Mr. Met, the mascot for baseball's saddest franchise, received a stern warning from the Secret Service in 1997, when President Clinton visited Shea Stadium: "Approach the president, and we go for the kill shot."
Former Mr. Met AJ Mass recounted the death threat in his new book, Yes, It's Hot in Here: Adventures in the Weird, Woolly World of Sports Mascots.
On April 15, Bill Clinton attended the game to honor the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's first appearance in the majors. "The holy grail for all mascots — a photo op and meet-and-greet with a sitting president," Mass wrote.
Alas, the mascot would never get his photo op. Mass said Secret Service agents approached him before Clinton arrived and told him to stay away from the president.
"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?" the agent reportedly said, while looking into Mr. Met's "very soul with his blank, unblinking stare."
The agent then repeated himself. "Approach the president, and we go for the kill shot," the agent told Mass. "ARE–WE–CLEAR?"
Mass wrote that agents first grew suspicious when he failed to get Mr. Met's giant head through security without setting off the metal detectors.
[Image via Getty]