Bases weren’t the only things apparently being stolen at Citi Field.
Former Mets clubhouse manager Charlie Samuels was charged Wednesday with allegedly hoarding some serious team swag, including 507 jerseys, 304 hats and 828 baseballs appraised at $2.3 million, authorities said.
Samuels, 53, was also charged with embezzling nearly $25,000 in inflated expense reports and failing to report more than $200,000 in income. He faces up to 25 years in jail.
“This is a case of the equipment manager leading the National League in steals,” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said in a statement.
Samuels, who joined the franchise in 1976, was fired last fall after his name emerged in an investigation by the NYPD into sports gambling. But the 21-count indictment unsealed Wednesday in Queens Supreme Court includes no gambling charges.
According to the Queens district attorney, Samuels had been storing the Mets memorabilia in the basement of a friend’s house in Connecticut “for his retirement.”
Samuels was released on a $75,000 bond Wednesday. His attorney, Michael Bachner, said he was “authorized” to take the items home with him.
“This indictment barely made it to first base,” Bachner said.
The Mets in a statement said it “cooperated fully” with authorities.