept it.

I struggle when we trade away or lose a player to free agency…but I have become more callused. Sandy has my permission to deal away part of this roster. They can just as easily lose without them as they can with them. Those trades are not going to happen. At present, the 2018 roster will be made up of many of the same players from 2017. As we all know, the 2017 season was was a lost season in every sense by Memorial Day. This current team roster has the potential to be competitive if they remain healthy.  Having said all that, here is my holiday wish list.

Visions of Sugar Plums…My Wish List for the Arms

Matt Harvey—Physical and mental health. Even on a bad day he can throw in the low 90’s. Make that work. If he would turn the corner, I think he could be our semi Max Scherzer. My wish is that he would learn to pitch within his limitations. He can still have that fire and desire to win and pitch effectively. Praying Mickey Callaway has a positive influence on Matt and….

Noah Syndergaard—Also physical and mental health. My wish is that Mickey can teach this young man to be Noah Syndergaard and not a comic book figure. He has what it takes to be Goodenesque and more.

Jacob DeGrom—Stay Awesome.

Jeurys Familia—A wish for him would be complete confidence in his stuff. Sometimes his body language is troublesome and elicits fear in the fans. Consistency with his command would help with that. He needs to be a bulldog and own his time in the game.

Steven Matz, Zach Wheeler, Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman. My wish for these guys would be a healthy and prosperous season. No elbow, shoulder, lat, hamstring, fatigue, oblique, or any other Metsian injury. (Valley fever is another). Please don’t shoot your eye out either.

Wish list continued

Wilmer Flores—I would like to see him get an every day job. The Mets have some kind of slanted logic that the more he plays the less productive he is. He is one of the guys that has heart and fight. This team needs that.

Juan lagares—He is working with a swing coach this off-season. He could be a difference maker for this team if his work pays dividends. We’ve been waiting on Juan. We all know what happens to Met players when they leave and hook up with a swing coach. This is a case where he is still a Met. Juan takes the game very seriously. Love that.

Travis D’arnaud and Kevin Plaweki—let hope one of these fellows reaches their potential right now. They need a catcher who can perform from behind the plate and at the plate. I have to believe that one of them will step up. They are Major League catchers in New York City…Run with it!

José Reyes—A wish for him, if signed, is that he will not fall into an abyss for the first two months. Start hitting right out of the gate.

Yoenis Cespedis—My wish for Yoenis would be a gift from him to US. He would takeaway the fear each and every one of us feel everytime we see him in motion.

Youth Movement

Michael Conforto—Keep doing what you’re doing. You were a pleasure to watch last year. Complete recovery from his dislocated shoulder would be a wish. Setbacks come easily with that injury. He is one cool dude.

Dominic Smith and Amed Rosario— Develop and mature into the ballplayers you are capable of. Met fans love homegrown Mets. My wish is for these guys to feel that dynamic.

Brandon Nimmo—Same as above but he is further ahead. He is so close to a breakout season.  The Mets need to play him. This young man can hit. He makes the game fun.

The Captain

David Wright—A 2018 World Series Ring.

Have a “Very Jerry Christmas”!

A Very Jerry Christmas…Ugly Sweater.
(Thanks to The 7 Line Army)

See you at the Queens Baseball Convention!

You can follow me on Twitter here!

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Cooperstown

Memories of Cooperstown, New York

Over the years, I’ve had the blessing of many trips to Cooperstown New York. We live about 3 1/2 hours from Cooperstown. My trips began when I was 12 years old and continue all these years later. I wanted to share a couple of stories involving my son, Nick.

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Double Day Field and a Father and Son

Nick and I ventured to Cooperstown on a blustery, cold February day about 20 years ago. (I don’t recommend visiting in Winter.) Cooperstown was cold and dark that Friday evening. Not much going on. We walked downtown and came across Doubleday Field. I enjoy collecting dirt from various ballparks. Doubleday Field was a must have. The solution was to have the wiry and limber Nick climb the fence to gather the dirt. He was willing and I was willing to push him over the top of the fence. It was 10:30 at night and not a soul was in sight. As the comedian Jim Gaffigan says, “there’s always time for one more bad decision”. Waiting for Nick to finish up, I heard a terrifying crash from inside the fence. I heard Nick moan. He slipped on ice as he was approaching the dugout and fell into the dugout on his back. After extricating him from the field, we checked on his well being, he handed over the dirt. Bonding as it should be. We called it a night.

Cooperstown

Doubleday Field grass and dirt.

Cooperstown

Nick’s first trip to Cooperstown NY. Years later…he would gather the “Hallowed Ground” pictured above.

Cooperstown Motel

There was a Motel in downtown Cooperstown called the Cooperstown Motel. Just off the parking lot was a fire dept siren that could be heard throughout the village. One evening around two in the morning, the siren went off. The utter shock and terror of waking up to a fire siren just outside is unforgettable. We had to gather our bearings because we woke up in a hotel and strange surroundings. The crescendos and valleys of a fire siren lends itself to many hopeful moments that it will end. (Here is a link to a Youtube video of the Cooperstown Noon Whistle. The difference is we were right next to it….and it was the middle of the night.) To this day I’ve never been that close to a fire dept siren but when I do hear one, I think of Cooperstown. Nice…huh? I found out the next day, it was a false alarm. No injuries or damage.

Cooperstown

Cooperstown Motel—Ironically and Sadly, years later, this is how it came about it’s demise. The TV remote control was bolted to the TV stand on our visit. (Click here for another blogger’s tale of his stay at this hotel)

Lou Gehrig’s locker

Nick and I happened to hear an interaction between a father and his young son, who were also touring the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. The subject of their discussion was Lou Gehrig’s locker from Yankee Stadium. This locker has long been on display at the museum. The young son asked his father ” Is that Lou Gehrig’s real locker?” The father responded “No, that not his real locker.” As bad of a father that you may have thought of me at the beginning of this post concerning pushing my son over the fence at Doubleday Field…this father trumps that.

Cooperstown

Lou Gehrig’s locker at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. I’m sure of it.

The photos that follow are of poor quality.They are from a couple of my early trips. Nothing special…. just wanted to share.

Cooperstown

Baseball Hall of Fame Museum–1970’s.
It is vastly different now. (Photo taken from publication below)

Cooperstown

Baseball Hall of Fame Yearbook from the 1970’s

Cooperstown

I might be wearing a SWATCH watch. (Late 1980’s)

Cooperstown

George Brett’s Pine Tar Bat. Puts a smile on your face thinking about it!

Cooperstown

This storefront used to be “National Pastime”. A fabulous baseball memorabilia store. No More.

Cooperstown

Nick pointing out that the Mets are 25 games out.

Cooperstown

They play all year.

Cooperstown

Walk out of the men’s room at the Baseball Hall of Fame and this what you see on the wall.

Cooperstown

One of these guys is not like the others…

One last word. We ran into Joe Pepitone at the Doubleday Cafe. He is a retired ballplayer with outstanding hair.

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