This is the inaugural installment of, “A Dozen Roses,” where someone from the Mets universe tackles a 12-pack of questions from our own Alyssa Rose.
I think we can all agree that the 2017 Mets season was not the one we were hoping for. But even the darkest seasons can offer glimpses of light. On August 22nd, one of those bright spots stepped onto the mound for the first time in his Major League career, and his name is Kevin McGowan, Jr.
Kevin and I got connected in a pretty unique way. He is a huge Barstool Sports fan, specifically their podcasts, one of which was a show I co-hosted called Swipe Drunk Love. Imagine my surprise when someone I was a fan of messaged me on social media to let me know the feeling was mutual. On our way to becoming friends, we talked back and forth about baseball, relationships, and our mutual obsession with Nirvana.
But I feel like it’s pretty unfair that I get to love him so much when you all likely know little-to-nothing about the man behind (or I guess under?) arguably the best hair on the New York Mets. So, without further ado, Mets fans, introducing the man I think will be one of 2018’s rising stars.
Kevin McGowan Jr.
Drafted: New York Mets, 13th round, 2013 MLB June Amateur Draft from Franklin Pierce University (Rindge, NH)
High School: Nashua North HS (Nashua, NH)
Okay, first off, let’s talk Mets:
1. What was going through your mind when you got drafted by the New York Mets?
I was just pumped to get the opportunity to play at the professional level. Honestly, I was excited to get drafted by a team who was relatively close to home. That was huge, because it meant my family and friends could come see me play. I'm really fortunate to have the support I have back home.
2. Where were you when you got the call up to the majors?
I was in El Paso. Our manager [Pedro Lopez] pulled me aside after the game and said the reason I didn’t get in the game was because if I did, I wouldn't be able to throw tomorrow in Philadelphia [where the Mets were playing on the road]. I looked at him and was like, “Don't mess with me.” I couldn't believe it. Like, straight up Jack O'Callahan in Miracle, "I swear to God, Herb, if you're not being serious right now."
I’m still in disbelief. It hasn't sunk in that I finally reached a lifelong goal. I wish I could explain what it feels like, but it's something I can't put into words.
3. What has been your best memory with the Mets organization so far?
Besides getting called up, playing in my home state of New Hampshire while I was in Double-A was sick. My cousin made cut out heads of me for my family, and there were over 100 people there to watch me play. It was wild.
That, or playing in Portland, Maine (also in Double-A). It was a Red Sox affiliated team, and I grew up a die-hard Sox fan. I grew up going to games there because my uncle [Sean McGowan] played for them for two seasons. He was a 3rd round draft pick by the Giants in 1999, and played in the minors with the Giants and Red Sox, so being there was very surreal, because I remember taking the mound being like, “Holy moly, I used to sit in those seats right there on Saturdays to watch Sean play.” Yeah, that was pretty wild.
4. Favorite Band/Song
In no particular order: Misfits, The Doors, Nirvana. I actually have a Misfits Fiend Skull tattoo on my left arm.
David Bowie is up there, too. My glove had 'Ziggy Stardust' stitched into it for this past season as a tribute to him.
Biggie and Big L are my favorite rappers. Both of their debut albums are unbelievable from beginning to end. Black Sabbath when Ozzy was in it. #ListenToVol4. And then throw in some girlie pop music and I'm good.
Favorites song is, like…the worst question ever. There are just way too many choices. "Love Will Tear Us Apart Again" by Joy Division is one of my favorite songs ever. "Dazed and Confused" by Led Zeppelin, "Rebel Rebel" by Bowie, "Highway Star" Deep Purple, "Last Caress" by the Misfits. Honestly any Misfits or Nirvana song could be in there. Or the Doors. "Lounge Act" by Nirvana, "Crystal Ship" by the Doors. With my 3 favorite bands I can't choose one song. They're all amazing in their own right. "Darling Nikki" by Prince. Oooh "Nancy Mulligan" by Ed Sheeran is unreal. I could go on forever. But yeah. Those songs are sick. Could never pick just one.
5. Favorite Movie
Donnie Darko, A Clockwork Orange, Nightmare Before Christmas, and Jaws. Jaws is the best movie ever created, and this isn't an opinion, it's a fact. I'm also a huge horror movie nerd, so I could go on and on about those.
6. Favorite TV Show
Workaholics, Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Sherlock, The League, South Park, Rick and Morty, That 70's Show, Friday Night Lights, Gossip Girl.
7. Favorite ballpark (besides Citi Field)
8. Favorite sport besides baseball
Hockey. I miss playing a lot. If I wasn’t a baseball player, I’d probably be playing hockey somewhere. Look out for the Big Bad Bruins this season.
9. Who has better hair, you or Noah?
My hair is the absolute worst, but I can't give Noah the title for best hair. You either, Gsellman. Kick rocks.
10. Who on the team are you most looking forward to learning from?
Literally everyone. I would talk to Jacob deGrom about certain mechanical things. Then, when I was in the bullpen, I'd talk to AJ Ramos and Jerry Blevins a lot. I really appreciate those guys because they would always talk to me about how to get better, like how to approach certain hitters, or how to always stay locked in mentally. They were like big brothers. It really meant a lot to me, and helped a ton. I feel very lucky to have those guys. They didn't have to treat me that way. It says a lot about them.
11. What are your predictions for the 2018 Mets?
That is a very talented clubhouse. I think everyone in there believes in each other, and we're primed to be a very good team for 2018. It'll be a nice comeback, that's for sure. It's going to be an exciting season.
12. Did Courtney Love kill Kurt Cobain?
Hmm. Did Sid kill Nancy?