Mets by the Numbers website provides an excellent resource for New York Mets history through the lens of uniform numbers. It was the inspiration for my own (since-neglected...I REALLY need to update sometime in 2014) NumerOlogy Orioles uniform number site. I contacted Jon while I was still in the planning stages of my own site way back in 2007 to get advice and guidance, and he encouraged me right from the start. We've never met in person before, but he was in Baltimore for the annual Fiesta 5K, a Johns Hopkins-sponsored charity race to raise funds and awareness for ALS research. Jon's sister Jen lost her battle with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, back in 2011. He and his team were running in her memory. I'm not in adequate 5K condition, but I did make a last-minute donation to his cause and arranged to meet Jon at the Mex tequila bar at Power Plant Live after the race.
The weather was beautiful here this morning, so we sat at the outdoor bar for nearly three hours talking about baseball, the wonders of Elkton and Rising Sun (Jon worked at the Cecil Whig newspaper after college), and even a bit of 1980's pro wrestling. We also swapped stories about Billy Ripken's unprofessional behavior. I've written about my own experiences with Billy before, but Jon had the pleasure of being flat refused by #3 when he asked for a minute of his time for a post-game quote for the Whig. So it goes. I also got my new/old friend Jon to sign my copy of his book, which he seemed delighted to see when I pulled it from my pocket.
I'm glad we finally got to meet and bond a bit over our mutual hobbies. Maybe we can do it again next year.