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A Man Named Mets

Recovering quickly from the disappointment of the Jets not making the Super Bowl, I turned, per usual, to HBO at 9 o’clock Sunday night for Big Love, the hourlong drama that follows the trials and tribulations of a Polygamist family in Utah. If you haven’t seen it, you’re missing a lot (literally — huge cast, multiple storylines, enormous dining room table). If you didn’t see it Sunday night, clear through to the credits [1], you missed the name of someone who ought to be our favorite actor:

Mets Suber.

That’s right: His first name is Mets. So never mind the Jets. This guy’s the one with something super.

Or Suber.

I’ve been reading [2] that possible [3] (though unlikely) Met reclamation project Ben Sheets has a son named Seaver [4]. That’s impressive. But a man named Mets? That’s literally Amazin’.

Alas, it was not a large role for our man Mets. He played a caricature artist, one of those guys you encounter at fairs or, as on this episode of Big Love, on the street in a tourist-trafficked area. We meet Mets in Washington, D.C., where the protagonist of the show, Messiah-complexed Bill Henrickson, is visiting with one of his wives, loose cannon Nicki, and her middle school age daughter, from a previous relationship, Cara Lynn (it gets complicated on Big Love). To cheer up the morose child, they sit her down for a sketch like it will be fun. It’s not. Mets has, I think, one line, asking her if she has any hobbies so he can draw something familiar to her in the sketch. Cara Lynn says no.

The last time I sat for such a souvenir, at a trade show in 1996, I told a similarly inquiring sketch artist that my big interest was the Mets. The artist was a Red Sox fan who was still miffed about 1986, and he drew me as an outfielder in sweatpants. I didn’t look like much of a ballplayer in the sketch. And the man was no Botticelli.

But never mind that. There’s a man named Mets out there in the world! On his IMDb page [5], Mets Suber has a few other credits listed, including two appearances on Homicide: Life On The Street, a show I only watched once. No picture is posted. I also found an appreciative reference to a “supporting performance” of his from a 1995 article [6] rounding up the best of that season’s Philadelphia stage productions. Hey, it’s not often you see somebody praising Mets in Philly.

You go through life with a name like Mets, you probably hear about it enough. The good children of my first grade school bus were kind enough to let me know, on the off chance I would ever forget, that Wednesday was Prince Spaghetti Day [7]. So maybe I shouldn’t be making such a big deal out of someone’s name. But how can I not when it’s this name? How many Mets (Metses?) have you met? Mr. Mets Suber, we appreciate you carrying our banner, no matter how incidentally you have…and thanks, too, for not changing your last name to Suck.