Laser Time is a haven for nerds and geeks scared of physical activity, but we can at least enjoy the 2015 World Series via a superheroic sports fan, namely longtime Mets lover, Spider-Man…
We’re deep into the post-season for Major League Baseball, which is the nerdiest of sports – after Mega Man Soccer, of course. And while I don’t blame Laser fans for not giving a hooping funt about America’s pastime, I’ve always had a soft spot for baseball. The stats, the hot dogs, the wonderful boredom. And with both my current and former hometown teams out of the running, I know just who I’ll be rooting for in the World Series: Spider-Man’s hometown team!
The New York Mets may have famous fans like Jerry Seinfeld, Chuck D, and Dave Rudden, but none of those Mets supporters are as globally popular as Peter Parker. Born and raised in NYC borough Queens, The Mets and Spider-Man have been connected for decades, both in the comics an real life. Follow along to see how Spider-Man is no bandwagon poser – he’s been behind the team long before their first World Series in over a decade.
Spider-Man (And Morgan Freeman) Saved A Mets Game
If you didn’t grow up in the 1970s, this next sentence may sound pretty bananas: PBS made a series of live action Spider-Man adventures on a children’s educational program hosted by Morgan Freeman. Called “Spider-Man Super Stories” these segments began airing with series The Electric Company in 1974. The brief scenes told kid-friendly comic adventures that featured Parker teaching kids how to read along with word balloons. No Super Story is more memorable (or more pertinent to this list) than “Spidey Up Against The Wall,” which – duh – takes place at a Mets game.
Yes, that is indeed Spider-Man fighting his worst villain ever, The Wall, but it’s also the earliest moment I could find of the Webhead loving the NY Mets. There he is, rooting for his favorite player, getting chewed out by a melodiously-voiced umpire, and even shaking his hot dog while cheering on his team.
This story would get retold in the comics (that’s where I found the very first image), and it began Spidey’s canonical love of the Mets. If you can find an earlier instance of Spidey loving the Mets, I’d love to see it, but until then, this is seemingly where his fandom began.
Uncle Ben Took Young Peter To Mets Games
In case you don’t know your Spider-Man history, Peter was orphaned as a toddler when his secret agent parents were killed by The Red Skull – honest, they even fought alongside Wolverine! Peter Parker was then raised by his elderly Aunt May and Uncle Ben, the latter whom took Peter to numerous Mets game. It makes sense given Queens’ closeness to Shea Stadium, along with how much Uncle Ben liked to impart wisdom to Pete.
After Ben Parker’s guilt-ridden, responsibility-defining death, Peter kept attending at least one Mets game a year to keep the tradition going. As Peter explains in this warm-n-fuzzy single issue story from Peter Parker: Spider-Man #33, the Queens native came to identify with the “loveable losers” at Shea…
Funnily enough, The Mets are currently doing better than they have in a very long time, just as Spider-Man in the comics leads a multinational corporation. Also, is it a coincidence that, right before Sony’s first Spider-Man film, the Mets were in the 2000 World Series, and now, just as Spidey joins the Marvel Cinematic Universe the Mets are back in the championship game? Is it too soon to call it the Sony curse?
Spider-Man Got Married At Shea Stadium
The mid-80s were a big time for both Spider-Man and The Mets. Peter Parker married his infrequent girlfriend Mary Jane, and The Mets were a killer team, winning the 1986 World Series. On June 5, 1987, right before a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, a live action Spider-Man married MJ in a cute ceremony attended by multiple Avengers and officiated by Stan Lee. Watch the quite awkward interview below for proof (and yes, that IS John Tesh at the end):
If this lengthy description of the event is anything to go by, it sounds like a lovely day of baseball promotional joy. Plus, the Mets beat the Pirates 5 to 1, once again lending credence to the Wallcrawler being something of a good luck charm for the team. Today, Spider-Man has been single since a demonic annulment in 2007 (it’s too complicated to explain in less than 1,000 words), while Shea Stadium was demolished in 2009 when The Mets moved over to Citi Field. Still, we’ll always have these quaint memories of two models dressed as comic book characters, getting fake married by Stan Lee. Plus, we got this publicity shot of Firestar standing next to Darryl Strawberry. You can’t beat that!
Is that the worst Hulk outfit ever, or what?
If you’re at all interested in the World Series, MLB, or find a secretly nerdy joy in analyzing baseball stats, perhaps Spider-Man can be your in for rooting for the New York Mets in the post-season. And if someone says you’re a bandwagon fan, just say you’ve loved Spider-Man for decades, and that should count for something. (I might just be speaking for myself here.)
And if any of the LT community want to talk of their secret love of sports, or their fictional heroes’ fave teams, let’s chat about it in the comments like friendly jocks, ok?