NOTE: I originally posted this in late September, 2013, but the topic has gained new life of late, due to Boomer Esiason picking up the cause on WFAN. Since many Mets fans checked out on the club by September of last year, I figured this post might be new to some of you. And for the rest of you, our loyal readers, the entire “2 Guys” staff wishes you a happy holiday — if, you know, that’s how you lean.
“The Mets are weird when it comes to honoring their players.”
— Comment from “2 Guys” Reader, Alan K.
Our faithful reader Alan made that remark in the comments section below a post about Mike Piazza. He is not the first one to make that observation.
And frankly, “weird” is a nice way of putting it. That’s sort of like describing Ted Bundy as irritable.
“Out of touch with the fans” might be another way.
“Stupid” would be another, if you prefer blunt force impact.
Ownership has rarely demonstrated the most basic understanding of the team’s fans. Time and again, they’ve neglected the club’s rich history and former stars. We saw this most clearly — and astonishingly — when those dummies opened up brand new Citi Field. We all walked around and said, “Yeah, it’s pretty . . . but where’s the Mets stuff?”
It’s such an old story it’s not even worth recounting. Real fans know: We respect the team’s history much more than the Wilpons ever have.
Mike and I are not the most well-traveled baseball fans, but between us, we’ve been to some ballparks . Each year, it’s a tradition for us to make a trip to catch the Mets in a new ballpark: Baltimore, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Washington, Philadelphia, to name some of places we’ve been. Next year we’re considering San Francisco.
There seem to be statues outside of every park. In fact, it’s a documented trend. Baseball statues are popping up all over the place . . . except, well, you know where.
Outside PNC in Pittsburgh, there’s a dramatic statue of Bill Mazeroski’s World Series home run. If that doesn’t satisfy you, there’s Willie Stargell, Honus Wagner, and Roberto Clemente. In Atlanta, there’s Warren Spahn, Hank Aaron, and Phil Niekro. The Nationals have statues of Frank Howard, Walter Johnson, and Josh Gibson.
On and on it goes.
There are statues of Stan Musial, Mike Schmidt, Craig Biggio, Frank White, Juan Marichal, Ted Williams, Minny Minoso, Nolan Ryan, Ernie Banks, Hank Aaron, Harold Baines, Dizzy Dean, Jeff Bagwell, Joe Nuxhall, Hal Newhouser, Willie Mays.
And still it goes on and on.
There’s Joe Morgan, Ted Kluszewski, Ernie Harwell, Eddie Murray, Earl Weaver, Johnny Bench, Orlando Cepeda, Kent Hrbek, Red Schoendienst, Cool Papa Bell, Harray Caray, Connie Mack, Luis Aparicio, George Brett, Tony Gwynn, Bob Gibson, Al Kaline.
What’s my point?
The Wilpons need to wake the f up.
It’s time for a Tom Seaver statue at Citi Field.
And while we’re at it: Gil Hodges. And you know what? Give me a Darryl Strawberry, a Bud Harrelson standing up to Pete Rose, a leaping Ray Knight. Let’s celebrate the great moments.
And yeah, Mike Piazza — that immortal home run swing on the first game back after 9/11 — let’s get that up there, too. In bronze.
Why do the most obvious decisions take these guys so many years to get right? It’s mind-boggling, the cluelessness. Right now, today, let’s retire Keith’s number. Mike’s, too. Let’s get statues of Gil Hodges and Tom Seaver out by the entrance. That’s before you even start thinking about it.
What is wrong with these people?
Below, a few images that I’d nominate as potential statues for outside Citi Field . . . I’m sure you’ll have more.
Fans will surely enjoy this great overview of more than 200 baseball statues by Erik Malinowski.