Every St. Patrick’s Day I think of many of my favorite Irish Mets, and one guy that always comes to mind isn’t even a playewr, it’s in fact longtime New York Mets head groundskeeper, Pete Flynn. Watch this video:
Flynn comes out of County Leitrim in Ireland, from a town called Ballinamore. He came to this country in 1961 and went to work for the Mets in 1962, the team’s first year of existence.
He helped build the Advance Ticket booth at the Polo Grounds. “Then I went out on the field and stayed there,” he said. He became head groundskeeper at Shea in 1974.
“You’ve got to be dedicated,” he said. “You’ve got to love what you do, and you have to spend an awful lot of time at it.”
Flynn’s a great guy, and he has certainly seen it all, from the formative years at the Polo Grounds in 1962-1963 to the Beatles in 1965 to the Miracle Mets of 1969 and of course our last World Series in 1986.
I met Pete once during a torrential rain storm at Shea in between games of a doubleheader, many, many years ago. He was kind enough to direct us to where we could purchase Mets ponchos and umbrellas for me and my soaking wet cousins. To meet him is to love him, the guy is a pure gem.
Pete is also one of the original nine founding members of the Irish-American Baseball Hall of Fame sponsored by Foley’s NY Pub and Restaurant.
After 50 years of meritorious service to the New York Mets, Pete retired after the 2011 season. To me he will always be an original Met.
Happy St. Patty’s Day to all of you and I’ll leave you with this funny Irish limerick: