No tribute to the Mets in the new ballpark
When Citi Field opened in 2009 all Mets fans were excited for a new beginning even though it meant the closure of Shea Stadium. After the long wait for the new ballpark finally, it was time to get an inside glimpse of Citi Field.
As the season went by and more and more fans went to games a lot of fans had the same questions. Where is all the Mets history?
When you first walk in you see the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, which was put together great with the statue of Jackie Robinson’s number 42, who broke the color barrier in the MLB. It then has the escalators to lead you up to field level of Citi Field but when you get up there you do not see any Mets history.
The Mets were an expansion team of the two former NL New York Teams, the Brooklyn Dodgers, and the New York Giants so the Jackie Robinson Rotunda was a nice touch since Jackie Robinson was a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers.
They did a great job of showing what the Mets were before they were the Mets but we did not see anything of the actual Mets. Nothing for the 1969 or 1986 World Serie teams, no hallway of Mets legends.
Now Fred Wilpon grew up in Brooklyn as a Dodgers fan so of course, there was nothing wrong with Dodgers and Giant’s reference but the fact that he had no Mets history had fans in a frenzy. Fred Wilpon did admit to maybe going a little overboard with the Dodgers references though.
During an interview with Jeffrey Toobin in the New Yorker Fred Wilpon admitted:
“All the Dodger stuff—that was an error of judgment on my part,”
Jeffrey Toobin said it best in his article:
“When Citi Field opened, the Brooklyn focus drew some criticism. After all, the Dodgers left Brooklyn in 1957, and Ebbets Field was demolished shortly thereafter. Only the very oldest fans have any first-hand memory of the place. The Mets, who had been in existence for almost a half century, were virtually ignored in their own home.”
The very next year in 2010 Citi Field introduced the Mets hall of fame and museum. The Wilpons took to the fan’s criticism and began to give them what they wanted. The museum included several displays including autographed memorabilia, original scouting reports on players such as Darryl Strawberry, and handwritten notes from Casey Stengel who was the first manager of the Mets.
As years went by Citi Field added more and more history of the actual New York Mets which pleased the fans.