A look at some of the Mets' famous fans

January 22nd, 2021

Considering their location in New York City, the Mets have always attracted an A-list following just as vibrant as that of the crosstown Yankees. Here’s a look at some of the most famous Mets fans to make their mark in New York, Hollywood and beyond:

The Mets have long drawn the interest of some of the country’s finest comedians, most notably Jerry Seinfeld. Such a fan is Seinfeld that one of the most famous episodes of his long-running sitcom featured Keith Hernandez as “The Boyfriend.” Seinfeld has appeared on SNY broadcasts multiple times, sitting for interviews during games. He even served as a presenter at the Baseball Writers’ Association of America New York Chapter’s 2020 Awards Dinner, kibitzing all night with National League Rookie of the Year Pete Alonso. A Brooklyn native and Queens College alumnus, Seinfeld was born eight years before the Mets came into existence. Like many, he became a fan as the team improved over the 1960s.

Throughout his 17-year run on “The Daily Show,” Jon Stewart often referenced himself as a long-suffering Mets fan. Stewart, another New York native, was six years old when the Mets won their first title in 1969. He was living in New York as a fledgling comedian when the Mets won again in '86. And he was at Citi Field when Johan Santana threw the first no-hitter in franchise history in 2012.

“I have suffered much for these Mets over my life,” Stewart said in a "Daily Show" monologue following that game, “which is why these moments of joy that occur sporadically are even more appreciated.”

Another Brooklyn native born just before the Mets’ first World Series title, Chris Rock once spent a lengthy portion of an appearance on “The Late Show” with David Letterman riffing about the Mets. He was at Citi Field with Seinfeld when Yoenis Cespedes launched his clutch homer in Game 3 of the 2015 National League Division Series. Hank Azaria of “The Simpsons” fame has such a love for baseball that he based the plot of another television project, “Brockmire,” around the game. Azaria often talks about how the Mets’ mishaps over the years provide excellent fodder for comedy.

The Mets have shown up frequently on late-night television as well, thanks in large part to Jimmy Kimmel, who hosted David Wright, Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey and Wilmer Flores during a Brooklyn-based 2015 episode as the Mets prepared for the World Series. In 2020, Kimmel signed on to produce a “30 For 30” documentary about the 1986 Mets. Topps even made him a Mets baseball card.

Comedian Bill Maher liked the Mets enough to purchase a minority ownership stake in the team in 2012. He has delivered many a monologue about the Mets, though perhaps not as loudly as Jim Breuer, another Mets-loving comic who has spent countless hours rooting for and riffing about the team.

Putting aside the gray line between actors and comedians, it is unsurprising that Kevin James, the longtime star of “King of Queens” is passionate about the only professional sports team in that borough. James is actually not from Queens but Long Island, where he became a Mets fan in his youth. Decades later, he named his daughter Shea, after Shea Stadium. So committed is James that he called into a WOR sports talk radio show in 2016 to defend himself against allegations that he was not a true fan.

“Say what you want about my movies, my career, my weight, have fun,” James said. “Three things are undeniable: my faith, my family and my loyalty to the Mets.”

Another comedic actor, Ben Stiller, reportedly considered making a movie featuring Mike Piazza in the early 2000s. His father, the late Jerry Stiller, sang a spirited rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” at Citi Field in 2011.

Singing is likewise a talent of Glenn Close, who performed the national anthem before Game 1 of the 1986 World Series at Shea Stadium, and again before a 2016 game at Citi Field. Close once told the Hollywood Reporter that she used to spend time with Rusty Staub -- and on one occasion, Nolan Ryan -- at a Manhattan restaurant after games in the 1970s.

Stage and screen actor Matthew Broderick is a frequent attendee of Mets games, as he discussed during an inning the SNY booth in 2017. Those who have thrown ceremonial first pitches at Citi include “Modern Family” star Ty Burrell, “10 Things I Hate About You” actress Julia Stiles, and “Teen Wolf” actor Dylan O’Brien, whose Twitter bio refers to him as a “long-suffering Mets fan.” Following a much-publicized accident on the set of “Maze Runner” in 2016, O’Brien broke his Twitter silence by typing simply: “LGM baby.”

Perhaps no one has brought the word “Mets” into the pop culture lexicon as frequently as Nas, who has mentioned the team in various raps over the decades. In 2019, the Brooklyn-born Nas wore a Pete Alonso jersey while on tour. Another rapper, Nicki Minaj, grew up a Mets fan in Queens. Two members of the Beastie Boys -- Ad-Rock and MCA -- also grew up fans of the team. When MCA died in 2012, all Mets players changed their walk-up music to a Beastie Boys song to honor him.

The most famous musician interaction at Citi Field in recent years belongs to 50 Cent, who threw a first pitch so wide that it has been a staple of blooper reels ever since. 50 Cent told Newsday in 2018 that he is both a Yankees and Mets fan. The same could be said for Billy Joel, who grew up a Dodgers and Yankees fan but has since become more synonymous with the Mets. Joel sung the national anthem before games in the 1986, 2000 and 2015 World Series, and headlined two sold-out “Last Play at Shea” concerts in 2008.

Two non-baseball athletes have brought the Mets into the spotlight in recent years, both with direct connections to the team. NFL quarterback Patrick Mahomes famously played in the Shea Stadium outfield as a child during the two seasons that his father, Pat Mahomes, was a reliever for the Mets. Although the elder Mahomes spent most of his career elsewhere, his talented son apparently took a liking to New York, wearing a Mets jersey for his press conference following a Chiefs game in 2018.

Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell also grew up around baseball thanks to his father, Donovan Mitchell Sr., who has worked in various roles for the Mets over the years. The younger Mitchell has shown up to NBA games wearing a Mets jersey, and has mingled with players at Citi Field. He even took batting practice before a 2019 game, nearly hitting a homer.