Category Archives: Blog

Twilight Zone and Tim Tebow? Found in Binghampton NY

You’re traveling through another dimension

Why would you not find Tim Tebow and the Twilight Zone in the same city? If you travel to Binghamton, NY, you will find both. The Binghamton Rumble Ponies are a minor-league affiliate of the New York Mets. Tim Tebow, among others, are assigned to this team. Binghampton, NY is the birthplace of Twilight Zone creator, Rod Serling. It seems appropriate that the Mets have a Minor League team in the cradle of the Twilight Zone.

Carousel and Bandstand (in the distance) in Recreation Park, Binghampton. Rod Serling’s inspiration for “Walking Distance

Twilight Zone

Rod Serling’s dictaphone.

Carousel in Recreation Park in Binghampton NY. Rod Serling’s inspiration for “Walking Distance”

I’m Talking Tina

Twilight Zone

Twilight Zone props

You can spend the morning and afternoon wandering the neighborhood and park where Rod Serling, creator of the Twilight Zone, spent his summers as a youth. There is a museum on Main St. that offers Twilight Zone/Rod Serling exhibits. Binghampton has many TZ attractions worth tracking down. If you wish to continue the Twilight Zone theme in a Metsian way, travel west a couple of miles to NYSEG Stadium. Home of the Binghamton Rumble Ponies. Mrs. V was very engaged in all aspects of the day. The Twilight Zone/Rod Serling attractions and the ball game seemed to, genuinely, give her enjoyment. (Proof of the existence of the Twilight Zone).

Peter Alonso and Tim Tebow

The player that drew me to the game was Peter Alonso. He is a very promising, highly regarded, first base prospect. They also have a hard throwing right handed pitcher named Gerson Bautista.

Peter Alonso—Binghampton RumblePonies—Just a matter of time before he is in Queens with the Big Club

Gerson Bautista—Seen time already this year with the Mets

Frank Viola—Pitching Coach—Binghampton RumblePonies

Peter Alonso and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Both are strong prospects.

But, assuredly, you can’t help but notice Tim Tebow is there as well. Tim Tebow is an athlete I admire. I harbor no thoughts that he will one day be at CitiField. Just glad I had the opportunity to see him play. Tim had a great day with two hits including a opposite field homerun off of a left handed pitcher… (cue the Twilight Zone music). His strength was impressive. Peter Alonso just missed a grand slam with a laser beam that was just foul. He will be in New York in the near future. He can certainly hit and he has a pro demeanor.

“The Road to Queens Runs Through Rumbletown”
Binghampton Rumble Ponies Indoor Training Facility

The Mets minor-league team gave up the lead in the last inning and lost. Their bullpen let them down. In a touch of Twilight Zone cosmic irony….the Mets are very familiar with this method of corporate disappointment. Regardless of the loss, the MVP’s of the day were Tim Tebow and Rod Serling.

Banished to the Twilight Zone of the stadium. “There’s time now….Time enough at last”.

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Wilmer

Wilmer is usually the last one “Home”

Twilight Zone and Wilmer

My DVR contains two constants. Twilight Zone episodes and “Five Days in Flushing”. (Link is to a promo). One could reasonably suggest that Five Days in Flushing IS a Twilight Zone episode. For those of us who lived those “Five Days”, the experience seemed otherworldly. Those few days, without question, are embedded in every Mets fans psyche. We saw the impossible turn possible.  Central to the plot of “Five Days in Flushing”, is our protagonist, Wilmer Flores. After Wilmer’s heroics on July 31, 2015, game one against the Nationals, we heard Ron Darling say “this is one of the greatest things I have ever seen happen”.

We love this young man because he showed us why we watch baseball. Specifically, New York Mets baseball. From utter and complete despair 48 hours earlier to joyous redemption and glorious victory. I still love the moment when Daniel Murphy hugged Wilmer after his blast into the Flushing night. The story is Twilight Zone esque.

Wilmer

2016 Topps Gypsy Queen–Wilmer’s walkoff against the Nats on July 31, 2105. Cardboard memory.

Wilmer

Back of 2016 Topps Gypsy Queen

Resume of heroics

He has been in our consciousness since 2011 or so. He was called up in 2013 as a highly touted 21-year-old. We have watched him grow up and mature in a number of ways. Hard to believe he is still only 26. He is likable and seems approachable. When he launched his game-winning home run on Sunday, April 15 against the Brewers, it was extremely cold, bitter, and windy. When interviewed after the home run, he told SNY’s Steve Gelbs that it was so cold, he thought it was time to go home. That was Wilmer’s third walk off home run in his career. He has had other walk off hits as well. This ballplayer is one of the fellows you want up when the game is on the line. He is a bulldog and he is a winner. If this team is destined to play into deep October, as they appear to be, Wilmer will be prominent contributor.

Walkoff Homers

Below are links to Wilmer’s three walk-off homers. He is a special Met and an exceptional man. We are blessed that we get to watch him play for the New York Mets….but you already knew that.

July 31, 2015 against the Washinton Nationals. If you are having a bad day….watch this.

July 22, 2017 against the Oakland Athletics.

April 15, 2018 against the Milwaukee Brewers. His most recent walk-off.

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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.

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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