By Laurie Bain Wilson
It’s amazing! The Miracle Mets celebrate their 50th anniversary this year and long-suffering Mets fans who can’t get enough of the milestone will want to add the New York Sports Tours to their roster of celebrations this spring and summer. It’s the sweet spot: Take the tour now through Father’s Day and you’ll score a comp copy of celebrated sports journalist Wayne Coffey’s newly-released bestseller They Said it Couldn’t be Done, a Penguin Random House book that chronicles the 1969 Mets miraculous World Series win. Only in New York.
The hip museum-on-wheels tour (a small luxury Mercedes that seats 12) gets going at Grand Central Terminal and expertly navigates midtown, hitting on more than 70 midtown locations that are linked to the great athletes who have played here and special neighborhood spots with interesting sports lore—these are buildings that New Yorkers walk by daily, never knowing the cultural-shaping historic moments that were made just inside. Spots like Jackie Robinson’s office when he worked at Chock Full o’ Nuts, the 21 Club (and its role in sports) and the 69th Regiment Armory on Lexington Avenue, where, in the 50s, the Knicks played their NBA Finals games and the Globetrotters also dribbled back in the day. On-screen audio and videos enhance the riding experience with documentaries complementing the tour stops and narrated by former professional tennis player and legendary sports broadcaster Mary Carillo, a hometown gal who grew up in Queens.
Sign on for the three-hour tour ($150) or, better yet, go for the $200, four-and-a-half-hour tour experience that includes an intimate post-tour dinner with a noted sports personality at one of NYC’s celebrated landmarks—the 130-year-old Keens Steakhouse on West 36th Street (if only these walls could talk, there surely has been lots of juicy sports convos here through the decades.) Dig into steak or one of the steakhouse’s other fan favorite dishes, and nerd out with fellow sports fans who love to dish about New York’s love affair with sports. History fans also will appreciate the enthusiasm for the city’s illustrious teams and legendary athletes—past and present. And you’ll also come away with a keen sense for just how important the role of sports has played in shaping the city’s culture through the years—and continues to.
The grand slam for Mets-loving dads and grandfathers: On Father’s Day this year, June 16th, Coffey will host the post-tour dinner at Keens. Surely, they’ll be lots of speculative talk about whether this is the year for the Mets to go all the way—as former Mets player and manager Yogi Berra once said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”
Here’s to the Mets!
For more information on the New York Sports Tour, visit newyorksports.tours.