So the son of our close friends had his Bar Mitzvah this past weekend.
The wife and I thought about gifts. Thought and thought and thought. Everyone gives money. Some give Judaica. But we wanted to go unique. Funky. Cool. When I had my Bar Mitzvah (1985, Mr. Kisco Holiday Inn, baseball themed) the most memorable present was, oddly, a Stray Cats record from Chris Suppa. I played that thing 1,000 times; always remember Chris handing it to me, wrapped with a bow.
Anyhow, Ben is a big-time sports fan. A big, big, big Mets fan. The wife found Met cufflinks online, and I immediately flashed back in time, picturing myself as a 13-year-old kid opening a box of cufflinks. Yawn.
“No,” I told her. “No, no, no.”
Then I had an idea. I remembered, a few years earlier, reading about Thuzio, the website started by Tiki Barber. The general idea: For X dollars, one can get athletes to do different things. Play golf with you. Attend a birthday party. Feed strawberries to your wife while lying naked atop a Ralph Tresvant poster (OK, maybe not that). “What if we could get a Met to …”
The wife was with me. So we hit up Thuzio. R.A. Dickey will appear at your event for $20,000. Um, no. Willie Randolph will attend a game with you for $7,500. Um, no. Justin Turner will play golf with you for $5,000. Um, no, no, no …
Then we came upon Mookie Wilson.
For $100, Mookie—great player, great guy, legendary Met—would record a personalized message.
“What do you think?” I asked the wife.
“I love it,” she said.
But it had to be … different. So I wrote a script and read it to the wife. “He’s not gonna do this,” she said.
I texted my pal Erik Sherman, who co-authored Mookie’s recent autobiography (an excellent read, by the way). I explained that it would make Ben’s day; that it wasn’t ridiculing Mookie in any way, blah, blah.
He wrote back, saying Mookie was game.
The video arrived yesterday—I couldn’t stop watching it. I love it. I love Mookie. Erik told me the former Met outfielder really wanted to do it right. And he did. It’s pitch perfect, beautifully done, filled with decency and my new all-time favorite gift.
Big props to Mookie Wilson.
And Mazel tov.