Uni Watch: The mystery of Mr. Met solved, sort of

From SABR member Paul Lukas at ESPN.com on August 9, 2012:

Forty-one years ago this month, my father took me to a Mets-Giants game at Shea Stadium, and I still have the ticket stub to prove it. I was seven years old, and I studied every square micron of that stub, even all the fine print legal disclaimers on the back. But I knew right away what I liked best about it: the raincheck illustration of Mr. Met and his umbrella.

I’ve always loved Mr. Met. Not the live mascot (I’ve never really cared about him), but the cartoon character — I grew up thinking he was the coolest. I loved his sense of playfulness. I loved how he looked clever and smart, sort of like Bugs Bunny. I loved how his pupils were little baseball diamonds (bet you didn’t know that, did ya?). I loved how he always wore an orange-brimmed cap, even though the Mets have never worn an orange-brimmed cap (it was his special Mr. Met cap that only he got to wear!). I still love all of these things today.

Mr. Met, who made his first appearance on the cover of the team’s 1963 yearbook (the live mascot debuted a year later), was clearly the work of a talented illustrator, but I didn’t think about that when I was growing up. And by the time I did think about it, it was too late: The Mets no longer have any records of who created him — believe me, I’ve asked — and there’s no illustration credit for any of the program or yearbook covers he appears on. (The ’63 yearbook included a whole page introducing Mr. Met and mentioned that he was the product of “hundreds of drawings” but made no mention of the artist. Grrrrrr.) Two years ago I even put out a signal flare here on ESPN.com, asking readers to help me find Mr. Met’s creator. That resulted in a few leads, but none of them panned out.

More recently, however, someone connected to Mr. Met’s past saw that signal flare, and today I’m happy to report that I’ve solved the mystery — sort of. Or maybe I’ve deepened it. You know the cliché about success having many fathers? It turns out Mr. Met has at least two fathers himself. I’ve now found one of them.

Read the full article here: http://espn.go.com/blog/playbook/fandom/post/_/id/8282/the-mystery-of-mr-met-solved-%E2%80%94-sort-of

Originally published: August 9, 2012. Last Updated: August 9, 2012.