Pelfrey makes slim Santa for holidays
Mets righty played part for club's party for New York-area kids
NEW YORK -- Mike Pelfrey might not pass the Christmas test. But then, how many among us can identify the Three Wise Men -- Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthasar -- without an assist from Google. But Pelfrey knows the spirit of the day and the season. So when the Mets called and asked whether he'd be a stand-in for Santa Claus at the club's annual party for New York City school kids, Pelfrey's response was an immediate, "Yes."
From his home in Wichita, Kan., to Flushing is a long trip, by plane or sleigh. But Pelfrey wanted to be there "to see their faces" and maybe their reactions to a slim, 6-foot-7 Santa. "I fit down chimneys pretty easy," he said last week.
Before he left for Citi Field, Pelfrey shared some pre-Christmas cheer and thoughts with MLB.com.
MLB.com: You have any worries about fitting into the suit? You know John Franco used to wear it, and he was decidedly shorter than you.
Pelfrey: I think they're getting another one.
MLB.com: And what about your physique?
Pelfrey: Well, I think I'll need some padding. And if anyone asks, I'll say I'm on a health kick, trying to lose weight.
MLB.com: What about your own Christmas, your first as a married man? How will you spend your day?
Pelfrey: We'll be home first, then probably we'll be at Angela's parents, then mine, then maybe back to hers. Everyone lives in Wichita, about 20 minutes apart, so we can get around to see everybody without much trouble.
MLB.com: You getting up early on Christmas?
Pelfrey: A little early, maybe, but nothing like when we were kids. My brother and I would have to wait for my parents, but we'd put little rips in all the presents so we knew what we were getting.
MLB.com: Any peeking at your house?
Pelfrey: I don't know. This is our first one.
MLB.com: Do you shop early?
Pelfrey: Never. I'm the last-week kind of guy. I have to wait till Angela drops a few hints. I'll get better at it after a few years.
MLB.com: What do you want for Christmas?
Pelfrey: I'm not sure really. I'd like to get a computer desk for our computer at home. I've got a laptop. But I'd like to have a desktop and a desk to go under it. I mean, I could go out and buy one, but I think she'll do it. We need some stuff in that room. We've got a flat screen, but it's not up yet.
MLB.com: What about in a baseball sense? What would you like to get?
Pelfrey: I'm getting into memorabilia a little. That'd be cool. And you know, I always wanted to have a locker on the wall with all the starting pitchers at Shea. But I never got one. I'm not sure what it's going to be like at Citi Field. Maybe they'll have a wall for pitchers. If they do, I hope I'm over there with Johan (Santana) and Mainer (John Maine).
MLB.com: Well, there is something you could do that connects memorabilia and your desire for a locker on "Pitchers Row" at Shea. And it could be a piece of furniture for your computer room. Three things in one. I don't think (Tom) Seaver's locker's been sold yet. It was the one Aaron (Heilman) had the last two years. Seaver had it, so did (Ron) Darling, Franco, David Cone and Steve Trachsel.
It'll cost you $41,000, though.
Pelfrey: Forty-one? Angela's an accountant. I don't think that's going to fly with her. No. I'm sure it won't.
MLB.com: Then what? What do you want?
Pelfrey: Back to the memorabilia. That stuff is cool. ... I was a big Braves fan -- (Tom) Glavine, (John) Smoltz and (Greg) Maddux. David Justice was my idol.
MLB.com: You planning on creating one of your own? Mike Pelfrey memorabilia?
Pelfrey: Someday maybe. You've got to make a name for yourself first. I'm working on that.
MLB.com: What's the one present you'd like to give to someone?
Pelfrey: I've always wanted to get my parents a real nice house. I'd love to do that for them.
MLB.com: All right, Michael. Now the tough ones: What's your favorite Christmas carol?
Pelfrey: Ah. ... Name some. ... "Joy to the World."
MLB.com: How much of it can you sing?
Pelfrey: None. I've got a terrible voice. ... Plus, I just make up my own words.
MLB.com: And your favorite Christmas song?
Pelfrey: "Jingle Bells."
MLB.com: You don't make up words for that, I hope.
Pelfrey: Nah, I'm good on "Jingle Bells."
MLB.com: How many of the reindeer can you name?
MLB.com: Comet ... aaaaand?
Pelfrey: Cupid. Cupid, right?
MLB.com: OK. Any more?
Pelfrey: Wasn't there Blitzen or something like that?
MLB.com: Yeah and a Vixen. And we'll give you Rudolph.
MLB.com: OK, Michael, that's it. You're off the hot seat. I thank you for your time. Enjoy your Christmas. See you in Port St. Lucie (for Spring Training).
Pelfrey: OK. Yeah. Merry Christmas to you. I'll see you down there.
Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.