On assignment for my strange and fantastic job, I found myself on Thursday heading to Queens for the opening of Stadiumlinks at Citi Field, where we had the ballpark reserved for a golf match against Mr. Met.
The conceit of Stadiumlinks is a simple one: turn your favorite baseball stadium into a golf course. Nine tees in the stands and nine greens in the outfield: swing away!
Baseball fields are obviously smaller than your average golf course (the longest hole was just over 130 yards) so I didn’t realize how cool it would look in person. The organizers had gone to great lengths to spread the tee boxes all over the stadium, and hitting from different levels provided awesome views of the field. Plus, the setup is legit: they mow the greens short and the fringe, too, and there are actual cups cut in the greens to facilitate real holes-in-one.
The course opened up for public play Friday through Sunday, with the first tee times starting at 7 a.m. By 6:30, eager players had cracked their first beers and Bloody Marys (there were refreshment stands spread throughout the “course”), ready to empty their provided bag of balls onto the field. Some attendees were golf nuts while others were Mets fans, plenty of wedge shots threatened the cups themselves while shanks ricocheted around the box seats.
You can imagine some of the setup’s natural temptations, and the people in charge made repeated announcements reminding players to aim for the targets rather than dugouts, bullpens, or (yikes) pulling driver and swinging for the fences. I thinned one wedge into the centerfield stands, where it made a satisfying rattle around the seats. Whoops!
One thing to note about working with Mr. Met: he does NOT break character, like, ever. Mr. Met the mascot does not speak, so in filming the video Mr. Met did not say a single word, not in greeting, not in parting, not in between takes. Several times I found myself forgetting that I was talking to someone in a costume rather than an actual fuzzy baseball animal with a huge head. Go figure.
We’ll have video of that match with Mr. Met coming out later this week, but in the meantime check out these awesome photos of a weekend at the ballpark, taken by Jesse Reiter.