Secret Service Threatened To Kill Mets Mascot

Mr Met Bill Clinton

One of the men who played the role of Mr. Met, the baseball-headed mascot of the New York Mets, relates that he was once told by a Secret Service Agent that getting close to President Clinton would be a big mistake:

John Wilkes Booth. Lee Harvey Oswald. Mr. Met?

A Secret Service agent threatened to put some high heat in the Mets mascot’s oversized dome if he ventured too close to former President Bill Clinton during a 1997 game at Shea Stadium.

“We have snipers all around the stadium, just in case something were to happen,” the agent warned. “Like I said, do whatever it is you normally do. But approach the President, and we go for the kill shot. Are we clear?”

AJ Mass, the man inside the Mr. Met outfit from 1994-97, recounted his brush with mortality (and perhaps immortality) in his new memoir “Yes, It’s Hot in Here — Adventures in the Weird, Wooly World of Sports Mascots.”

“He pauses for a moment to let the words sink in, and it feels like he isn’t only looking into my eyes, but also into my very soul with his blank, unblinking stare,” Mass wrote.

He recalled the agent staring directly into the mouth of his huge faux leather head to deliver the warning that sent chills through all eight of Mr. Met’s fingers.

“‘Approach the President, and we go for the kill shot,’ he repeated. ‘ARE — WE — CLEAR?'”

Well, to be honest, the Mets did kind of stink from 1994 to 1997.

Note: The photo above as taken in 2005, after President Clinton left office and, presumably, on a day with the agent in question was off duty.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. The agent was a Yankees fan…obviously.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The Mets are pond scum, to say nothing of their mascot.

  3. @Timothy Watson:

    Real baseball teams don’t need mascots

  4. mantis says:

    I’m guessing this story is a bit more dramatic than what really happened. I had a similar experience with the Secret Service. When I was in college in the late 90s, I worked as a valet in San Francisco. We worked a lot of special events and one was a Clinton fundraiser at the Shorenstein’s house near Stanford, where the president and first lady were visiting Chelsea the same week. The valets were not allowed into the house (all indoors staff had to be searched and go through detectors), and we were only allowed to speak to one agent. He told us early on not to put our hands in our pockets all evening. One of the other guys asked why not, and he said, “so we don’t shoot you,” in a friendly way but still saying yes, we will shoot you. There were at least two snipers there, who walked off into the trees surrounding the house before the dinner. I didn’t see them again, but I know they saw me. I kept my hands out of my pockets. Also parked Willie Mays’s BMW, so that was cool.

  5. Matt Bernius says:


    For a couple years in the late 1990’s I worked the White House Easter Egg roll. We were told similar things during the set-up and tear-down phases by the visible Secret Service folks.

    What was kinda freaky were the glimpses of the not-so-visible secret service types. Occasionally a shrub or something would shift and you’d catch a glimpse of a far more paramilitary looking agent. The next moment, he’d have moved out of sight again.

  6. rudderpedals says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    The next moment, he’d have moved out of sight again.

    Each time he moved was motivated by remembering the “How Not to Be Seen” training film.

  7. “And it’s likely they’d have killed him had not Casey raised his hand.”

  8. MarkedMan says:

    Hrs to believe that Harry Truman used to walk from the White House to Union Station. Clinton and Bush Jr. both tried to push back against the oversize security but ultimately gave in. Obama, of course, has so much more risk from the racist fringe with the NRA and the Fox News crowd constantly goading the crazies to take the shot. I don’t blame him for not bicycling or running around DC as his predecessors did. I am astounded the SS has been able to be as effective as they have.