Hot one out there. I think I need to wear a cap. Why, I'll just put on my…
MERCURY METS CAP?
“THE MERCURY METS? HOLY FUCK!”
Surely you remember the Mercury Mets. In case seven years have erased your memory of what the future was supposed to look like (suddenly 1999 is a very long time ago), this was our marketing department's twist on turning the clock ahead. Teams were supposed to be wearing uniforms that were sneak previews of what we could look forward to in Century 21. It would have worked better if we took the field dressed in gold jackets.
It's not that the Mercury Mets unis were gruesome — they were — or that we lost in our only appearance in them — we did. It was the one step too far that made it quintessential Metsiana, certainly to Jason's way of thinking (he seems to believe knocking down Shea will wipe away all the bozoness this organization brings to the table, first place or not; I think he's delusional, but don’t tell him I said that…he just gave me a Mercury Mets cap). Although the conceit of the promotion was how “futuristic” Major League shirts and pants would look in 2021, nobody bothered to remind the Mets that 2021, even then, was only 22 years away.
The experiment got away from us when Rickey Henderson stepped into lead off and DiamondVision presented Mercury Met Henderson with three eyes. Three eyes. Twenty-two years. Fun is fun, but Rickey wasn't having any of it. Neither was starter Orel Hershiser who thought the Mercury symbol was a little demonic for the tastes of The Man Upstairs, and I don't mean David Howard. Shaken beyond his hymnal, Orel took the L in that game, bowing to Pirate rookie hurler Kris Benson, someone else who allegedly had a boffo 21st century ahead of him.
A Wild Card, a Division Series triumph and a hard-fought National League Championship Series didn't erase the stigma of the Mercury Mets in 1999. The first National League pennant of the 21st century was also caught in their orbit. A snippy letter to Rick Reilly of Sports Illustrated summed up the 2000 World Series in part as “Pinstripes vs. Mercury Mets outer-space uniforms”. Given the choice, I'd take space.
But like I said, HOLY FUCK! It's scalding hot having a Mercury Mets cap, albeit in a size that requires me to wear it like a yarmulke if I'm to wear it at all, but that's just my big head talking. Now I'm two-thirds of the way to my goal of owning every Mets cap that will never be part of any retro craze or Sotheby's auction. There's this one, there's the reviled white ice cream cap of 1997 (of which I have two) and there's the 1976 Mets Bicentennial pillbox cap. It's like the one the Pirates wore for several years except this was blue with horizontal orange stripes and was absolutely abominable. I've wanted one for thirty years. Had one in my grasp in 1978 but passed on it in favor of a far more pedestrian Superstripe cap endemic to that era. Poor choice.
Same could be said of those ticket-takers who have not refused me admission to Shea of late. Monday night was a good night for headgear, but The Log endured another beating. At 1-5, I'm off to my worst six-game start since 1995's legendary 0-6 launch. I've been to 17.6% of my team's home games yet attended 35.7% of their home losses. Why does the best National League team this side of Mercury melt at the sight of me? It's not like I've got three eyes or something.