Today marks 23 years since the infamous ejection of Bobby Valentine at the New York Mets vs Toronto Blue Jays game.
Valentine was ejected in the 12th inning after arguing about a catcher’s interference call that was made by the umpire. In a fit of range Valentine left the field and returned to the dugout with dark sunglasses and a fake ‘mustache’ made from stickers.
Though Valentine thought his plan of being ‘disguised’ was going to work, broadcasters quickly recognized him and blew his crafty cover.
As a result of being caught in this ridiculous disguise Valentine was fined $5,000 and suspended for two games as well. Now 23 years later Aaron Krolnek and Carlo Colaiacovo of First Up took a look back with former Mets general manager, Steve Philips on the ejection.
“It was really frustrating because I knew the league was going to act on it,” Philips said. “People got a chuckle out of it but I got a call from the league president and he was livid.”
Bobby Valentine’s past history with disguises
Though the incident may have seemed like a one-off situation with the fiery manager, this isn’t the first time that he dressed up in a phony disguise.
During his time as manager for the Texas Rangers, Valentine was suspended for a game, but dressed up as a fan, and snuck into the stadium to watch the game. That time his cover wasn’t blown so easily.
Philips, who recalls working closely with Valentine, also spoke on the difficulty of managing his behavior.
“I was always putting out fires around him and he was a really hard guy to manage,” Philips said. “What made him great was that passion but it also got him into trouble.”
Valentine who played in the league himself for 10 years (1969-1979) had that passion and love for the game that you see now as a broadcaster.
Even if that means dressing up in phony disguises to watch your team play and help them win.