Mets mascot Mr. Met target of Bill Clinton Secret Service agents
Mets mascot Mr. Met has told how he ended up in the crosshairs of a Secret Service sniper rifle.
The man behind the Mr. Met mask AJ Mass, who spent four seasons at Shea as the baseball-headed fans favorite, said the threat came as he attempted to secure a photo with President Bill Clinton who was visiting the stadium at the time.
In his new memoir “Yes, It’s Hot in Here — Adventures in the Weird, Wooly World of Sports Mascots” Mass reveals how a Secret Service agent stared into the mouth of the Mr. Met mascot and coldly warned: “Approach the President, and we go for the kill shot. Are we clear?”
The bizarre threat came as Mass scoured the stadium with two female college interns in a bid to get a picture with Clinton on April 15, 1997 — the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s historic first major league game.
He writes in the book: “[It was] the holy grail for all mascots — a photo op and meet and greet with a sitting President.”
But he adds how his dream was shattered as the Secret Service man told him:
“We have snipers all around the stadium, just in case something were to happen.
“Like I said, do whatever it is you normally do. But approach the President, and we go for the kill shot. Are we clear?”
Mass adds: “He paused for a moment to let the words sink in, and it felt like he isn’t only looking into my eyes, but also into my very soul with his blank, unblinking stare.”
Mass, a lifelong Mets fan who grew up in Flushing and who now works for ESPN, was Mr. Met from 1994-97.
During his time the Mets won 55 games in the 1994 strike season, and then posted 69, 71 and 88 wins in the next three years.
In an interview with the Daily News Mass said: “Mr. Met is the personification of hope. I kind of think it was fate that I got the job.
“If there was someone in the suit who wasn’t a Mets fan, who didn’t care as much as I did, that wouldn’t have come across.”