Ever since Citi Field opened, there’s been controversy over the fact that the team named their rotunda after Jackie Robinson. The controversy and complaints didn’t stem from anyone feeling that Robinson was unworthy of such an honor (he certainly is). No, the issue was the fact that some fans felt naming the rotunda after the former Brooklyn Dodger was only done because of Fred Wilpon’s Brooklyn Dodger fandom.
Here’s how I see it: the Mets are descendants of both the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants. With the Mets came the return of National League baseball to New York. Since the Dodgers are part of the Mets’ heritage, naming their rotunda after one of the most important figures of the Civil Rights movement – an extraordinary man and Hall of Famer who both lived and played in Brooklyn – seemed entirely appropriate. Still, there were those who complained the Mets didn’t care at all about their connection to the New York Giants. Perhaps those people will stop complaining now.
Today on Mets.com, Paul Post put together a tremendous writeup on the restoration and coming reopening of the John T. Brush stairway at the old site of the Polo Grounds. The project cost nearly $1 million, and was funded by the Mets, Giants, Yankees, and Major League Baseball. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
From atop Coogan’s Bluff, above and behind the Polo Grounds, the stairway went from Edgecombe Avenue, between 157th and 158th Streets, down to the ticket booths behind home plate. The stairs also gave people a way to reach the Speedway, a once-popular Harlem River promenade, in addition to seeing some of baseball’s greatest and worst teams, from John McGraw’s Giants, who played in nine World Series from 1903-24, to the 1962 Mets, who lost more games than any team.
Once the restoration is complete, there is expected to be a re-dedication ceremony (perhaps on July 9th, to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the original opening of the steps). Fans of the Mets should head over there once the site opens, as the steps are the only remaining remnant of the stadium where the franchise was born.
Be sure to click here and check out the full article from Paul Post. It’s a great read.