I guess this is the new stadium equivalent of a do-over.
The Mets put out a press release over the weekend
announcing some more pronounced changes at Citi Field to recognize team history.
The Mets will now name prominent entrances into the stadium after Gil Hodges, Casey Stengel and Tom Seaver.
And they will name the bridge out in right-center field SHEA BRIDGE.
This is all great news but it is stunning that everyone else but the Mets realized this was a good idea long before Citi Field ever got built. As the saying doesn't go...Those who ignore the past are condemned NOT to repeat it. If the Mets want to be champions, they need to recognize their legacy and celebrate it, not auction it off in pieces.
Here is the full release:FLUSHING, N.Y. -- The New York Mets today announced plans to expand the
presence of club history at Citi Field next season in a variety of ways
including renaming areas of the ballpark after Casey Stengel, Gil
Hodges, Tom Seaver and William A. Shea.
The Mets also have re-formed the Mets Hall of Fame Committee, and will
increase the number of visuals commemorating great players and moments
both inside and outside the ballpark. The Mets previously announced a
2010 opening of the Mets Hall of Fame & Museum at Citi Field.
RENAMING OF AREAS IN BALLPARK The Mets will rename and visually
theme Citi Field's VIP entrances and outfield bridge after individuals
who made an indelible mark on the club. First Base VIP will be named
after Hodges to honor the manager who led the Mets to their first World
Championship in 1969. Third Base VIP will honor Seaver, the Hall of
Fame pitcher and Mets leader in wins, earned run average and
strikeouts. Left Field VIP will be named after Stengel, the first
manager in Mets history. The outfield bridge will be dedicated as Shea
Bridge, honoring the legacy of the man who was the driving force to
bring National League baseball back to New York after the departure of
the Dodgers and Giants.
METS HALL OF FAME & MUSEUM & HALL OF FAME COMMITTEE
The centerpiece for Mets memorabilia will be the Mets Hall of Fame
& Museum, located adjacent to the Jackie Robinson Rotunda and
accessible from both inside and outside the ballpark. A re-formed Mets
Hall of Fame Committee will evaluate potential inductees, and is
comprised of a combination of media members with a long-standing
connection to the club and Mets front office staff.
Media members on the committee are: Marty Noble, the Mets.com
beat writer who is entering his fifth decade covering the team; Gary
Cohen, the New York native and voice of the Mets on SNY who has been a
Mets broadcaster for 21 years; and Howie Rose, a Queens native and
radio voice of the Mets on WFAN who has covered the team for 21 years
on radio and television.
The Mets committee members are: Dave Howard, executive vice president,
business operations who has been with the organization for 18 years;
Jay Horwitz, vice president, media relations who just completed his
30th season with the team; Tina Mannix, senior director, marketing who
has been with the Mets for nine years; and former Mets pitcher Al
Jackson, a pitching consultant who is entering his sixth decade with
the Mets. Chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon serves as ex-officio.
"The re-formation of the Mets Hall of Fame Committee is central
to our concerted efforts to better connect our present and future to
our past," said Wilpon. "It reinforces the organization's and our fans'
shared desire to recognize our greatest players. With our 2010 opening
of the Mets Hall of Fame & Museum at Citi Field, now was the time
to bring this group together."
Candidates will be evaluated on their impact on the field while
in a Mets uniform, how they represented and affected the organization
and their place in Mets history.
The Mets Hall of Fame was established in 1981 with an inaugural class
of Joan Payson, the first Mets owner, and Casey Stengel, the first Mets
manager. The Mets Hall of Fame has 21 members including former players,
managers, front-office executives and broadcasters. Tommie Agee was the
last person inducted in 2002.
The following is the list of Hall of Fame members in order of the year they were inducted:
Joan Payson (1981); Casey Stengel (1981); Gil Hodges (1982); George M.
Weiss (1982); William A. Shea (1983); Johnny Murphy (1983); Ralph Kiner
(1984); Bob Murphy (1984); Lindsey Nelson (1984); Bud Harrelson (1986);
Rusty Staub (1986); Tom Seaver (1988); Jerry Koosman (1989); Ed
Kranepool (1990); Cleon Jones (1991); Jerry Grote (1992); Tug McGraw
(1993); Mookie Wilson (1996); Keith Hernandez (1997); Gary Carter
(2001); and Tommie Agee (2002).
The Mets will announce further details about the Mets Hall of Fame & Museum in the coming weeks.
IMAGERY & TEAM COLORS
Next season, fans will be greeted by Mets colors as they approach Citi
Field with full-color banners of Mets players on Mets Plaza in front of
the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. Mets logos will be added on entry points
to the parking areas and on the light poles in the parking lots. The
addition of team colors will continue inside the ballpark with
staircases painted with blue and orange and more Mets logos throughout
the ballpark. Flowers in the gardens at Mets Plaza in front of the
Jackie Robinson Rotunda will also be blue and orange.
"These additions amplify our commitment to better recognize our team's
heritage and honor the players and memories our fans cherish," said
Howard. "Ownership is acting upon our fans' desire to see more Mets
around the ballpark. We hear our fans loud and clear and these
additions continue the process that started last season."