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Mets legend Mookie Wilson is now in the catering business

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Mookie Wilson’s appearance at the Mets’ fantasy camp this month in Port St. Lucie, Florida, was a different experience for him than years past.

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Not only was the famous former outfielder a familiar face who called up memories of the franchise’s last World Series winner in 1986, more importantly, he made sure everyone was fed.

Meet Mookie Wilson of Legacy Catering, a company that Wilson and his family founded this year.

Wilson, 66, considers it a perfect fit for himself, three brothers, and a son-in-law. In addition, protégé Wilson Preston—a former Mets player (he was traded to the Marlins in the deal that brought Mike Piazza to the Queens)—serves as CEO. The East Coast mobile catering company travels for various events.

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Mookie Wilson serves a meal she cooked to Doc Gooden at a recent Mets fantasy camp.
New York Mets

“My brothers were preparing to retire from their regular jobs and I’m semi-retired, so we tried to find something we could do together to keep our progress,” Wilson said. “We all love to cook. It’s a family thing. We’ve been cooking for years for churches and organizations. We wanted to do something different. We didn’t want a restaurant. I wanted to move, so we decided to try something mobile.”

The name “Legacy” is a tribute to Wilson’s mother, whose recipes he uses. Specialties include Southern cuisine, macaroni and cheese, rice dishes and sweet potatoes, Wilson said.

Wilson grew up in a large family, and he said he and his siblings had no choice but to learn about the kitchen.

Mookie Wilson works hard at cooking meals with his Legacy Catering business.
Mookie Wilson says his love of cooking dates back to his youth in South Carolina.
New York Mets
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“When you have a family of 12, half of them go to church and the other half stay home and cook,” said Wilson, a native of Bamberg, South Carolina. “That’s the way it was, because the car couldn’t carry all of us. Someone had to stay home. When I was playing in the minor leagues and in the big leagues in spring training, during my off time, that’s what I did, I just tried certain dishes.”

Legacy’s first big event was a tailgate before the Hudson Valley Renegades game in September. The Wilson Mobile Kitchen is an outdoor trailer designed by the family that measures 11,000 square inches. A tent can be put up on top if the weather is bad. Ovens, smokers and fryers are all on board.

The Mets fantasy camp presented a unique challenge for Wilson and his family as it involved serving four meals over several days. Food was cooked on the trailer outside and in the facility to serve 170-220 people on a given day. Dwight Gooden, Ed Lynch, Andy Chavez, Lenny Harris, and Glendon Roush are among the previous contestants who have dabbled in it. The last meal was a Thanksgiving meal that included smoked turkey.

“My family thoroughly enjoyed it because we used to cook for people we knew,” Wilson said. “It was the first time they really experienced people they didn’t know, but people from my world, and it was so much fun. The only thing we really enjoyed was watching people enjoy food, and these people can eat. They eat a lot. When they come to participate in the assistants Second and third, that was really the good test. That was a good sign.”

A view of the Legacy Catering mobile kitchen, which is an outdoor trailer.
A view of the Legacy Catering mobile kitchen, which is an outdoor trailer.
New York Mets

Legacy already has several events in the works for the upcoming spring and summer, according to Wilson, including a potential stop at the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate in Syracuse. Wilson hopes that he will eventually be able to showcase his culinary talents in the parking lot of Citi Field.

Still an ambassador for the Mets who occasionally appears on the field, Wilson is fascinated by the direction the team is heading.

“The club has really gone above and beyond what I thought they were going to do last year,” said Wilson. “But it was good to see the growth of young players, and that’s what you have to look for. I think we’re in really good shape for years to come.”


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Beltran and the ballot

Carlos Beltran’s career numbers compare strongly to those of Hall of Famer Andre Dawson and Beltran’s postseason resume is among the strongest of his generation, just adding to his case for a plate at Cooperstown.

Carlos Beltran of the New York Mets fouled off the field during a game against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Carlos Beltran’s Hall of Fame case is complicated by his connection to the Astros cheating scandal.
Anthony J. Causey

You just wonder how long the former Mets player is – who now appears on his first Hall of Fame ballot – He’ll have to wait for the honors for his role in the Astros’ sign-stealing scheme.

Timing is everything, and Beltran had the misfortune to appear on the ballot so soon after the Astros cheated. By the time players like Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa retire and qualify for the Hall of Fame, the memories will be gone.

Former Mets closer Billy Wagner He won 51 percent of the vote last year, to continue his continuous rise towards the elections. Candidates need 75 percent of the Baseball Writers Association of America vote. If Wagner can reach 60 percent this year, it will put him on a solid footing for the last two years of his eligibility on the BBWAA ballot.

Hot training item

Mets assistant hitting coach Jeremy Barnes is said to be a hot commodity this season, and team officials are considering a title change that could prevent him from leaving. At the end of last season, the Mets signed Eric Chavez as hitting coach, and Barnes, respected for his analytical approach, transitioned from player development to the No. 2 hitting coach role. It’s not clear if the Mets are considering elevating Barnes to prominence and rehiring Chavez, But the coaching staff is still in a state of flux.

Beltran was recently approached to gauge his potential interest in a coaching job, but has indicated that he is not interested in serving in that role.

A dinner worth trumpeting

New York Mets manager Buck Showalter (11) congratulates New York Mets pitcher Edwin Diaz (39) after defeating the Atlanta Braves on August 4, 2022.
Mets manager Buck Showalter and closer Edwin Diaz will be honored at this year’s New York Baseball Writers’ Dinner.
Robert Sabo

After a two-year absence, the New York Baseball Writers’ Dinner returns to the Hilton Hotel in midtown Manhattan on January 28.

The Mets will be represented by Buck Showalter (who will be presented with the National League Manager of the Year award) and Edwin Diaz, who was named a “Good Guy” award winner for his interaction with the media.

Radio Mets voice Howie Rose and columnist Mike Vaccaro were among the honorees. Although this is a Mets newsletter, we’ll also mention that Aaron Judge will be named MVP of the League.

Ticket information is available at NYBBWAA.com.

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