Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Time for the Mets to get over their Brooklyn Dodgers fetish

Squawker Jon, I see that your Mets finally did the right thing and decided not to erase Dwight Gooden's autograph from Citi Field. Now the team will cut out the wall with Gooden's signature, move it to a part of the park accessible to all fans, and get other Met legends to sign the wall.

"We got a lot of calls on this and it was a topic on [sports radio] all day, so we're going to listen to the fans," Mets PR chief Jay Horwitz said last night.

If only Sandy Koufax had signed the wall next to Gooden - the Mets would have been bronzing that signature, and this never would have been an issue in the first place!

At any rate, it shouldn't have come to this. Horwitz should have realized he was being silly in suggesting that keeping Gooden's signature up would encourage fans to write on the walls when Michael (No Fun) Kay agreed with him.

Squawker Jon, you wrote some good suggestions for who the Mets could honor their past. It's one thing to honor Jackie Robinson, whose story is all of baseball's story. It's another thing for your team to treat this field as the Dodgers' East Coast pad.

I don't understand why your team's ownership seems to worship the Brooklyn Dodgers more than the Mets, down to having an "Ebbets Club" in Citi Field, given that the Mets were actually more popular than the Dodgers were. And no, that is not a typo.

The Dodgers won the pennant four times in five years in the '50s, and nearly won the pennant in 1951, yet the most they drew per game back then was a grand total of 16,444, in 1951. Most years, they drew between 13 and 15 thousand a game. Remember, Ebbets Field held 32,000, yet they weren't even able to sell that out.

It's hard to say whether it was the advent of television, or fans not wanting to have to wear hats, coats, and ties to the ballpark, but the attendance was putrid.

Of course, Brooklyn eventually got fans to show up - in people's memories and stories about the good old days. Put it this way - if even 1/10th as many people who claimed to be diehard Brooklyn Dodgers fans actually went to the games, fans would have been waiting on line from the Brooklyn Bridge to get into Ebbets Field!

And believe it or not, the New York Giants' attendance was even worse back then - they drew between 8 and 13 thousand in the Polo Grounds in the 50s.

The Mets may have had pathetic teams in the 60s, but at least attendance-wise, they still did better than the Brooklyn Dodgers, the New York Giants, and even the New York Yankees.

Once Shea Stadium (you know, the place that Frugal Freddy and the Mets management want to forget about) opened in 1964, the Mets drew over 20,000 people a game for over a decade, outdrawing the Yankees even in 1964, when the Yanks won the pennant.

It took The Trade, and the Mets falling into the cellar in the late '70s, for the team's attendance to temporarily fall down to, um, Brooklyn Dodgers-like levels. But once the Mets got good again, thanks to players like, um, Dwight Gooden, the guy who the Mets management wanted to erase from the wall, the team's attendance averaged between 34 and 38 thousand a game.

Even in their worst years in the mid-90s, the Mets still outdrew the Brooklyn Dodgers in their so-called Golden Age. And over the last three seasons, the Metropolitans averaged 46,000+ a game. Not bad for a team whose ownership seems embarrassed to own it!

What do you think? Leave us a comment!


Anonymous said...

Ms. Swan, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent blog entry were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this internets is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Mark Gomes said...

You hit the nail on the head! Mets management has to accept that the Brooklyn Dodgers and Giants have left NYC and moved west they are gone. I understand it is the memories of their childhood and adolescence that is driving their need to glorify their past, but the past 47 years has not always been smooth but has been great. The Brooklyn Dodgers and NY Giants mean little to nothing now to the majority of the people of the city and absolutely nothing to Mets fans. The shape of the stadium being like Ebbets field is wonderful and the Jackie Robinson Routonda is historical, but after that it should all be the blue and orange of the Mets along with pictures and memories of past great Mets like Gil Hodges, Tom Seaver, Mike Pizzia, the whole 69 and 86 teams, Rusty Staub, etc. Heck even Bob Murphy, Ralph Kiner and Lindsey Nelson. I don't mind sharing some of the past but when I walk into the home of the Mets I want to know where I am!!!

Jonmouk71 said...

Good use of Billy Madison, Anonymous! One thing that I don't understand about all this - Robert Moses offered Walter O'Malley the site in Flushing Meadow for a new ballpark in '56 and one of the reasons O'Malley turned him down because he didn't want to become the "Queens Dodgers". If Wilpon wanted a true shrine to the Dodgers, Citi Field should have been built in Brooklyn, not across the street from Shea. Having a shrine to the Brooklyn Dodgers or the New York (Manhattan) Giants in Queens is ludicrous. Citi Field should be a Mets ballpark with a passing nod to New York's National League heritage. Or maybe the Yankees should have built the new Yankee Stadium as a shrine to the Highlanders.

Anonymous said...

ultimately, who cares? shea was a big old piece of crap that they couldn't tear down fast enough as far as i am concerned. we have a nice new ballpark, one in which they will make new memories, more good than bad i hope. if freddy coupon wants to build an $800 million shrine to the dodgers, so be it. it is his money. go and enjoy the shiny new place and quit complaining. it could be worse, shea could still be standing!

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