Baseball Convention Coming To Queens Bar Next Year

BY LUIS GRONDA
Staff Writer

Queens Baseball fanatics will soon get a chance to attend a Comic Con-like convention centered on America’s pastime. The first annual Queens Baseball Convention will be held on Jan. 18 at McFadden’s Citi Field, the bar and restaurant adjacent to the Mets home field.

The convention will feature a variety of events, including several panels discussing different topics like the Mets in Popular Culture and a presentation on the most unusual victories in Mets’ history, hosted by ESPN’s Mark Simon.

Earlier this week, Mets legends Ron Darling and Ed Kranepool were added to the convention’s itinerary. Darling and Kranepool will each host a one-hour question and answer session with fans, then spend another hour signing autographs.

The event’s organizer, Shannon Shark, said they wanted to make it a great event for the strong baseball community in the Borough and organized it like a fan fest or New York City Comic Con.

“The spirit of it is ‘let’s all get together in room and have fun,’” said Shark, who also runs a Mets fan blog, metspolice.com.

He said the idea for the convention came after he saw that hundreds of Mets fans would attend similar events in states hosted by other teams in Major League Baseball and that many of those same people would go to a convention if it was held locally. Having it at McFadden’s made a lot of sense, Shark said, because of its proximity to Citi Field and the convenience of public transportation.

Shark said adding Darling and Kranepool to the event adds more legitimacy because fans will get to see two Mets legends in person.

“Just to have them there makes it more than a bunch of folks having a party,” he said.

Shark added that he hopes people who attend walk away feeling like they got good value for their money and had a terrific time at the convention. He hopes to make this an annual event but it will depend on how it does this year.

Tickets for the convention are $35 for adults and $10 for children. It is scheduled to run from noon until 7 p.m. For more information on the event and to purchase tickets, log onto queensbaseballconvention.com.

Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, lgronda@queenstribune.com or @luisgronda.