Mets World Series Champion Mookie Wilson starts catering business

Mookie Wilson steps up to the plate again.

36 years after his key role in the team’s 1986 World Championship win, the long-retired Mets fan favorite swapped out his old No. 1 jersey for a chef’s shirt. The 66-year-old Wilson, along with half a dozen family members, recently launched Legacy Catering, featuring Southern-style cuisine in their home state of South Carolina.

“I’ve always been cooking, even when I’m playing,” Wilson told the Daily News. “I was cooking in the rooms at spring training, experimenting with different dishes. Some worked, some didn’t… and after I retired, he gave me something to do that I really enjoyed.”

The crew, including four Mookie brothers, son Preston and son-in-law, prepare for a big party in November: Catering at the annual Mets Fantasy Camp in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

What can campers expect? More than just autographs, promised Wilson, who credits his mother for his culinary skills. In addition to feeding her family, she has cooked for years in the South Carolina school system.

“The legacy is there for a reason,” he said of the company’s name. “Who are we, how we eat, how our mother taught us how to cook. Food is a lot of things we grew up eating and eating, just modified. This is our inheritance.”

Mookie Wilson (far left) with his four brothers/business partners.

The menu will feature beef, pork, ribs, chicken, and the family’s signature pineapple cake.

He said that making the new business a family affair helped things run smoothly at first for the formerly retired Wilson brothers.

Much easier, much easier,” said the 12-year-old veteran who spent 10 years with the Mets. “Before we got started, we sat down and said ‘let’s make this a more fun experience than just making money.

“It makes it a lot easier just having people you can count on to get things done. It’s really fun.”

Mocky Wilson's Catering Legacy

No conversation with Wilson is complete without mentioning the 1986 World Championship alongside his Mets teammates Keith Hernandez, Daryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden and Gary Carter. It was the Mookie guard down the first baseline who slipped through Red Sox member Bill Buckner’s legs to win the sixth game, with Amazin taking the title at the end of the series.

Breaking news

Breaking news

as it happens

Get updates on the coronavirus pandemic and other news as it happens with free email breaking news alerts.

Wilson and the late Buckner ended up being close friends and business partners, and they agreed to call each other and appear side by side when offers came for paid appearances. The two made it to the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode with Larry David, where Buckner arranged for Muki to join him.

“He called me and made me do a great look,” Wilson said. “It was the greatest feeling, I really enjoyed it. I miss being around and talking to my dear friend.”

Mookie Wilson's signature pineapple cake

The imaginary camp date arrives after the brothers have spent years preparing meals for family and friends, Wilson said, all for free.

“We were cooking for neighbors and churches, and my brothers and I decided to make it official instead of doing it for nothing,” he said with a laugh. “We’ve always been cooking, and we’ve never had a dime.”

The family recently held a tailgate for the Hudson Valley Renegades mini tournament in Fishkill, a kind of warm-up for the Florida event.

Mookie will double duty at the week-long fantasy camp, serving as chef and coach to a throng of fans who gather for a chance to hang out with some Mets from the past.

“I don’t think I, as a player, understood the impact of the game on people,” he said. “Now that I’m a fan, not a player, I appreciate that now more than ever.”

Leave a Comment