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New York Mets History

New York Metropolitans: 1887 Season Preview

Mar 28, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; A young New York Mets fan waits for an autograph prior to the spring training game between the New York Mets and the St. Louis Cardinals at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 28, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; A young New York Mets fan waits for an autograph prior to the spring training game between the New York Mets and the St. Louis Cardinals at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
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Mutrie and Day made it painfully clear back in 1883 that owning members clubs in both the National League and the upstart American Association would mean a precarious existence for one, namely our Mets.

Sure enough, our fears were promptly confirmed.  Immediately after leading us to the 1884 American Association pennant, Mutrie revealed his true allegiance by flipping circuits to manage the Gothams (although he calls them the Giants now), and taking our star pitcher Tim Keefe and third baseman Dude Esterbrook along with him.

And so began Day’s and Mutrie’s hasty process of divesting themselves of their American Association enterprise, and the club they originally co-founded back in 1880.

It is for all these reasons I still feel betrayed.

But, if only that were all the matter.

Last year proved beyond all doubt our Mets no longer lay in hands of qualified men possessing a requisite passion for this fine and uniquely American institution we call baseball.  Negotiating the Metropolitans into the hands of this Canadian carpetbagger shall always stand as Mutrie/Day’s supreme act of chicanery.  For which they shall never earn my forgiveness.

Twelve months have elapsed since Mr. Erastus Wiman purchased the club.  Today I still remain beside myself; dismayed.  And like many of you, I’m wholly unwilling to repeat last year’s ordeal.

Contempt continues running high over his uprooting the Mets last season, and replanting them on some forsaken farm across New York harbor.

But for those of you still willing to venture out, good luck in year two of this unacceptable, and completely untenable situation that quite literally wreaks to high heaven!  Allow me being the first to admit, a bug is as a bug does.  And under ordinary circumstances, I’d agree there’s no better place for a bug  than loitering on some crowded sun-baked cow patty in the middle of Staten Island.  But I propose what Mr. Wiman asks of us Metropolitan baseball bugs is just plain ghastly.

Perhaps due to hailing from north of the border, Wiman fails to realize we now play in the age of well-regulated, standardized grounds and ball fields with grandstands.  So what does this man do?   He places the club right back on a farm.

A farm, I say!  A far away farm on Staten Island!  In the name of Gen. George Washington, Staten Island has remained nothing but farmland ever since British occupation ended in 1783!

I’m sure I speak for all Manhattan Valley bugs and cranks when I say the Metropolitans belong back at the converted polo grounds in Harlem.

In all sincerity, if Mr. Wiman keeps them in Staten Island any longer, I fear they’ll fail to exist beyond this season.  Of that I feel quite certain, and my reasoning is sound.

Firstly, because there’s maybe 5,000 people on the entire island?  Who, or from where will the Mets draw enough folk to sustain this club?  As stated before, I for one will not repeat last year’s voyages to Staten Island.  Many local rooters have also expressed that ferrying to Mets games as a matter of routine is completely out of the question.

Secondly, baseball is not Erastus Wiman’s passion, nor is it a major concern.  His misguided and unsustainable business plan involves developing the remote St. George area and surrounding farmland.  As such, the Mets simply exist for enticing folks into ferrying across the harbor, where they’ll be exposed to Wiman’s speculative concerns first.  Baseball in Staten Island, therefore, is a mere ruse.

All this being said, I still committed myself to the 1886 season with an open mind.

I would be lying if I told you I did not find ferrying across New York harbor most enjoyable.  Blue skies, a warm sun, and grand views, all made for pleasant travel.

I was also relieved upon arriving, if not surprised, discovering many of my fellow bugs  awaiting entrance for the first ever Opening Day match at the St. George cricket grounds versus the Philadelphia Athletics.

Scuttlebutt says attendance reached upwards of 5,000 persons, making me think for a split second there’s hope for these Mets yet.  However, I assure you the moment was fleeting.  The Mets bowed to Philadelphia by a 7-6 margin.  Meanwhile, the ensuing long ferry ride back (plus the trek back up to Morningside Heights) provided me ample time for deep reflection … and not necessarily for the better.

My ranting and foreboding predictions aside, there is still Mets baseball to play.