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Pete Flynn - Mets (AMNY.com)

Pete Flynn – Mets (AMNY.com)

The Mets lost a key member of their big family last night in Pete Flynn. From the Polo Grounds, to Shea Stadium and finally Citi Field, Flynn has seen it all. He was 79-years old.

Pete Flynn started as a groundskeeper during the Mets’ inaugural season in 1962. He became the head groundskeeper from 1974 to 2001 and continued as a member of the grounds crew until he retired in 2011. Flynn was inducted into the MLB Groundskeeping Hall of Fame in 2015, while also being honored with the Mets Hall of Fame Achievement Award in 2012. At that moment he truly became a Met for life.

When talking about the greatest Mets who ever lived, some say Tom Seaver. Others might say Bud Harrelson, Mike Piazza or even David Wright. There was one person who had a special place in the hearts of the entire organization. There were nothing but good things to say about Pete Flynn. In a press release, COO Jeff Wilpon stated:

“Pete helped make our fields one of the best in baseball. He took such pride in his work and was a pro’s pro. Tom Seaver always said Shea Stadium’s mound had no equal. That’s a pretty good endorsement.”

While it was a small statement, the fact that he is celebrated at all speaks volumes. Flynn was around for the good and the bad, the great and the ugly. He’s seen various teams call Shea home, and not just baseball players. From 1964-1983, Flynn was around when the Mets, Yankees, Jets and Giants all took up residency at Shea. He hung out with best, even if it was to drive them around. Flynn drove The Beatles around Shea during their historic concert in 1965, he met Pope John Paul II at a Mass held at Shea in 1979 and he worked closely with Billy Joel and Paul McCartney at the last concert at Shea Stadium in 2008. From various stories read, he would often joke that he was the celebrity that drove random people around as a favor.

Flynn was also recognizable with fans. My dad reflected on several stories regarding Pete, even one where they actually hung out years ago. It is not far off to say that the man was a local celebrity. Players also became close with him, like Tom Terrific and Jerry Koosman. Keith Hernandez even praised him during yesterday’s game. To build a relationship with a guy like Flynn, who worked hard for so many years, is something that people should strive for today.

Just like the late Shannon Forde, Pete Flynn was a larger than life figure for a big market baseball team. The baseball world will miss both of these extraordinary people. R.I.P.

httpss://twitter.com/Mets/status/877682371168018432

 

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Baseball Editor, Misc. Sports Editor. Covers all things combat sports (MMA, Pro Wrestling and Boxing). When he's not writing, Daniel hosts a podcast, The Main Event.
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