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Greg Prince and Jason Fry
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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Rally Nap

Welcome back to these parts. And thanks for bringing home whatever victory dust they were selling on the coast. We needed all the help we could get.

Leave Rusty alone, man. Let him go. You've gotten more Rusty than most people will ever have in a lifetime, though I understand that if you hang around the Upper East Side enough, you'll see him fairly frequently. I have a buddy who shares a dry cleaner with Rusty. He saw his suit hanging behind the counter once and it was almost as thrilling as your many chance meetings. He saw Rusty in a diner, too. Rusty was enjoying a chicken. A whole chicken. On a Super Bowl Sunday. Don't know which Super Bowl it was but the chicken didn't cover the point spread. Never had a chance against Rusty. He moves quickly for a big man.

I had a Rusty encounter once, though it was a little more sanctioned. It was that MLB Alumni Dinner I've mentioned here before, the one that I lucked into given a relationship I had with one of the sponsors. The driving force behind the event was Le Grand Orange (it is a requirement of all anecdotes regarding Daniel Joseph Staub that he be referred to as Le Grand Orange at least once). Laurie and I had just gotten through pestering Tug McGraw and Keith Hernandez for autographs when out of the blue (and Orange) appeared Rusty. As the unofficial host, Rusty's attention was divided six ways, but we grabbed just enough of it to garner his signature. Hank Aaron, Yogi Berra, Frank Robinson and Brooks Robinson among many other greats were also on hand, but once I got those three Mets lefties on one ball, that was enough for me.

Not much of a Rusty story per se, but the kicker was his coming around to our table to say hello a little later. It was like he was the father of the Bar Mitzvah boy checking on everybody, making sure they were having a good time. “Well, Rus', the roast beef's a little dry, but earlier I was telling Tug McGraw how I used his autobiography Screwball for three separate book reports when I was a kid, and Tug McGraw told me, 'you're scarin' me, man,' so I'm gonna let it go.”

I didn't say that to Rusty but Tug did say that to me, so yes, we were having a very good time.

As we were in Florida Thursday night, I guess. The rain delay lulled me into dreamland. When I woke up, we were playing and winning by a lot. If the Mets need me to resort to a rally nap every night for the rest of the season, I'll start popping melatonin every afternoon.

1 comment to Rally Nap

  • Anonymous

    That was some night. Naturally a comedic close encounter with Tug–my first since I was about 9–was the highlight of the evening. Literally bumping into Brooks Robinson, being frozen with a different kind of shock and awe, and Greg's quite superfluous “You do realize who that was…” also stands out, as well as the ever-humble Roy White refusing to believe that he's my brother's favorite Yankee ever, and of course how staggeringly handsome and classy Mike Torrez still was. To this day, I wonder just how Greg and I lived through that night without freaking out completely. Although we both wore a pretty stupid “What the heck are we doing here?” grin the whole time, and ran around collecting autographs like kids. Good times.
    Aww, Tugger… why? Why did you leave us so soon? (I recently sat through Tim McGraw's “Biography” purely for The Tug Factor, and was furious to find they had the date of his passing wrong. To borrow from Chris Rock's Head of State, “That ain't right!”)