Podcast: Adam Blejer

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Here’s what I know about Adam Blejer: He is a passionate Mets fan. He is kind. He is honest. He values giving, not taking. He is talented — and wants to use his gifts to make people smile.

It is those character qualities that make Blejer an exceptional ambassador for the New York Mets fan base — and the franchise.

Blejer is our featured guest on Episode 01 of the new @MetsRewind Podcast series, My Story, which chronicles the experiences and the New York Mets fan.

In 2018, Blejer scratched his creative itch when he pooled his passion for the Mets and his passion for art to create @FacesofMetsFans account on social media. Since its inception, the platform has generated more than 4,000 followers on Instagram. But, more importantly, the content has given Mets fans a face and a voice to share their stories of growing up Mets.

In the beginning, Blejer said the working routine was simple: Take the train to Citi Field. Spend 2-3 hours meeting and collecting stories from Mets fans during the pre-game tailgate. Off to work.

“Maybe I’d hang out if they gave me a beer or a burger or something, but then I would go and I’d get the next one,” said Blejer.

But, remember, Blejer is a creative and a people pleaser, so his work has evolved. He purchased a portable printer that spits out 4×6 prints and hundreds of clear sleeves. Blejer said, after he takes his photo, edits it and posts it on Instagram, he connects to the printer to his phone, prints it, drops it in a clear sleeve and gives it to his subject.

“They freak out. Every time. Every single person freaks out,” he said. “I’ve actually taken this concept and just applied it to my personal photography.”

He walks away from the experience leaving Mets fans smiling, time and time again.

So simple, yet so personal and memorable.

The world could use a few more Adam Blejer’s right now.

INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT

The following transcript is no exhaustive, but select highlights from this interview. For the full interview, listen to the podcast above this section.

MetsRewind: Did you grow up a Mets fan?

Adam Blejer: I didn’t grow up in an immediate family that was big into sports. So for me, as a young kid, I was very much interested in the Knicks. That was my team. I mean, they’re still my team. But I’m most dedicated to the Mets and second would be the Knicks, but I’m a huge Giants fan.

I think by my second year high school, I started hanging out with a group of friends that was way more into sports. That’s when I really started learning about those sports, how they’re played all the rules and I really dove in a lot deeper into every sport. I started researching the Mets, minor league blogs, the major league blogs, reading everything I could learning about everything … I became really passionate really quick and I went to Shea Stadium a lot.

MR: Are there games in your memory that when you think back just give you goosebumps?

Blejer: I know exactly where I was watching Endy Chavez made ‘The Catch.’ I was sitting at Beachmont Bar in New Rochelle. I’ll just say I wasn’t drinking at the time.

MR: You started @FacesofMetsFans in April 2018. Since then, you have attracted more than 4,000 followers on Instagram. How did that start?

Blejer: I had a camera, I had a computer …and I would photograph people whenever we had parties and I loved it because I was somewhat of an introvert. I just didn’t understand like socializing. It was a challenge for me throughout high school … it was a hobby at first. I never thought I wanted to do it professionally.

The photography I do for Faces and Mets Fans is simple. It’s it’s right to the point. My whole goal was to just go get stories and as soon as the game started, head home. So I came to Citi Field and honestly, by the time I got back, I got about 20 stories and I was blown away by like the amount of support.

I think the real a-ha moment was the final story of that day, which was actually on the subway ride home.

So headed back … I’m like super happy. I’ve never felt more positive about myself than after that day. I felt like I found something that like really, really, like I wanted to stick with. On the way back on the 7 Line, some guy dressed in  all black was just sitting there, looked at me.

I was wearing all my Mets gear and had my camera and was like, ‘Hey, you headed to the game?’ I said, ‘No, I’m headed home. I’m coming from the game.’ I told him I was like, I started this project today called Faces of Mets Fans. I’m going around getting photos and stories from people, from Mets fans. He said, ‘I got one for you. I was at Game 6 of the ‘86 Series.’ I was like, what?

So I pulled out my phone, let’s get one last one, you know? And he starts looking up into the empty void space that is his memory, like upwards. ‘I stayed until two outs in the 10th, then I got up to leave because I wanted to beat the traffic.’ I was like, oh my God, are you kidding me? And I kept quiet, but I was like, biting my knuckles. Like I wanted to scream … ‘So I left and then I got into my car and I turned on the radio to hear the end of the game and you hear roar … and I’m just stuck in the car, still in traffic …’ And so he finishes it with a great line. He says, ‘I was there stuck in traffic for a half hour, listening to history that I just walked out on …’

That was when I knew I was like, this is something I’m gonna be doing for a long time. That was the story I think I was really hunting for.

MR: You have been creating content for @FacesofMetsFans for a little over four years. You’ve met hundreds of Mets fans. What have you learned about Mets fans on this journey?

Blejer: The two things that have been the most impactful thing for me is realizing firsthand how valuable it is to just be in a state where you’re giving without any expectation of return. But it’s about the immediate from an emotional standpoint, from a confidence standpoint, from a character standpoint. Then it’s honestly also been an immediate from like the tangible standpoint. Every Mets fan that I go up to, I get a story from, even some that don’t give me stories, are quick to want to gimme a beer or a burger. I’ve gotten tickets to go into the games. It’s really powerful.

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National League baseball in New York was redefined on March 6, 1961 when the New York Metropolitan Baseball Club Inc. formally received a certificate of membership from leave president Warren Giles.

Of the 30 Major League Baseball clubs today, the case could be made that no other team has a more compelling franchise history than the New York Mets. MetsRewind is designed for that purpose: To share team history in a distinct and entertaining format. We hope you — the baseball fan — enjoy the content. We encourage you to share your memories.

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