Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Pow! Kaboom! Mets Fans Embrace Their Superheroes

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Pow! Kaboom! Mets Fans Embrace Their Superheroes

Article excerpt

One night after the Dark Knight saved Gotham by defeating a lineup of his rogues gallery, Thor was asked to follow suit and smash his hammer Sunday night on the same opponents. No, this isn't some strange comic book mash-up story line - it's how Mets fans refer to their players: as superheroes.

The nicknames bestowed by fans have become a part of the team's character, fans say, and the players' "superhuman" powers have been showcased throughout this improbable season.

It started after Sports Illustrated ran a cover story in May 2013 declaring Matt Harvey, who started Game 1 of the National League Championship Series on Saturday night, "The Dark Knight of Gotham."

David Wright was nicknamed "Captain America" after his heroics in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. That same year, Noah Syndergaard, Sunday night's Game 2 starter, acquired the nickname "Thor," a reference to his long blond locks and last name - not to mention a wicked curveball that comes down with the force of the character's hammer, Mjolnir.

Considering the Mets were nearly named the Avengers when they came into the league in 1962, the story seems to write itself.

"I think the nicknames are cool; it kind of gives the team an identity," 16-year-old Kevin Meberg of Wall Township said outside Citi Field on Sunday night. He wore appropriate headgear: a Viking helmet.

"Thor is my favorite - I like how much Syndergaard has embraced it. The height, the name, it all just fits the character," Meberg said.

Mets fans have run with the monikers. In fact, the way hundreds of fans dressed for Harvey's and Syndergaard's starts this weekend, Citi Field could have been mistaken for New York Comic Con.

"Superheroes are back in fashion, and so are the Mets," Ron Mercado of Connecticut said after pushing back his long blond wig on Sunday. "The Mets are a team of superheroes, and we are here to cheer them on."

When Harvey took the mound Saturday and dominated the Chicago Cubs for 7 2/3 innings, thousands of fans wore Batman masks, some even painted the Mets colors, orange and blue. …

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