Dan Reilly, the original Mr. Met, has died at 83

Although Mr. Met was the first costumed mascot to make a name for himself in Major League Baseball, Mr. Raymond said he was not the first...


Although Mr. Met was the first costumed mascot to make a name for himself in Major League Baseball, Mr. Raymond said he was not the first: he was predeceased in the 1950s by the little-known Mr. Oriole, a costumed bird who worked for Baltimore Orioles.

Mr. Met (not Mr. Reilly) was inducted the mascot hall of fame in Whiting, Indiana, in 2007.

Daniel Joseph Reilly was born January 28, 1938 in Richmond Hill, Queens, to Anna and Robert Reilly. After graduating from high school, he attended broadcasting school, served in the Marines in Guam, and became a ticket agent for Eastern Airlines.

After about a decade with the Mets, he worked in promotions for the New York (now Brooklyn) Nets and Colony Hill Golf Club (now the Wind Watch Golf & Country Club), in Hauppauge, on Long Island; as a bartender; and as a public announcer for New York Waterways. On one of his routes, he gifted his memorabilia of Mr. Met to fans traveling from the ports of New Jersey and Manhattan to the World’s Fair Marina, from where they walked to Shea Stadium.

He married Gloria Westerweller on the afternoon of October 11, 1969, the day of the first World Series game between the Mets and the Baltimore Orioles. It was a road game, which kept his closest Mets friends, outfielder Ron Swoboda and pitcher Tug McGraw, from attending; the arrangements had been made long before the Mets were playoff contenders.

This marriage ended in divorce. His second marriage ended with the death of his wife.

In 2007, Mr. Reilly wrote a book, “The Original Mr. Met Remembers: When the Miracle Began”, in which he remembers his time under the big giant head and reflects on his legacy.

“Today baseball fans know the Phillie Phanatic and the San Diego Chicken,” he wrote. “The Kansas City Royals have their Sluggerrr and the cardinals have their Fredbird. All descend from the first Mr. Met.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Dan Reilly, the original Mr. Met, has died at 83
Dan Reilly, the original Mr. Met, has died at 83
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