New York – With every team comes loyal fans and at Citi Field there are many as the Mets again last week finished another losing season. In a year when fans returned to the ballpark, this after a 2020 season of no spectators because of COVID-19 protocols, the Mets saw 1,511,926 pass through the gates at Citi Field.
Though, there are those fair weather fans that come and go. The Mets get their share who jump on the bandwagon when things are going well and there are the loyal fans who stay when the going gets tough.
And let’s’ face it, 2021 went well in the first half for the Mets as they held first place for 103 days. The second half was a different story of misery and the Mets became the first team in MLB history to hold first place over 100 days and finish with a losing record.
But roaming the stands and spacious areas last week at Citi Field were two familiar faces at the Mets’ home season finale. The Mets were winning in the fifth inning and eventually won a rare 12-3 laugher over the last place Marlins.
Meet and greet “The Pinman” and “The Cowbell Man” that go with Mets baseball as much as the hot dog, beer, or Coca Cola.
Fans come to meet and greet 62-year old Nicholas “Pinman” Giampietro, a Queens native. You can’t ignore the array of glowing pins on his jersey and hat. By his side, is 64-year old Edwin Boison known as “The Cowbell Man.” and his presence is heard with a loud bang of the cowbell and chant of “Lets Go Mets.”
Bronx resident Boison, a former NYC Health and Hospitals Corp. employee, with a Puerto Rican heritage, has been a die hard fan for 37 years. The Cowbell got a start when the “Let’s Go Mets” chant started at Shea Stadium and Boison went along with the ride.
The “Pinman” , a one-time deli worker, purchased David Wright and Jose Reyes pins at a local flea market and five years later there were more on the Mets jersey and cap. The glowing pins and creative ideas have become a fan favorite at Citi Field.
“I gave him a pin at a Mets-Yankees game in the year 2000 and we really didn’t know each other,” Giampietro said.
The Cowbell can be heard from the upper rafters to the lower sections of the ballpark, and when the crowds are sparse it’s not difficult to spot Boison surrounded with fans and helping him bang the bell.
“First time I brought the cowbell, they were doing the rendition of ‘Lets Go Mets’ ‘ on the diamond vision,” said Boison. “I started going along with it with the cowbell. We are always loyal no matter what the situation is.”
So loyal, in fact “Pinman” also attends games when the Mets are on the road, and is proud to say his record at Citi Field with the Mets is 45-34, away 2-5 ,and a final record of 47-39.
“Pinman” is a season ticket holder and similar to an average fan, “The Cowbell Man” purchases tickets in advance. They rarely sit in their assigned seats and mingle in with the fans, some who say they are legends and icons.
“Not getting freebies or nothing, but the fans love us,” says Giampietro. “They acknowledge us. They love us and that’s what keeps us going. If they weren’t appreciative of what we do, then we wouldn’t be doing it.”
Unfortunately, though, the Mets don’t give them free tickets nor do they ask to do so. Occasionally, Mets Television broadcasters will make mention of their presence when they are in camera view.
Mets players are aware of their presence. J.D. Davis has said numerous times that the Cowbell is heard and he has seen the flashing pins when positioned at third base.
Nobody can question their loyalty. And the fans at Citi Field know these are two mainstays at Citi Field.
Giampietro had tears in his eyes because this was the last game at Citi Field until Opening Day in late March of 2021. He said things will get better for the Mets and looks for changes with new owner Steve Cohen. More flashing pins will return to the wardrobe next year and the pins will be seen somewhere during the offseason.
“The Yankees can win all their chances,.when we win one in ten years it’s worth more than four for them in ten,” Giampietro said. “We suffer more,” he said about Mets fans.
And the Cowbell will always live, though because of health concerns Boison may have limited visits next year to Citi Field with the bell, Mets jersey and cap. He hopes the Mets make proper moves and that begins with a general manager that will turn things around for the team.
“Right formula it can happen right now,” he said about a Mets winning team. “We can accomplish something with a better team.”
Rest assured, though, the Mets will always have two of their biggest fans at Citi Field next Opening Day and they can’t be missed. Listen for the Cowbell and look for the flashing pins.
Rich Mancuso: Twitter@Ring786 Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso
/ 8 hours ago
The following was released on MLB.com on Thursday September 21st — Texas Rangers to...
/ 14 hours ago
BRONX, NY — Michael King struck out the most batters of any Yankee pitchers...