NEW YORK — New York Mets All Star pitcher Jacob deGrom was at the 113th Progressive New York International Boat Show to talk about his passion for fishing.
The 29-year-old visited the Mercury Marine booth at the Jacob K. Javits Center on Thursday, signed autographs, met with fans, and traded fish pictures with other anglers who gathered in the booth.
One photo depicting deGrom showing off about a 5-pound largemouth bass while wearing his toddler son in a front carrier made fans laugh when deGrom mentioned that his son had cried when touched the fish — “It was slimy,” deGrom said.
“He’s such a passionate boater and so passionate about fishing,” said Mercury Marine spokesman Lee Gordon. “He reached out to us over the summer. He grew up fishing in Florida with his dad and always ran Mercury engines so it’s a brand that has always been near and dear to him.”
DeGrom, who has a 21-foot Back Country powered by a 250 Mercury Pro XS, said he worked with Mercury on getting a new engine recently. “I’m excited to be part of the Mercury family,” deGrom said at the show.
The pitcher wound up talking as much about his hair as he did boating, fishing or baseball, having recently cut his long hair off for the first time since 2010.
“Everyone has been asking me that today,” deGrom said, laughing, when asked why he chopped it off. “I guess I just got tired of it.”
DeGrom's starts with the Mets led to the trending hashtag on Twitter of "#hairwego." His hair inspired a promotional "Jacob deGrom Hair Hat" giveaway at Citi Field during the 2016 season. After learning that an unnamed MLB hitter said that deGrom's hair made it harder to pick up the ball out of his hand, the DeLand, Fla., native said that he would never cut it, according to Wikipedia.
But deGrom kept the focus on boating and fishing when he could.
“He fishes four times a week during the off season and is so curious about the industry, so it was a good chance for him to go to the show and meet our team and some of our customers,” Gordon said. “He spent time with Whaler, Formula, Busters Marine — he definitely made the rounds and he loved the conversation as much as they did. I think everyone was impressed at how passionate he was about fishing.”