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Queens Baseball Convention promises winter fun for Mets fans

Wally Backman (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Wally Backman (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

The second annual Queens Baseball Convention at McFadden’s Citi Field is coming up this Saturday, and for the second year I’m going to have to miss it. (The day I was going to purchase my ticket, I found out I was going to have to work on Saturday… maybe I’ll get to go in 2016.)

Three former Mets players with World Series rings will be the headline guests of the convention – Mookie Wilson, Wally Backman and Ed Charles. Current Mets radio broadcaster Josh Lewin and New York’s best baseball mascot, Mr. Met, will also be there.

Backman and Wilson will both be signing autographs for fans (free of charge with paid admission) and participating in panel discussions, while Charles is attending to accept the Gil Hodges Unforgettable Fire Award. Filmmaker Heather Quinlan will discuss the making of 86 Mets: The Movie, a film about baseball’s most beloved and hated team. There will be a presentation about legendary Mets broadcaster Lindsay Nelson, a Q&A panel with ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin, and a “State of the Mets” round table with bloggers and professional media members.

The full panel schedule includes many other events. Tickets to the Queens Baseball Convention are $35 and are still available.

If you’re going, please let me know what you think is the best part.

You can follow Paul’s Random Baseball Stuff on Facebook or Google+, see my photos on Flickr and Instagram, and follow @Paul_Hadsall on Twitter, where I talk about about a variety of things in addition to baseball.

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Better late than never: a recap of Monday’s social media night Q&A session

Monday night, the New York Mets held their second Social Media Night promotion. Fans were offered field level tickets in left field and their choice of one of two unique experiences before the game: they could either watch batting practice from the outfield, or they could take part in a question and answer session with a Mets pitcher Tim Byrdak.

During the four years Citi Field has been open, I’ve had the opportunity to watch a game from most of the different sections (including the Delta Club seats), but I’ve never actually gotten to go in through one of the VIP entrances before. So that was fun. The Mets staff members were all friendly and pleasant, but it took them a little while to figure out where we were supposed to check in.

The question and answer session included two bonus guests before Byrdak arrived: Mets broadcasters Josh Lewin and Kevin Burkhardt.

WFAN radio broadcaster Josh Lewin
WFAN radio broadcaster Josh Lewin

Lewin (@joshlewinstuff) is not on Facebook, but he has embraced Twitter because it gives him an opportunity to interact with a wide variety of people during downtime. “You just kinda tweet what you feel and move on,” he said.

Lewin asked the audience what kinds of things they wanted him to post into the social media realm. Answers included off-field stuff, such as pictures from airports & dinners and more details about announcers’ game preparation.

Continue reading “Better late than never: a recap of Monday’s social media night Q&A session”

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Muzzling attempt misfires, and other assorted New York baseball notes

Another day, another chance for the New York Mets organization to do something stupid.

Rockland Boulders manager Dave LaPoint (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Author Howard Megdal, who is also a blogger for the Journal News’ LoHud Mets Blog, was denied media credentials for the upcoming season. He believes that he earned the ire of ownership with his recently-published book: “Wilpon’s Folly: The Story of a Man, His Fortune, and the New York Mets

If the goal of cutting off Megdal’s access to the clubhouse before and after the game and to the field during batting practice was to punish him, it’s not going to work. He hardly needs access to Mets players to keep writing about the team’s finances. Moreover, Megdal managed to use this “story” to get mainstream media members and at least half of the Mets bloggers to mention him and his book. If you’re a Mets fan and you hadn’t heard about “Wilpon’s Folly” before, you have now.

In other Mets news, former Texas Rangers broadcaster Josh Lewin will reportedly replace Wayne Hagin on WFAN’s radio broadcasts this year. I’m not familiar with Lewin, but was not a big fan of Hagin. Hopefully this will be a positive chance – I guess we’ll find out in a few weeks.

In the Bronx, it looks like Raul Ibanez could be wearing pinstripes this season. I wanted to see the Yankees bring back Hideki Matsui – mainly because I don’t think he ever should have been forced out – but Ibanez could be a useful piece for the Yankees in a limited role.

In Can-Am League news, the Rockland Boulders have announced that Dave LaPoint will return for a second season as the team’s manager.

Finally, Sports Collectors Daily has the story of a California collector who won the iconic 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle rookie in the cardmaker’s 2010 Million Card Giveaway contest. Mark Davis was forced to sell the card for far less than its estimated value to meet his tax obligations. (After reading that story, I feel a lot better about not unlocking anything prize-worthy in the contest.)

Thirteen days to go before the official start of spring training for the New York Mets.