NEW YORK — Jason Clinton couldn’t sleep on Wednesday night.
“I kept thinking to myself, ‘What if I made a wrong turn?’” Clinton told Yahoo! Sports.
Better known to New York Mets’ fans simply as “Jason,” Clinton served as Rajai Davis’ Uber driver, taking the journeyman outfielder from the Hilton Garden Inn in Allentown, PA to Citi Field.
The trip took 2 hours and 20 minutes (5:34 p.m. to 7:54 p.m.).
It cost the Mets $283.86 (with a $47.31 tip).
And it turned out to be extremely memorable — for both Davis and Clinton, who earned $231.57 and plenty of praise for his efforts.
After getting promoted from Triple-A Syracuse, Davis belted a three-run homer in his first at-bat as a Met — the eighth-inning blast serving as an exclamation point on the team’s 6-1 victory over the Washington Nationals.
“Oh, we got to know each other,” Davis said of Clinton after the game. “We had a good conversation, me and Jason. We were hanging out.”
Clinton told Yahoo! Sports he’s gotten more than 500 messages from Mets’ fans on Facebook.
“It’s crazy,” said the 41-year-old father of four who resides in Allentown, PA but grew up a Mets’ fan in Brooklyn. “I’m still on cloud nine. It’s overwhelming. It’s humbling. It’s brought back my love for baseball that I haven’t seen in awhile.”
Clinton is a part-time real estate investor who also “shows people how to create and financial freedom through passive residual wealth.”
But on Wednesday — for just the third time since last June — he decided to drive for Uber.
He’d been working for about three hours when he got a request to pick up Davis “about 10 minutes from my house” in his Acura MDX. Triple-A Syracuse was in town to play Triple-A Lehigh Valley, the Philadelphia Phillies’ affiliate.
Davis had his Mets’ bags with him, and Clinton put them in the trunk. But he didn’t realize who Davis was — or that he was headed back to “The Show” — until about 5-10 minutes into the ride.
Uber driver Jason Clinton got a photo with Rajai Davis after dropping the Met off at Citi Field.— Mike Mazzeo (@MazzYahoo) May 23, 2019
After finding out Davis homered, Clinton couldn't sleep last night, telling Yahoo! Sports:
"I kept thinking to myself, 'What if I made a wrong turn?'" pic.twitter.com/zn8wis34Ur
Clinton loved Dwight Gooden and the Mets growing up but got sick of baseball after going to all his brother Art’s games as a kid.
“I told him good thing these are Mets’ bags, because if they were Yankees’ bags you’d have to ship them,” Clinton said. “I didn’t even realize what was happening.”
It wasn’t until Davis said he needed to call his agent that Clinton was able to piece it all together. Once Davis got off the phone, the two began chatting.
“I asked him about playing in the minors,” Clinton said. “He said you meet some people that are bitter but you just have to keep your head on straight. He said he learned a lot in the minors. He talked about the changes he made as a hitter. And we just talked about the MLB teams he’s been on.
“He’s a great guy. He’s very humble. He’s a player I’d think most teams would want.”
Clinton considers himself a bit of a “speed demon” driver who likes going fast but “something told me to just drive more responsibly.”
“When we got there, (Rajai) was like ‘Gate G,’ and after that I don’t know where where we’re going,” Clinton said. “I kept saying, ‘Rajai’ to the security people and they were like, ‘come this way, come this way.’”
Before they parted ways, Clinton asked Davis for a picture — and the newest Met was happy to oblige.
“The guy who took it was like, ‘Do you want the (Citi Field) sign in the background?’ And I’m like, ‘Of course I want the sign in the background,’” Clinton said.
Clinton didn’t find out that Davis had went deep until he got back home.
“It brought a tear to my eye,” Clinton said. “I googled his name and saw the clip of the home run. I couldn’t believe it.”
Clinton wrote on Facebook: “I was Rajai Davis’s Uber driver. I just dropped him off for his first game as a Met. He was playing the local minor league team and got called up to play in the big leagues and need a ride and I got the request! He got suited up and rocked a 3 run homer at his first at bat!”
No wonder he couldn’t sleep.