Mar. 26, 2023 By Ethan Marshall
The New York Mets partnered with several organizations and institutions across New York City to celebrate Amazin’ Day on Saturday, March 25. The event provided the team a way to give back to their fans less than a week before Opening Day of the 2023 season.
Throughout the day, those wearing Mets hats or any other Mets gear had access to several events at iconic institutions across New York City, as well as community-focused events and giveaways throughout the day. Fans were able to sign up for the chance to win exclusive ticketed events. Additionally, fans were able to enter the Amazin’ Day Sweepstakes to win the ultimate grand prize.
The daylong celebration kicked off at 9:30 a.m. at the Queens Public Library, where limited edition Mets branded library cards were given out to Mets fans. As the fans lined up outside the library in Jamaica, they were joined by Mr. and Mrs. Met, as well as 1986 World Series Champions Mookie Wilson and Tim Teufel, who signed autographs and took pictures with fans.
Joining Wilson, Teufel and Mr. and Mrs. Met at the library to celebrate Amazin’ Day were Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Queens Public Library President and CEO Dennis Walcott and Queens Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman.
“We are pumped up for the season,” Richards said. “I feel the energy this morning here. It is an honor to be here. I’m wired for the rest of the day.”
According to Mets Foundation Community and Engagement Team Co-Head Jane Son, the Amazin’ Mets Foundation has long been a supporter of the Queens Public Library. It was this support that led the two to partner and hold this event as part of Amazin’ Day.
“This [library card giveaway] is a nice tie-in to the communities,” Teufel said. “It is a high turnout. There was a line out the door. I think [Amazin’ Day] will be something that kicks off the season every year.”
“This event has a more personal touch to it,” Wilson said. “We’re able to actually mingle with the fans and take photos and reminisce about the good old days and the days that are coming. I think it’s perfect that the Mets are able to get involved with the community. To have this type of crowd this early in the morning says a lot about Mets fans and the people within this community.”
Another event held during Amazin’ Day was a private event at Citi Field’s Piazza Club celebrating two little league teams: the Encarnacion Little League and La Javilla. In addition to Wilson and Teufel, other former Mets in attendance for the event included Howard Johnson, Roger McDowell, Turk Wendell and Glendon Rusch.
Both teams were gifted with new equipment from the players. They each also received a Mets hat and a ticket voucher. The Amazin’ Mets Foundation also announced that it is funding a grant to completely renovate Field 10 in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. This would help ensure youth baseball players in the area have a safe and proper place to play.
The kids and players played a variety of games together, including cornhole, Jenga and Connect 4. Rusch and Wendell also took part in a pitching target set up, competing between each other as well as the kids over who could throw the fastest pitch. Many of the kids who beat them in this as well as in cornhole ended up receiving prizes.
“Everybody here is having a good time,” Johnson said. “To me it’s great because I get to reconnect with a lot of Met fans who’ve seen me or maybe heard my name but don’t exactly know who I am. I’m very happy being up here, being around fans and some ex-teammates and being able to represent the ballclub.”
“It’s always exciting to come back and catch up with old teammates and friends,” Rusch said. “I love interacting with Mets fans. They’re always so passionate. I’m excited for them to have us back as alumni and former players. This day gets the community excited and pumped. I think it’s a good way for everyone to get excited about the team.”
“It’s great that the Cohens are taking the initiative to do these kinds of stuff,” Wendell said. “To get the fans involved and give back to the fans. It’s not any fun playing the game when there’s no fans in the stands.”
Some of the other events held as part of Amazin’ Day included an animal adoption event with the North Shore Animal League and free admission to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Met Cloisters and the Brooklyn Museum. The Shops and Restaurants at Hudson Yards also offered VIP shopping and dining passes, providing discounts for the stores and restaurants within the mall.
With such a large community turnout across each of the events, the players are optimistic about Amazin’ Day becoming an annual event to get fans excited about the upcoming season. They’re also hopeful that 2023 will be the year that the Mets finally win the franchise’s thrid World Series title.