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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Mets Team Store Finally Sells Last Oliver Perez Jersey To Mysterious Stranger

Walking around CitiField one readily sees many jerseys worn by Mets stars. The place is awash with David Wright, Jose Reyes, and Johan Santana memorabilia. Even retired Mets get their due as many a Keith Hernandez, Darryl Strawberry, and Doc Gooden jersey can also be spotted.

But as of Thursday afternoon you could almost never spot an Oliver Perez jersey at the Mets' home park.  That may have changed today.

We spoke to Skip Beauworthy one of the assistant managers at the Mets Team Store at CitiField who was just ecstatic that he finally was able to move the last #46 Oliver Perez jersey.

"We had a pool going on among us workers here.", said Beauworthy. "I had September 2nd. Almost hit it right on the head but Vince over there pocketted the $65 while Ira is pissed since he had 'it'll never sell' in the pool and thought he had it locked."

As it turns out, moving Oliver Perez jerseys has been a problem for the Mets for months.  The team first tried to shoot them out of the t-shirt cannons but fans began tossing them back at the party patrol.  They also tried removing the number four and marketing them as Timo Perez throwback jerseys but fans complained about the six being off-center.  Even simply displaying the Ollie jersey was more complicated than you would think. Beauworthy admits that he regularly had to clean spit stains off of it.

"The product never sold but we did have to have it cleaned and ironed several times a week. Just keeping it here was costing us."

For the Mets, it was like trying to sell Mussolini jerseys in Italy in the mid 1940's.  That is until a mysterious stranger walked into the clubhouse shop on Thursday morning. "There was something familiar about him but I couldn't put my finger on it.", says Beauworthy.  "He had one of  those handlebar mustaches on and a t-shirt that said 'Not Oliver Perez' on it."

Skip went on. "He circled that sucker over and over. And then he went to the price tag. You have to understand that we sell most of these jerseys for $99.99. We've been marking this one down every week.. So by the time the man, who told us his name was Juan Smith, bought it we were asking just $35.25 and we threw in an Alex Cora bobblehead doll that was left over from earlier in the season.  It was a net loss but all in all it was worth it just to get rid of it."

The irony of his statement stuck with us.

We asked Skip if that was the toughest item he has had to try and sell. He shrugged and then pointed over to the corner of the store and asked plaintively, "You wouldn't happen to be interested in a Luis Castillo jersey? I can get you a hell of a deal on it."

All articles featured on The Apple are fictitious. No Mets were harmed in the writing of this story. Today's story by Larry Smith and Randy Medina.  You can follow Larry Smith on twitter @dr4sight

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