They’re stepping up to the plate.
Two Brooklynites will showcase their Mets fandom on SportsNet New York’s “Beat the Booth with Gary and Howie” later this month.
Andrew Padaetz of Marine Park and Anthony Furia of Bensonhurst will each appear on an episode of the trivia show, facing off against Mets broadcasters Gary Cohen and Howie Rose in a test of their allegedly encyclopedic knowledge of the Amazins. One contestant is ready to unleash a half-century of accumulated trivia, he said.
“I just turned 50 a couple of months ago, and it’s just a lifetime of knowledge I’ve been able to collect,” Padaetz said. “I’ve been playing a game since I was a little kid that lists all the players and their statistics and how they are on defense and offense. Therefore, you’re able to get a lot of knowledge about players.”
This is the second year the network has aired “Beat the Booth,” but it is the first time producers have allowed fans to audition as individuals. Last year, fans had to compete as pairs and the rule sidelined Padaetz and Furia. But the network changed the rules this year, and Padaetz and Furia taped their appearances on June 14.
The game was a chance to test knowledge against the true authorities, Furia said.
“They’re the best of the best, and to face off against them, I thought, it would be an awesome experience. Having so much knowledge of the Mets, I thought I would give it a crack.”
Padaetz and Furia were, of course, anxious to prove their allegiance by answering questions correctly, but they also made sure that their outfits drove the point home — Padaetz sported a custom-made jersey to the taping and Furia donned Yoenis Cespedes-esque arm bands.
“I think that for anyone that tries out and goes through the process, you want to show a little bit of your fandom,” Furia said of his clothing choice. “And I wear my fandom on my sleeves, literally. It was just to show how die-hard of a Mets fan I am. You want to go out there and just show that you can represent your fans in a great light.”
Between the two of them, Padaetz and Furia have been to more than 200 Mets games. They’ve witnessed World Series championships and World Series losses. They’ve got favorite in-game moments and memories that will stick with them forever.
Padaetz cites the ’86 championship, which he watched at his sister’s house in Bay Ridge, as his favorite. Furia, on the other hand, remembers the final game at Shea Stadium with his father, walking away after the game ended with the man who first introduced him to the team.
Such moments inspired both men to audition for “Beat the Booth,” and no matter what happens on the show, it’s those moments that will keep them cheering for this team.
“I have a picture of myself — I must have been maybe or 2 or 3 years old — and I’m in a stroller and there’s this Mets fanny pack on top of the stroller,” Padaetz said. “I almost had no choice — being a Yankee fan is easy, being a Mets fan builds character in my opinion.”
Their episodes of “Beat the Booth” air June 28 and June 30 at 10:30 pm, immediately following Mets Post Game on SportsNet New York.