Thursday, August 6, 2009

Pete Flynn:From Ballinamore to Citi Field

Pete Flynn has been in this country since 1961. Flynn has worked for the New York Mets since 1962. Flynn is the Head Groundskeeper, a lofty enough title, but still not encompassing all Flynn does.
We had the chance to talk for a few minutes during a pre-game rain a few weeks ago. Flynn doesn't grab the headlines, but he is certainly a star in his own right.
Flynn has been around since the Polo Grounds. He has seen all of the greats of the game. He believes Willie Mays is the greatest of all time.
Flynn has been the subject of several national articles. Ever the humble man, Flynn says he only kept a couple copies. (In contrast, I have about 100 copies of my one national article from Global Traveler magazine).
While keeping the grounds beautiful is Flynn's main responsibility, it is far from his only duty. In fact, Flynn has played a part in at least 2 major music events at Shea Stadium.
In 1965, Flynn drove the Beatles from the stage to beyond the centerfield wall where their armored car was waiting. In 2008, when Paul McCartney made a surprise appearance at a Billy Joel concert, Flynn again was the driver who got McCartney to the stage on a golf cart.
Flynn is a true character of the game. He'll have no baseball card (unless one of the faithful Mets bloggers create one for him). He won't have a uniform number retired. For the most part, he won't even be recognized in the picture below. Yet, Flynn is as much a part of the New York Mets as anyone past or present.
I must send out a special thanks to fellow bloggers Metstradamus and JJ over at Mets Fever for their assistance. Both sites are great NY Mets blogs and both supplied some info I was missing from lost notes.
Pete Flynn and me in Citi Field in Flushing, NY-June 2009.

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