Written by Scott Clinco and Christy Hinko, Farmingdale@AntonNews.com Thursday, 11 July 2013 00:00
On Sunday, June 30, on an overcast afternoon, former Mets and Yankees outfielder Lee Mazzilli stopped by Cheeburger Cheeburger in Farmingdale to sign autographs for more than 50 fans of all ages.
Fans, most of them wearing sports themed apparel, came out to see Mazzilli. They were called for their meet and greet with Mazzilli, table-by-table. This allowed Mazzilli to be personable with all the people that showed up. He had conversations with some and posed for pictures with anyone who asked.
One conversation that stood out was when Mazzilli took a few minutes to talk baseball with a little leaguer who appeared to come directly from his baseball game as he still had his uniform on.
“Cheeburger Cheeburger is a sponsor of the New York Yankees, so this was a kind of return gesture from them, to have a local alum stop by and sign some autographs,” said Co-owner Tom Falcone, of the Farmingdale location of Cheeburger Cheeburger. “We had a nice turnout, a great mix of long-time fans who have followed Mazzilli’s career, and about 20 little leaguers and their parents.”
Mazzilli was a first round pick of the Mets in the 1973 draft and played for the Mets from 1976-81. After that, he had a couple stops with teams, including the Yankees for the 1982 season, before coming back to the Mets late in the 1986 season. During that season, the Mets won their second World Series.
Mazzilli retired from baseball following the 1989 season as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays. After retiring from baseball he acted a little, once portraying Tony, in the off-Broadway production of Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding.
After taking about a decade off from baseball, Mazzilli made a return to the game, from 2000 until 2003, when he served as the first base coach for the Yankees. Following that, he was hired as the manager of the Yankees division rival, Orioles, from 2004. In 2006, he returned to the Yankees as the team bench coach. This would be the last year in his coaching career.
Following that season, Mazzilli was hired by the Mets network, SNY, as a studio analyst where he remained until the end of the 2008 season.
Cheeburger Cheeburger regularly gives back to the community. The Farmingdale location is a local Police Activity League (PAL) team sponsor.
On Sunday, July 21, the Farmingdale Cheeburger Cheeburger will hold its 3rd annual car show, partnering with the Knights of Columbus. The all-day show, which expects to draw more than 400 classic cruisers, will benefit the Sunrise Fund at Stony Brook.