Gray Area


(Sunday Paper, Volume III, Issue 39)

Today I’d like to tell you about one of my favorite shirts.

Wait! Don't go!

I know, I know - you’re like, “John, you’re really going to follow up an unpopular baseball post last week by writing about a shirt this week?”


But, as always, I promise you I won’t bore you.

“Well, is the shirt at least an exciting color?”


No. Sorry.

It’s a gray shirt. But I think everyone can relate to a favorite, comfortable shirt.



For most of the past twenty years I’ve had a comfortable gray t-shirt.

The current one, pictured above, is less than a year old.

Before that, I was gray t-shirt-less, having worn the original best t-shirt in the world almost to shreds.

But we had a great run.

And I was thinking of a specific stretch where I wore that shirt exclusively because it was almost exactly 19 years ago and I thought it would be fun to share with you.

In September of 1999 I was out of college, not yet full-time employed, and living in Boston with some friends who were still in college. A friend of mine was getting married back in New York so I packed a suit and wore my jeans and gray t-shirt to New York.

The wedding was Saturday, October 2nd. I don’t exactly remember this, but I’m using the Mets schedule to re-create this memory. Because the Mets were in a run where if they won the rest of their games they could force a one-game playoff to win the wild card. And the last game of the 1999 regular season was on Sunday, October 3rd.

Kind of at the last minute I decided to go to that game with a friend. We ended up sitting about ten rows behind home plate. I wore my gray t-shirt and jeans.

The Mets won. It was very exciting. That meant the one-game playoff was on Monday night, October 4th. I had nowhere else to be, so I watched that game with my family. The Mets won again. (I wore - you guessed it - the gray t-shirt and jeans.) (You remember the only other clothing I had was a suit, right? OK.)

We watched game one of the NLDS together, too, when the Mets beat the Diamondbacks the next night on Tuesday, October 5th. And then my dad got some Rangers tickets so we went to see the Rangers. In my memory this was a separate night but apparently the Rangers game was the 5th…so maybe the Mets started late in Arizona, after the Rangers were over. Either way, I wore the gray t-shirt and jeans and they were proving to be lucky.

I imagine my mom washed these clothes while I was in New York…but when I returned to Boston I’m pretty sure I wore them for the rest of the Mets’ playoff run, which ended on October 19th. It was quite a run.

(Speaking of run, this stretch includes the Mets’ Game 4-clinching win on Saturday, October 9th, when Todd Pratt hit his walk-off homer, which I watched on TV in my apartment a half-mile from Fenway Park, where I had tickets to that afternoon’s Red Sox playoff game which had just started around the time the Mets ended. So I left my apartment, ran over the Fenway, and saw that game. That shirt must have really stunk.)

So that’s it. I just wanted to tell that story. This current comfortable gray t-shirt makes me think of that old shirt. And this weather makes me think of wearing a gray t-shirt, maybe with a light sweatshirt over it - my favorite clothes in my favorite time of year.

If only this new shirt was a little luckier.


*I wish I had exciting news for you here, but it’s the same ol’, same ol’…which is still good. Just working. I’m hoping to tackle some new projects in the new year - I’ll tell you about that as it draws closer.


*It was a good week comedy-wise, considering I didn’t get out hardly at all. A few behind-the-scenes things, including confirming the details on the monthly show I’ll be hosting in the new year. Stay tuned for that information too.

What I’ve Been Enjoying

* A couple of articles I think you might enjoy today:

Last week I had a quick note about how the Fenway Park organist played our request at the Red Sox game a couple of weeks ago. This week he is profiled in the Boston Globe Magazine. I enjoyed reading that article - I think the hard copy is out today, but here’s the link to the online version.

And the New York Times Magazine today has an article on the Mets SNY broadcast booth. It’s a really good read, I think, whether or not you watch them regularly.


*I’m going to put out a call on the Facebook page this week for questions for the end-of-the-year Question and Answer posting. That’s always a good time. So start thinking about that - and of course, since you’re reading this, you get first crack at a question. If you have a good question for the post, put it in the Facebook comments or in the comments below. Thanks.

*On Saturday night I stayed home with the family and we watched the Mets together for David Wright’s final Mets start. It was kind of a beautiful night - Wright had two at-bats, he came off the field to a standing ovation, and then he went up to the TV and radio booths and fans at home had a chance to hear him talk about his night. Hearing him was such a reminder how lucky Mets fans were to have him. He was a great player and he is a wonderful person and you’re reminded of that every time you hear him speak.

*The same was true when he came out to address the crowd after the (13-inning, yikes) game.

*It’s late, I’m just going to wrap things up here. You know the deal - I’m on Facebook here, I’m on Twitter here. Thanks for the support.