One of the world's funniest people is also one of the world's biggest baseball fans.
Comedian Jerry Seinfeld says he thinks about baseball all the time and that he's fascinated by almost anything related to the sport and to his favorite team -- the New York Mets.
Seinfeld is currently preparing for the fifth season of his popular web series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, and producing "single-shot" mini-episodes on various topics, the next of which, on marriage, will be on the site Thursday afternoon.
We talked to Jerry on Wednesday and got his thoughts on all things baseball.
What was your first baseball memory?
It's a cliché, but walking through the tunnel at Shea Stadium of a night game, seeing that color -- the green and the seats and the lights. My cousin, who was much older than me, took me. My dad wasn't a sports fan. I was probably 10 or 11, and when those lights hit you and you see the green grass -- that's my first really powerful baseball moment. I remember getting a new pair of sneakers and saving them for that day, because I wanted a new pair of sneakers for my first time going to see a baseball game. They were white Keds.
When did you get really into it?
I was 11 or 12 years old. We had a huge orange La-Z-Boy recliner downstairs in my house on Long Island, and I just started watching the Mets. I fell in love with them instantly. I never liked the American League. The Yankees weren't my kind of team. I loved the Mets, the players they had and the way they played. I still love them.
How did you gravitate to having Tommie Agee as a favorite player?
Believe it or not, I was very fast when I was a kid. And I still love anyone that's fast. I love speed. He was one of the great ball hawks of his time. He had a great running style. I also like stylish guys. Also, 1969 with those two catches in the World Series -- he was fun to watch.
Who are some of your other favorite players?
I'm a huge [Curtis] Granderson fan right now. I love [Jacob] deGrom and [Matt] Harvey. I'm hoping Harvey comes back fully. He seems like a great competitor, which I like.
What was your evolution as a fan like as the rest of your life evolved?
There was a period of time in which I really immersed myself in the world of nightclub comedy. When I descended to that world -- there's a line in "The Producers" where Max Bialystock says to Leo Bloom, "In the days to come, you'll see very little of me." That's what happened to me as a stand-up. I just wanted to learn this and be this. I left baseball for most of the '70s and early '80s, and in the mid '80s once I was a real touring act, I really liked that '85 World Series -- Kansas City and the Cardinals. A great series.
Then I started relating my life to their life. The life of a stand-up comic is very similar to that of a baseball player. You perform on this 85 to 93 percent level on a daily basis. You can't give 100 because you've gotta do it every day. When you're that road comic and doing it twice a night or three times a night, the obvious analogy to the season of a baseball player. It's an everyday thing and an up and down thing. It's all about having a short memory and being in the moment of that game.