2015-01-16 / Sports

The Stoop

By Mark C. Healey

Ron “Terry Collins” Healey and former 1986 Mets player Wally Backman meet at the Queens Baseball Convention. Ron “Terry Collins” Healey and former 1986 Mets player Wally Backman meet at the Queens Baseball Convention. What started out as a rebuke has turned into a genuine Fan Fest, and this year’s was the biggest ever.

A few years ago, Mets fan Shannon Shark and his pals started a website called MetsPolice.com billing it a “Mets Fan advocacy blog,” and spending a goodly amount of time chiding ownership and management for some of the bad decisions they were making, including ticket prices, team promotions and the lack of a FanFest.

Years ago, the team used to have a “Mets Caravan” event, which included a few of the team’s players appearing at a series of offseason fan-friendly promotional meet and greets. The idea was to help sell tickets and energize the base. However, over the last few years, folks like myself wondered why the team – dealing with a 36 percent decrease in attendance despite a brand new ballpark – would be doing less promotion, and not more.

Well, Shannon, Keith Blacknick, Dan Twohig, and fellow Mets fan and entrepreneur Darren Meehan from retailer The7Line.com decided to stop waiting around, and actually put on the first Queens Baseball Convention last season.

It was a great success, I was proud to participate, and had a blast, moderating the “Meet the New Media” panel and introducing fans to my dad, who looks exactly like Mets manager Terry Collins.

This year’s event proved to be even bigger than last year’s. The panel I moderated this time around, “State of the Mets,” featured great commentary and analysis by Jared Diamond (Wall Street Journal), Pete McCarthy (WOR 710 AM), Brian Wright (SportsDaily.com), Taryn Cooper (Gal- ForAllSeasons.com), and Jerry Beach (SportsXchange.com).

But the real highlight of the day for many was shaking hands with 1986 World Series heroes Wally Backman and Mookie Wilson, as well as 1969 champion Ed “The Glider” Charles.

I know there’s no “rooting in the press box” but I don’t sit in the press box anymore, so it was great to spend the day and just be a fan.

Backman – and many others – did a double-take this year when they met my dad, as in addition to his eerie resemblance to the Mets manager, he was wearing an actual game-used Terry Collins Mets jersey as he walked around the event.

There were a few Mets officials on hand as well, and the word is Terry Collins himself was sent a text with my dad’s picture. Maybe in this space next week, I’ll have his response.

It was a great day for the Healeys; my dad, me, and my son. And from everything I heard and have read, a great day for everyone else who attended.

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