Baseball is a superstitious sport. David Wright goes through a lengthy ritual before every single at-bat, Turk Wendell chewed on exactly four pieces of black licorice when he took the mound, and Lenny Dykstra threw out his batting gloves anytime he made an out. It doesn’t matter if any of this actually contributes to a player’s success, it matters that the player believes that it does.
The superstition extends to fans, as as Mets fans, we know there is one superstition that never fails to do us in: whomever dons the Santa suit at the Kids Holiday Party is doomed the following season. Don't believe me? The proof is in the figgy pudding.
This year, Brandon Nimmo played Santa and had Noah Syndergaard, Kevin Plawecki, and Jerry Blevins as his elves. I can feel Nimmo's hammy tightening already.
But who has had it worst? Here are the top five Mets that have regretted playing jolly ol' Saint Nick.
Sometimes, merely close proximity to the suit can do you in (so this year's elves have to watch their back, too). That's what happened in '12 with newly-named Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey. The Mets and Dickey weren't seeing eye to eye on terms for an extension, so Sandy Alderson dealt Dickey at the peak of his value. The return? Three prospects: Travis d'Arnaud, Wilmer Becerra, and some guy named Noah Syndergaard.
Coming off a promising 2008 season, Pelfrey took a licking (pun definitely intended) from batters in 2009. Big Pelf saw his ERA jump from 3.72 to 5.03, and his WHIP hike up from 1.36 to 1.51. Oh, and there was that time he fell off the mound. And gave up a home run to the first regular season batter (Jody Gerut) in Citi Field's history.
Mejia was suspended not once, but twice(!!) in 2015 for PED use, before his eventual lifetime ban in 2016. Coal for you, Jenrry.
Not only did Cameron end up losing the center field job to incoming free agent Carlos Beltran, he missed extended action after an ugly diving collision (one that I still have a hard time watching) with Beltran in San Diego that left Cameron with several fractures in his face. After he played in just 79 games in 2005, Cameron was traded in November to the Padres in exchange for Xavier Nady. That was ice cold, Omar.
Wright beat the curse once when he played Santa in 2006 and went on to have his best Major League season in 2007. He shouldn't have tempted fate, as the suit proved to be too much to put on his shoulders twice. A broken back that still causes issues to this day, caused him to miss more than two months as he suffered through his first (of now many) injury-shorted seasons, ending with just 389 at bats, 14 homers, and 61 RBI.
Let me be clear: If you have Twitter and don't retweet #CalliesMetsProm, you suck.
For baseball fans, the gap from November to the end of February can feel like an eternity. But this past Saturday, the Queens Baseball Convention (QBC) at Katch in Astoria took the edge off for Mets die-hards.