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Mets show off Players Choice gear

Mets show off Players Choice gear

NEW YORK -- Prior to Tuesday's game against the Colorado Rockies, the Major League Baseball Players Association unveiled the Players Choice Signature Series -- a set of merchandise designed by six Mets players for their fans -- that will be sold exclusively at the Players Clubhouse Store at Citi Field and on MLB.com.

Daniel Murphy, Bobby Parnell, J.J. Putz, Omir Santos and Gary Sheffield were on hand to model their own gear. John Maine, the sixth Met to take part in the project, was not available due to his shoulder injury.

The players designed T-shirts, jerseys and hats with consistent themes, working with Steve Wolff of Majestic in partnership with Aramark and Twins.

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"We found we could make really fresh, dynamic products that reflect the personalities of the players," said Judy Heeter, the MLBPA's director of business affairs and licensing. "It also sounds like the phones are ringing from other players and other teams who want to do the same thing."

Murphy built off his Irish heritage by infusing the Mets' classic road look with both the color green and a logo of a clover over his signature.

Parnell went with "earth tones" -- brown with camouflage lettering -- to give his merchandise an outdoors look that is big in his native North Carolina.

Putz strove for a patriotic feel, going with a camouflage jersey with red, white and blue lettering. Putz also produced an elaborate T-shirt design with his name in gothic letters above two eagles and a home plate bearing the Mets' interlocking "NY" logo.

Santos paid homage to his native country with a Mets logo that integrated the Puerto Rican flag in the background. His T-shirt consisted of a big picture of Santos in catching gear.

"I just wanted to see myself on a T-shirt," Santos joked.

Sheffield's jersey utilized a black pinstriped look with an elastic collar and the racing stripes down the shoulders and sides from the Mets' uniforms of the 1980s. The "10" on the back of the jersey includes a picture of Sheffield in action -- an idea the designers thought was particularly cool. Sheffield also made sure to include a logo celebrating his 500th home run, which he hit on April 17 at Citi Field.

Maine's gear showed off both the New York skyline and Mr. Met. Even though Maine wasn't there on Tuesday, it was his merchandise that was generating the most interest from fans early.

The players worked closely with Wolff, throwing out ideas before settling on themes, sketching designs and finally seeing them come to life in the attire they modeled proudly, if a little awkwardly, on "the catwalk" on Tuesday.

All five of the players present agreed that the project was a lot of fun to work on; they couldn't reach a consensus, however, as to whose merchandise was going to sell the most.

"Nobody's going to beat J.J.," Sheffield responded immediately.

"The guy on the end is going to do okay," Murphy replied, pointing at Sheffield. Putz added that Sheffield had the unfair advantage of sporting a logo for his 500th home run.

Tim Britton is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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