NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s common knowledge: the President of the United States is surrounded 24-7 by Secret Service agents, both seen and unseen.
They’re going to do what they have to do to protect the leader of the free world. Approach the POTUS at your own risk — even if you’re a professional sports mascot, with your giant mitts and huge noggin.
A.J. Mass, who suited up as the New York Mets’ mascot from 1994-97, said in his new book that he was warned in no uncertain terms about advancing toward President Bill Clinton, who was at Shea Stadium in April 1997 for the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking MLB’s color barrier.
“Now listen to me very carefully. … We have snipers all around the stadium, just in case something were to happen,” a Secret Service agent told Mass, according to a book excerpt making the rounds. “Like I said, do whatever it is you normally do. Nobody will bother you. But approach the president, and we go for the kill shot. Are we clear?”
The former Mr. Met wrote that it felt like the agent wasn’t “only looking into my eyes, but also into my very soul with his blank, unblinking stare.”
Then another warning, for good measure.
“Approach the president, and we go for the kill shot,” the agent told Mass. “ARE–WE–CLEAR?”
Mass’ memoir, “Yes, It’s Hot in Here: Adventures in the Weird, Woolly World of Sports Mascots,” is on sale now.
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