Sunday, February 10, 2008

Karl Ehrhardt AKA "The Sign Man" Passes On.

Karl "The Sign Man" Ehrhardt (Feb. 7,1924 - Feb. 7, 2008) died Thursday. Ehrhardt was one of the New York Mets most visible fans, and an icon at Shea Stadium during the team's rocky start through the 1960's. Several times during games, Ehrhardt held up large signs with sayings that reflected the Mets' performance on the field, and echoed the fans sentiment off of it. Ehrhardt wasn't afraid to criticize the team's front office of the times, once holding up a sign labelling Shea Stadium as "Grant's Tomb", referring to the team's miserable play, and M. Donald Grant, the team Vice President.

Karl Ehrhardt was a fixture at Mets games from 1964 through 1981, famous for holding up tailored signs after key plays that displayed his pleasure or frustration with the team from his box seat behind third base at Shea Stadium.

Ehrhardt was born in Unterweissbach, Germany. He moved to the United States when he was six years old and later served as a translator for U.S. forces during World War II.

He graduated from the Pratt Institute with a design art degree after the war and worked for American Home Foods.

A commercial artist from Queens who grew up in Brooklyn rooting for the Dodgers, Ehrhardt said he "adopted the Mets" in 1962, the year the franchise was born, five years after the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles.

When Shea Stadium opened in 1964, the Sign Man set up shop, running his business of baseball barbs from a box seat behind the third-base dugout. Long before television coverage and giant scoreboards became littered with never-ending distractions, the Sign Man was the only sideshow in town.

He took roughly 60 signs to each game; he once owned as many as 1,200, but only 12 remain. The letters were white paper spray-glued onto black cardboard measuring 20 inches high and 26 inches wide.

He is survived by a daughter, a son and two grandchildren.


Captain54 said...

Are You ready for some bseball
Its still a little cold but Im ready
also how did you get WFAN on your blog?

Tyler Florence (Ty Flo) said...

Hell yeah i'm ready for some baseball, and Jon Young put WFAN on my blog, he runs Shea Nation if you wish to contact him about it.