If you’ve been reading this blog for the past year, you know I’ve been working closely with Mets announcers’ charity foundation GaryKeithandRon.com and loving it every step of the way! Much of the credit for that goes to Lynn Cohen, who attends to every single detail of the operation personally–right down to shipping!–and always with a smile, a laugh, and a fun story at the ready. GKR just plain has fun, and I think that’s one of the reasons fans have become so devoted to the foundation–they have fun too!
That was the prevailing spirit at the first GKR Citi Field event last night–an evening of pure fun, with Johan on the mound, Gary Cohen, Ron Darling, Kevin Burkhardt, and Mr. Met in the suite, and the GKR supporters all enjoying the fancy-pants digs of the new Empire Party Suites. This is one photo album you won’t want to miss! Browse all the pictures here.
The evening started with the suite buffet (though I can’t lie, Shake Shack and Blue Smoke are tastier) and, in truth, a lot of gawping. Whether or not you think a ballpark should be so luxurious, I will tell you, this is a fine place for a party. Unlike at Shea, there aren’t glass doors separating the suite from the view of the ballpark. You can move back and forth from game to suite with ease, and there are TVs everywhere–even for the seats outside–to ensure you don’t lose a single moment of play.
[An aside? Less than an hour before the game began, I checked out the party suite bathrooms where I was tickled to see yet another TV. Until I realized it was tuned into the YES network. Yes. It was YES. I told the bathroom attendant–who didn’t disagree–“Even porn would be more appropriate.”]
The party really got started when Gary stopped by to pose, chat, and sign for every single fan who asked. We GKR fans know how lucky we are to have the best play-by-play man in all of sports! Not to mention how swell Gary and Lynn look together 🙂
Ronnie showed up soon afterwards–a surprise guest, since he wasn’t even working that night! But that’s the kind of guy Ron Darling is–he’s always entirely gracious with fans and will go out of his way to ensure they have the best baseball and Mets experience that can be had. Ron even signed a copy of his recent hit book, The Complete Game, for a lucky fan who thought to bring it by. If you look at the full photo album, you may realize it’s hard to get a picture of Ron Darling smiling. I get the feeling he prefers not to in pics, which is a shame, because Ronnie has one of those great smiles–the kind where his eyes light up and widen, and you just know he means it.
Our third surprise guest star–continuing the trend of just great, fan-friendly folks–was SNY favorite and Pick Me Up Some Mets friend, Kevin Burkhardt. Now Kevin’s not one to hide his smile; he brightens up a room, and once he meets you will likely remember you forevermore. Though it was the beginning of the game, Kevin also let my readers have a peek at the scorecard he keeps during the SNY broadcast–you never know when he’ll need to step in with a game-related tidbit or some off the cuff play-by-play. Woulda been fun to see what the card looked like by the 9th! I did get to see a recent pic of Logan, and oh that kid just gets cuter. He remains as blond and smiley as ever, with cheeks you just want to squeeze, albeit gently!
Ooh, by the way, did you notice Lynn’s tank top? She’s wearing my favorite slogan of the ones I’ve helped add to the GKR inventory–“Real Men Call.” Make sure to get your own totally cute tank here!
I got so many more wonderful pictures–of the field and the game, the Empire suites, the very Mets-centric Empire level hallway, the food, the fans, and the usual Pick Me Up buddies. I truly recommend you browse the album, but for now here are some parting shots. I will admit I’m a bit overly pleased with the one where I’m pinching the wee Home Run Apple…Also, you’ll see pics of two Ugly Betty cast members (I confess I don’t watch the show) since they were filming a scene for their finale involving the first pitch. Except there were about 5 first pitches so they could get their shot, and let me tell you, Mr. Pretty Boy Actor should stick with his day job…I’m guessing they’ll edit out the boos 🙂
It’s not complex mathematics, friends. GKR + great people + Santana = one damn fine evening. Look out for ticket opportunities to future events, for there will certainly be many. I look forward to them all.