Hang around the “Metsophere” long enough and you’ll meet some characters. Warren Fottrell, better known as “Warren Zvon” was one of the good ones.
You’ve probably seen Warren’s work out there; he’s the creator of hundreds of custom virtual baseball cards showcased on a website he called “Baseball Cards Like They Oughta Be” and a terrific Mets fan who professed to be among the throngs who, as teenager, stormed the Shea Stadium grounds following their 1973 playoff victory over Cincinnati. His cards reflected the Topps styles of his youth but covered a wide range of ballplayers, eras and events, frequently bleeding into his other interests in music, history and pop culture, many of which we also shared (Todd Rundgren and the Beatles, for example). His work had a zany, colorful, DIY energy to it; you’d never mistake it for a product of a polished studio, it was far too passionate, personal and funny for that.
I’d come across Warren first as a participant at Crane Pool, where a bunch of us have been good-naturedly enduring the Mets virtually for close to 20 years (please join us!). He was quick with a graphic for any occasion there and though never asked to, invariably created thoughtful and personal cards commemorating events like birthdays. I’m not even scratching the surface of the kind of things he could do. Though I never met him personally– I didn’t even know his last name until today–he was a good kind, wildly creative guy who I found out only this morning passed away earlier this month at age 62. He’d evidently been battling health issues he never talked much about.
Here’s to Warren and the rest of us who find creative ways to turn an often pointless and unsatisfying passion of following a sports team into a way of expressing themselves and enriching the experience for others. Warren’s work said all that and more.
PS– Guillermo Heredia is here. He wears No. 15. Let’s leave the 2020 Mets obituary for another day.