The MLB postseason begins today, and my team is once again on the outside looking in. But it wasn’t always that way. The photo you see above comes our way from — and prominently features — reader Gordon Blau, circa 1986, when the Amazin’s were atop the baseball world.
Gordon had a lot to say about the car. So today I present his story. If you’re not a Mets fan, just substitute your own team and imagine a comparable car, a symbol of better times gone by — and hopefully better times to come.
By Gordon Blau
The car was formerly red(ish) and I painted it white with Sherwin Williams exterior latex and a roller. The pinstripes were laboriously hand-painted, as were the logos. My girlfriend at the time helped me with this. That is one of the reasons she is now my wife.
Driving this around Long Island and NYC was amazing. Horns honking, fists pumping everywhere I went. I was a season ticket holder at the time, so I was at every playoff and World Series game, and this was my transportation. We’d do laps around the parking lot before the games to rally the crowds. I enjoyed many free pregame beers.
After Game 7, we drove around Flushing. People poured out of the bars and piled onto the car until the tires rubbed on the wheel wells. I sure do miss those days.
On the day of the victory parade, I took off from work (cough) and drove down to the parade route with a buddy of mine. We intended to try to get the car in the parade. Surprisingly, we came pretty close to it! One of the cops working the route actually discussed it with us quite seriously and went off for a while to explore the possibility. In the end they said no, due to security concerns.
Despite not getting into the official parade, we were one of the last few cars to drive down Broadway before they closed it down. Thousands of people had already gathered along the route, and we cruised slowly down the Canyon of Heroes. I had my Mets cap and an orange blazer (salvaged from the security detail at a closed Korvettes store) and my friend sat on the trunk lid and waved as though he were a player. The roars were deafening. I will never forget that as long as I live.
The car was, quite literally, a rust bucket and soon became unsafe to drive due to extensive rot near critical suspension components. After it sat by the side of my grandmother’s garage for a year or so while I dreamed that I could repair to roadworthiness, I gave up and had a local garage tow it away. They told me later that someone took it with hopes of restoring it; apparently that particular model was somewhat rare. Never heard about it again.
Paul here. Awesome stuff, right? Gordon says he has photos of himself doing the paint job on the car, but he hasn’t been able to find them. Let’s hope he eventually turns them up.
Extracurricular frustrations: The good news is that the Brooklyn outpost of Fleisher’s has opened. The place looks great, and business is already brisk. The bad news is that I will no longer be writing for the Butcher’s Case. I just had too many projects going on, and something had to give.
Meanwhile, Slate unexpectedly (at least to me) unveiled a new page format yesterday, one consequence of which is that the Permanent Record series has become a complete mish-mash. The old URLs for the articles no longer work, and I don’t want to give out the new URLs yet because the content is all jumbled up — photo links are in the wrong places, entire swaths of text have disappeared, etc. A serious mess — extremely frustrating! I know some of you were taking your time to get through the series, or had bookmarked it with plans to read it later. Well, now you can’t. Yes, that totally sucks. Even worse, the editor and art director who produced the series both left Slate just as the articles were being published, so now the whole project is orphaned. Grrrrrr. I’ve sent a note to Slate’s ed-in-chief, asking for the content to be corrected, restored, or whatever. Keep your fingers crossed.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Been looking for a vintage Oakland Invaders tee? Today’s your lucky day. … New hoops uniforms for VCU. … The events of Wednesday night — and of September as a whole — led someone to come up with a clever use of logos. … The Schilter Farm in Olympia, Washington has designed its annual corn maze as a tribute to local hero and Seattle Sounders FC goalkeeper Kasey Keller (from Markus Kamp). … Did you know that the Rockies went NNOB for the franchise’s first home series back in 1993? I didn’t, until Bo Baize sent me this. Interesting! … UTEP wore this helmet decal last night, to mark the 75th anniversary of their first bowl team, the 1936 squad (from Mark Haarmann). … The Rangers played an exhibition game yesterday against Sparta Prague, which used a European 7 (great spot by Terence Kearns). … Latest development in the world of wired athletic gear: smart soccer cleats (thanks, Brinke).
Looking ahead: By the time you read this, I’ll be on an airplane, heading off on my annual trip to Wisconsin, where I’ll be through the middle of next week. Hitting the Northwoods region this year, instead of my usual Milwaukee-and-environs itinerary. Should be lovely, and boy can I use the getaway. The last few months have been the most hectic of my life.
Phil will handle the weekend, as usual, and he’ll also be writing the main entries next Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. The Tickers for those days will be produced by webmaster John Ekdahl. The main Uni Watch e-mail address is being forwarded to him until I return, so don’t expect an immediate reply if you write to me with a question or other non-Ticker communiquÃ©, but I’ll try to catch up on stuff when I get back.
I’ll be back in the saddle next Thursday. See you then.