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NY Mets EV Bullpen Cart, a Genuine Artifact of New York's Second Pro Baseball Club

In our last baseball-related entry, we showed you how the New York Yankees stayed a cut above other teams in the Major Leagues with their Classic Datsun and Toyota bullpen cars. But we're just about sick and tired of the Yanks hogging all the spotlight.
Mets Cart 6 photos
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Their cross-town rivals in the New York Mets also have a spirited association with various automakers. One that's nearly as old as the 60-year-old expansion franchise. Let's take a look at the official bullpen car of New York's loveable second ball club, It's one heck of a story.

Let's take you back to the year 1967, a year when the Mets were only in their fifth year of existence, and only three years as a tenant at Shea Stadium, the 50,000 seat multisport complex named for the man who brought pro baseball to the borough of Queens in 1962. The talk of the town is Tom Seaver, Number 41, backed up by fellow future club icon Jerry Koosman as one of the most powerful full 1-2 starting pitcher combos in major league history.

At this time, the Mets unveiled their first branded bullpen transport carts. An electric Pullman chassis mated to an outrageous oversized Mets battling helmet borne aloft by four baseball bats at each corner. The Cart ferried starting pitchers out to begin the game, then brought in relief pitchers like Met legend Tug McGraw in to replace them. McGraw, of course, also being the father of modern Country music legend Tim McGraw.

NY Mets Kart
Wouldn't you know it, by the end of 1969, only seven seasons into the Major Leagues, the Mets would taste their first World Series Championship victory, defeating the Baltimore Orioles in one of the most unanticipated upsets in sports history. A feat only triumphed in scale that year by American Football star Joe Nameth guaranteeing a win against the Baltimore Colts in Superbowl Three. The New York Jets, the team Namath made good on his promise with, also played home games at Shea Stadium. It must have been a busy and exciting year for the grounds crew.

Meanwhile, the Mets continued to operate this ostentatious but undeniably charming EV runabout on and off from the late 60s until into the 2000s. Pieces of interior trim are said to be made of Astroturf, an artificial grass fiber made famous in its use in the Astrodome, the world's very first modern domed pro sports stadium. Ironically, also the home of the Houston Astros, who joined the Majors the same year as the Mets.

The Cart saw the bright lights of victory once again in the 1986 season. Won against all odds against the might of Roger Clemens and the Boston Red Sox. The beloved cart conducted promotional material at Shea Stadium before Game Six of that year's October Classic.

NY Mets Kart
This happened to be the game Boston's first baseman Billy Buckner let a routine ground ball off the bat of Mookie Wilson through his legs, allowing the Mets to walk off in a Hollywood-like fashion. They'd win it all the very next night. Now that's a pretty decent good luck charm.

The Mets Cart made a few appearances, including during the Bobby Valentine manager tenure in which the Mets made it to the World Series to face their rival Yankees. But don't remind people about the result of that series, or they may start sobbing. Just remember this adorable image of team legend Jon Franco traversing the Shea Stadium baseball diamond with a gleeful expression he must have only felt while winning the 2000 National League Pennant.

Since then, the Cart's been sold at auction via RM Sothebys with an expected sale price of $30,000. At the final hammer, the selling price was a scarcely believable $112,500 before the buyer's fee. Not bad at all, for New York's beloved second team. Check back for more wacky car profiles and so much more here on autoevolution.

 
 
 
 
 

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