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Jason Fry and Greg Prince
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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Wanna Bet How Heavy This Is?

This Upper Deck MLB New York Mets Poker Set lets you enjoy one of the most popular games today. This poker set includes two decks of casino-quality cards, 5 dice, a dealer button and 500 high quality 11.5g clay composite chips. Everything comes packaged in a superior quality, rounded-corner aluminum case with acrylic top displaying each teams logo. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced gamer, it’s time to go “all-in” and order this Poker Collection from Upper Deck!

Pete Rose, take note: Major League Baseball sanctions gambling. Well, just a little friendly poker. But be warned that this is a heavy game, and I don’t mean heavy like the Executive Game in The Sopranos.

I mean literally.

The Officially Licensed New York Mets Poker Set you see here, displayed for us by our pal Ross Chapman (head and FAFIF numbers not pictured) and hyped with Bud Selig’s presumed blessing on at least one useless Web site where it is perpetually unavailable, weighs 17 pounds, according to his mother Sharon’s bathroom scale. “It’s not so bad for a short haul,” she says, “but when you’re traveling a distance and you have a large item of that weight, it’s a challenge.”

By the way, when I first asked Sharon how much it weighed, after she’d already snuck it out of hiding for this picture, she begged, “For the love of God, don’t make me take it out of Ross’ closet again!” She’d carried those 17 pounds plenty already.

The heft of the set is neither here or nor there, unless someone is schlepping this thing through all manner of public transit a great distance with the goal of surprising someone with it four months down the pike, which is exactly what Ross’ mom was doing. Then it is either here or there. Either it gets where it’s going there, somewhere in Central Jersey, or it’s left shall we say here, at its point of origin in Flushing.

Let me turn the story over to the protagonist, she who is by no means Mike Pelfrey-sized, thus making dragging across state lines a 17-pound poker set as a January birthday present for her poker-loving husband Kevin a bit of an ordeal in the waning days of summer.

The first time I saw this set it was in the Diamond Club gift shop when I was at Shea on August 11. But between the new camera I was schlepping and a case of tendinitis over the summer, I just couldn’t carry it home on the train.

 

So I bought it the night of September 7, at the FEMA store [the prefab Shea souvenir shop in that adorable trailer, in case you've forgotten], taking the bird in the hand and not relying on there being another in the busy store. I checked it at the seat to make sure it was really a Mets poker set (my trust level that they’d give me the right merchandise being very, very low), and schlepped the thing to the 7 Train, to the IRT, through Penn Station, and home on NJ Transit. I left it in my car trunk overnight, and hid it away in a very good hiding place in the house after Kevin and the boys went to work/school that morning.

Seriously, it’s an aluminum case with 500 poker chips in it. Pretty much as pictured on the box. Poker chips with some dice and a couple of decks of playing cards.

Now that I’m thinking back, I had thought on August 11 that I could order it online, and I would have been very willing to pay the insane shipping costs to avoid schlepping it. But any time I found an online link to it, it was sold out, and the Mets wouldn’t sell it to me as a telephone order. So I waited until the September 7 game, which was the final time I attended a game at Shea without Kevin, and was determined to purchase the poker set and get it home, come hell or high water.

 

I showed you the bruises on my forearms I got from that thing, didn’t I?

I can report there were, unfortunately, bruises, but that they were sustained in support of a beautiful thing…the purchasing of it, the delivery of it and the quality of the merchandise. I can also report that upon lifting it myself, I found it to be the equivalent of two value-sized bags of rock salt, so kudos for one of the great schleps of Shea’s last season.

Sharon presented the poker set to Kevin on Sunday, his birthday. His reaction? He “was totally surprised. [He] never noticed the bruises last September. LOL.”

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