Dwight Gooden signed a wall in the Ebbets Club at Citi Field and the Mets are treating it as if it were "unwanted graffiti".
It's bad enough that there is not enough Mets history on display at the new Mets ballpark. If the Mets tried to remove Gooden's signature from the Acela club, it would still be tone-deaf. But Gooden signed his name in the EBBETS club.
If you are going to have a club honoring an old New York stadium, why not one for Shea? And what about the Polo Grounds, where the Mets actually played?
When the Mets place another team's history ahead of their own, something has to change.
Matthew Cerrone of Metsblog has written about this topic, and while I agree with much of what he has to say, I have a fundamental disagreement with one of his views, a view that, if shared by Mets' management, gets to the heart of the problem.
…i can understand the Mets not wanting to leave the signature, but i also like that gooden did it… so, instead, the Mets should take their queue from doc, and the fan reaction, and set something up like this elsewhere in the ballpark, where current and former players can ‘leave their mark,’ so to speak…
So far, so good. But here's the part I take issue with:
…i have seen a lot of complaints from fans who feel there is not enough history in Citi Field… i get that, but, with all due respect to the team i love, the Mets have a subtle history, so i can understand why the team presented in a subtle way…
Subtle? Mets' history is anything but subtle. The most famous teams, players and events can be summed up in a couple of words:
Gets by Buckner!
Ya Gotta Believe!
Nothing subtle about any of those!
i mean, if they went overboard with it, people would probably make fun of them for honoring a checkered past, and if they did what they did, they get ripped for not doing enough… where is the balance… i am not sure… i do feel it’s more than they have, but i think too much would be silly…
I agree with this part, but there are plenty of ways to honor the past without going overboard.
Supposedly the Mets are planning a Mets Hall of Fame. There have also been suggestions about retiring more numbers.
To me, that's where you start to go overboard. It's almost like the Mets planning their own Monument Park.
But just because the Mets have not had a lot of Hall of Famers does not mean they have not had a lot of history. Why not focus on years?
Imagine an area dedicated to 1986. Photos and video of players and games. And an area devoted to 1969. Perhaps these areas could have some historical context as well - the Mets winning at the time of the moon landing, Woodstock and the Vietnam War.
Personally, I am mixed on honoring the 2000 Subway Series, but it is part of the Mets history, and it could be done in the context of other Subway Series. This would also be a way of honoring the Dodger and Giant past without putting it front and center.
Another way to acknowledge the city's baseball past is an exhibit on the birth of the Mets. Rather than only glorifying the Dodgers and Giants, let's show them leaving town, and let's remind fans why Bill Shea's name was on the old stadium. This exhibit could also feature the 1962 Mets, still nationally known as a symbol of futility, but also as a beloved new team helping to heal the broken hearts of National League fans.
The more I think of it, some sort of Mets Hall of Fame does make sense. But you would have to limit the number of players and, well, not have any character clauses!
At least the Apple (both old and new) and Mr. Met are at the new ballpark. And it is great to see the old scoreboard skyline above Shake Shack.
But so far, the only mementos the Mets have been willing to bring over to Citi Field have nothing to do with what actually happened on the field. It's time for that to change.
What would you like to see the Mets do at Citi Field to honor their history?