Throughout the Mets 50th Anniversary Season, it has been my pleasure to once again watch my favorite team play almost an entire campaign in what amounts to their traditional home uniforms. Putting aside what transpired on the field this season, I still think the Mets looked Amazin’.
It is said and generally agreed, the Mets took Dodger Blue and married it with Giants Orange to form their scheme. That would make sense. After all, the Mets assumed the orange inter-locking N.Y. from the Giants. However I believe the fact New York City’s official colors being blue, orange, and white, played a larger role in the decision. After all, we are the Metropolitans. In any case, the scheme was quite the complimentary fit.
I am not old enough to have seen the Mets play minus numbers on the jersey fronts. When I was a child though, they still wore no names on the back. As much as Shea Stadium, or any player, game, or season, I long adored our beloved off-white uniforms trimmed in blue and orange. Watching my Flushing favorites frolic in their uniforms comprised half my experience. The men in them, and everything else for that matter, comprised the rest.
To me, back then the Mets uniform was still unspoiled and classic. But as I grew older and continuing still through my adult life, I grew jaded with the organization’s increasingly numerous uniform variations. When they went from button down to pull overs in the late 70′s, while I was young, I still wanted to vomit. Little did I know then about what lay ahead.
At best, I ignored the racing stripe of the 1980′s. Home or away, I similarly disliked the softball look. For me, our threads only got worse from there. In the early 1990′s, the team experimented with placing a tail off the S under METS. That wound up looking foreign and awkward to me.
The Mets trumped all prior changes when they made the fateful decision and faded to black for what I believe were (obviously) monetary minded reasons. Of course they were. The club tried surfing a wave cresting through sports at the time. Foremost in my mind, this represented the Mets first alteration to the team color scheme in their history.
On that note, allow me a moment to digress. Not because I’m a fan mind you, but I just happen to think the New York Mets logo is among the top five in all of Baseball. As a matter of fact, I feel the Mets logo falls second only to that of the St. Louis Cardinals‘ birds on a bat. Did you know, legend has it back in the early 90′s former General Manager Al Harazin wanted to swap everything blue in the logo for the color black instead? The only thing that stopped them was the potential fan backlash. They couldn’t have speculated more correctly. I would have led the march on Roosevelt Avenue with torch and pitchfork myself. One last item before moving away from the logo – I would greatly appreciate if the team returned the little orange inter-locking N.Y. that used to be positioned in the lower left portion. Thank you in advance.
Back to the uniforms, if fading to black didn’t seem distant enough, woe to Mets fans and damn their history. Fred Wilpon proceeded to take away our pinstripes, opting instead for a neo-Dodgers all white design. This uniform came to dominate the Mets appearance in recent years. To my dismay, the games reserved for wearing our old pinstriped look were not just polluted by black highlights – wearing of the old pinstripe look effectively became an obscure ticket purchase pushing event.
The varying uniforms are all about generating revenue. I get that. They can sell anything they want in the gift shop. Fans will buy it if they like it. Heck, I own two alternative design jerseys myself, and one of them is black. I even have an idea for my own design.
That said, I stress upon Mr. Wilpon, do not let the Mets golden anniversary season turn into a singular tease. When it comes to the players on the field, I want them dressed in off-whites, with pinstripes, and blue and orange piping/highlights. Do not effectively abandon the Mets traditional look again. Please, if you’re so inclined and as a matter of mercy, no more black. Just give us our old traditional look back and leave well enough alone.