Robert Barone loved Art Shamsky. So much so that the Everybody Loves Raymond character named his dog “Shamsky.”
For the real-life Shamsky, that name has followed him for the better part of the last two decades.
“That dog in Everybody Loves Raymond, for those who might know, it was this ugly bulldog that they neutered,” Shamsky said, speaking at the Jericho Chamber of Commerce’s March meeting. “I had to deal with that my whole life—having a bulldog named after me. I get more questions about that dog than I do about baseball.”
The former New York Mets star joined fellow World Series winner Ed Kranepool at the Jericho chamber’s monthly meeting on March 20, at the Milleridge Inn. For the former baseball stars, it was a time to reminisce about the amazing time they had in Flushing.
“1969 was certainly memorable for us,” Kranepool, who was with the Mets for 18 years, said. “The Mets are bringing a bunch of guys back in June, and we’re going to have some fun. It’s exciting to share with everyone.”
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the 1969 World Series champion Mets. This wasn’t just another World Series win for New York. But it was a remarkable moment in all of sports history.
The team was previously known as the “lovable losers” just because of how bad they were. But 1969 changed the lives of players and fans alike.
“To turn it around like we did in 1969 from a team that finished last or a half-game out of last,” Shamsky said. “I have the distinction of making the last out of the only game we lost in the World Series. I think the reason why everyone’s remembered it as time has passed on is because of where that team came from. The second thing that’s important to remember is what was happening in the country and the world. What we did as a team was to make people feel better.”
Todd Shapiro, founder of the Jericho Chamber of Commerce, put the event together as part of the group’s regular monthly meetings. He wants this to be a different type of chamber.
There is no membership fee for the chamber, and all events are free to attend. The chamber was created in December, and is expanding throughout the area.
Not only were the two formers Mets at the meeting, but they were greeted by Jericho’s own Third Harmony band. The trio of women played “Take Me Out To The Ball Game” to welcome the two former Mets stars, which was a hit for all who were in the room.
And to top it off, during the question-and-answer session, someone even took out an album called The Amazing Mets, featuring several players from the 1969 team who decided to show off their singing voices. Yes, that album was indeed signed by both Shamsky and Kranepool.
Said Shamsky, “Our lives changed after 1969, and in a good way.”
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