All New York Mets fan Gary Dunaier did was show his disapproval for his crosstown rivals. Four months later, the “Thumbs-Down Guy” got to meet the New York Yankees‘ player who adopted his inverted digit as the team’s rallying cry.
Dunaier surprised Todd Frazier on Saturday as they met each other for the first time at an autograph signing on Long Island. The free-agent third baseman greeted the 55-year-old fan with a hug.
“It was good,” Frazier told the New York Daily News. “He’s a nice guy, to finally meet him and he looks good, he’s playing the part off well. He looks like an upstanding gentleman, and it was nice to finally meet him.”
In September, when the Yankees were playing the Tampa Bay Rays in a three-game series relocated to the Mets’ Citi Field because of Hurricane Irma in Florida, a YES Network camera caught the bearded, suspender-wearing Dunaier making the disapproving gesture after Frazier hit a three-run homer.
Dunaier, who was in the second row behind the visitor’s dugout — occupied by the Yankees — was surrounded by a sea of Yankees fans. The clip of his thumbs-down gesture went viral, and Frazier and the Yankees embraced the gesture for the remainder of the season as they came within one game of advancing to the World Series.
“It was great,” Dunaier, who again was wearing his suspenders, told the Daily News about meeting Frazier on Saturday. “We chatted for a little, talked about the fate of everything and how it all worked out.
“Sports is entertainment. I’m happy I can bring joy to fans. It doesn’t bother me that much. Maybe if the Mets were good and were in [the playoffs], it would have been different. The Yankees turned thumbs-down into a good thing. It still means a bad thing for me.”