Six things we learned about the Mets' broadcast booth in their New York Times Magazine story
Odds are good that, over the past few years, you've been delighted by at least one shenanigan from the Mets broadcast booth. But, telestrator dexterity aside, how well do you actually know Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling?
After you read this profile in this week's New York Times Magazine, the answer to that question will be "very, very well". Writer Devin Gordon got to shadow the trio over the course of this season, and the result is a whole bunch of extremely endearing factoids. We've collected our favorites below.
1. Hernandez sports "burgundy leather driving moccasins"
We're not sure exactly what that collection words means, but we do know that it sounds incredibly luxurious.
2. And he has a pretty intense lawnmower scar
Hernandez is apparently not one for personal boundaries.
Keith had kicked off his burgundy leather driving moccasins in the top of the fourth, and during the break between innings, he rested his bare left foot on Ron Darling's chair while Ron ran to the press cafeteria to refill his iced green tea. An impressive scar, thick and maybe two inches long, ran down the base of his big toe.
Gary looked up from his scorecard and glanced down at Keith's scar, wordless but not uninterested.
"I stuck my foot in a lawn mower when I was a kid," Keith said. "I almost ripped the tendon up my leg. Would've ruined me for life. No Mets!" His eyes went wide at the horrifying counterfactual, the "Sliding Doors" of it all. "Imagine it, Gar - no Mets!"
3. Darling went to Yale
Born in Hawaii, the righty became a prep star at St. John's High School in Massachusetts before committing to play at Yale -- where he was initially a position player. Darling switched to pitching full-time as a sophomore and went on to become the greatest player in the school's history, leading the Bulldogs to the 1981 NCAA Tournament.
(In the Northeast Regional, Darling toed the rubber against St. John's and their ace, Frank Viola, in one of the greatest college games ever played. Darling took a no-hitter into the 12th, but St. John's walked off on a double-steal.)
4. Cohen takes his Tootsie Pops ... maybe a little too seriously
The Mets booth has gotten into the habit of eating candy during broadcasts, but lest you think this is just a fun little ritual, be forewarned: Cohen is not messing around.
Gary Keith and Ron love candy, but Gary and Keith love Tootsie Pops most of all - Ron is mezzo-mezzo - and one of the stage managers distributes them at some point during the early innings. Gary always gets grape. He will nurse his pop for innings and leave the Tootsie center, uneaten, resting on its flattened wrapper.
5. But not as seriously as Hernandez takes his mustache
A couple of important Mustache Facts: 1) Hernandez meticulously grooms his iconic facial hair ("It's wavy, and in the humidity I can't control it," he fussed one night) and 2) he has a giant wooden replica of it above the back door to his Long Island home. No, we're not kidding:
6. Cohen is a Mets lifer and huge baseball nerd
Cohen's been the TV voice of the Mets since 2006, but the Queens native has loved the team since its inception back in 1962 -- when he was just four years old. Cohen isn't just a Mets fan, though: He's a baseball junkie, showing up at the ballpark hours before first pitch to pore over stats and delivering soliloquies on everything from shifts to launch angles.
7. Darling desperately wants the Mets to win it all
Darling already won a ring as a player, and as one of the most beloved players in franchise history, you'd think he'd be pretty content. But make no mistake: He remains as invested in the team as ever.
"I've played on a championship team, and I wanna broadcast a championship team," Darling said. "That would be the greatest thing that could happen in my broadcasting career. I would maybe even say goodbye if that happened."