Earlier this week, with the Tampa area still recovering from Hurricane Irma, the Yankees and Rays played a three-game set at Citi Field in Queens. During Monday's game, Todd Frazier launched a three-run home run to left field -- and as he rounded the bases, one fan decided to express his displeasure via one very nonplussed thumbs-down:
It didn't take long for the above fan to become an Internet sensation, and in just a few days, the Yankees themselves had adopted the gesture as a group celebration. But one question still remained: Who was this guy? Was he a Rays fan? Frazier's lifelong nemesis? Since the game was played at a neutral site, we couldn't say for sure.
Until now, that is. Thanks to some intrepid reporting from the New York Daily News, we now know that the famous thumb belongs to 54-year-old Gary Dunaier, a 54-year-old court office assistant from Queens. Even better: He's a Mets fan.
"So just spur of the moment I came up with idea of just standing up and making the thumbs down gesture," he said. "A simple little thumbs down and all of a sudden it's become so popular. It's like a meme."
Dunaier has Mets season tickets up in section 538 at Citi Field, but with prices lowered for the Yankees-Rays series he decided to purchase seats two rows behind the New York dugout. And, even though he didn't mean the gesture as a compliment, he's not sweating how things turned out.
"I meant it as derision and they're taking it as a positive thing," he said. "That's funny. It's hilarious. What else can you say, you know?"