After becoming the first Met in 20 years to wear No. 99, Turk Wendell said he was sending a good luck package Taijuan Walker's way. On Thursday, that package arrived. Damn is it good!
We've got black licorice, a tooth brush and a necklace featuring teeth from God knows what animals Turk hunted down. Frankly, I'd rather not know. For those unaware, part of Turk's countless superstitions included brushing his teeth and eating black licorice between innings. And the teeth, well, they were always bounce around when Turk was on the mound.
You love to see it. Walker getting in on the fun and using the package as props during photo day made it even better. Give me one appearance wearing the necklace. That's all I ask...
The Mets added the rotation depth over the weekend by signing Taijuan Walker. If you're eager to learn more about Walker, I encourage you to read Joe DeMayo's blog post on the impact he could make.
Unlike Joe, my biggest question about Walker was would he wear No. 99 or No. 00?! These are the important questions to be asking, folks. Stroman decided to change his number from 7 to 0 earlier in the offseason. In Walker's announcement tweet he's photoshopped wearing a 00 jersey.
I'm not sure why exactly, but having a 0 and 00 in the rotation sounds damn fun. You can't go wrong with 99 though. Two names immediately come to mind: Rick "Wild Thing" Vaughn and Turk Wendell. Two of the wilder figures in baseball history.
Turk, man. I loved that guy. As a refresher, these are a few of his superstitions:
One of the biggest personalities to ever put on a #Mets uniform, Turk Wendell, talks about his strong belief in the baseball gods, his quirky superstitions, and how ‘Steven’ ultimately became ‘Turk’ in this 1-on-1 interview with Howie Rose.— New York Mets (@Mets) April 26, 2019
Full 🎥: https://t.co/2KKcsvIaNy pic.twitter.com/7gFmKcsrNu
This dude was DIFFERENT. It was perfect casting to have a guy like pitching in New York. In any other city, he would probably be considered an oddball. In New York, we shrugged our shoulders and never thought twice about his antics.
I will be wearing #99 🔥🔥— Taijuan Walker (@tai_walker) February 21, 2021
A day after signing with the Mets, it appears Walker had a change of heart and decided to wear No. 99. Turk no longer holds that honor alone. How does someone that superstitious handle this news? Longtime Mets PR man Jay Horowitz found out.
Lucky licorice is on the way! I love it. For a long time now there felt to be a disconnect between the past and present with the Mets. It never felt like those who paved the way in Queens were welcome to get involved with the current roster. Something as little as Turk reaching out to send Walker a few boxes of licorice is cool.
It’s a sad day for Turk Wendell. He is about to be wiped out of the record book. Taijuan Walker will become the 2nd Met in team history to wear 99. Turk is not upset. He plans to send him 2 boxes of the lucky licorice he used to chew on the mound for get him off to a good start. pic.twitter.com/QIWcp2yc7E— Jay Horwitz (@Jay_HorwitzPR) February 21, 2021