This past April 8th was a special day for the Mets and their fans for a few reasons.
It was Opening Day for the 2021 baseball season and for the first time since 2019, there were fans at Citi Field for the first time since 2019. Because of the pandemic, fans were not allowed at games in 2020, but New York State guidelines were relaxed in time for Opening Day.
The Mets welcomed 8,492 fans (20 percent of capacity) to Flushing for the home opener against the Miami Marlins and they were treated to a thrilling 3-2 win improving the Mets’ all-time Opening Day record to 40-21.
And it was an even sweeter day for Mets third baseman Jeff McNeil who was 0 for 10 to start the season and 0 for 17 dating back to the 2020 campaign when he stepped to the plate leading off the 9th inning. He drilled the game-tying home run on his 29th birthday…and he celebrated with an epic bat flip.
“Never bat-flipped before,” said McNeil after the game.
That magical moment has now been captured on a new Jeff McNeil bobblehead from FOCO.
“Jeff is a FOCO ambassador and we have been working with him since spring training,” said Anthony Davino, Affiliate Marketing Manager for FOCO. “We discussed making a bobblehead of him during the season based on an exciting moment or play.”
How could it get any more exciting that a game-tying home run in the 9th inning on your birthday with a bat flip?
“Definitely one of my biggest moments as a Met right there,” said McNeil. “I was pretty pumped up. And then, as soon as it left the bat, I knew it and just to hear the crowd erupt again was pretty incredible. It was louder than I expected.”
McNeil was very involved in the design of the bobblehead from the artwork to the clay mold to the painted images.
“We have worked back and forth with Jeff to make sure we captured this moment correctly,” said Davino.
The bobblehead heat features McNeil on a circular base with the Mets’ “NY” logo to the left of his name. There is a big smile on McNeil’s face and the knob of the bat is just touching the palm of his right hand to recreate the Opening Day bat flip.
This bobblehead will certainly be a sought-after item for Mets fans.
“Whenever we release McNeil products, the fans get very excited,” said Davino.
There’s a lot for Mets fans to be excited about these days. Citi Field is at full capacity, the Mets are in first place in the National League East and Jeff McNeil is back from the injured list. There have been some amazing moments for McNeil and the Mets this season and that includes the magical bat flip on Opening Day.