Demolishing Shea Stadium and building Citi Field was certainly unwelcome for some Mets fans. It marked a changing of the guard for the franchise and maybe even a sense for some of us that we would be left behind in history as fans of the “old” Mets that played at the “old” stadium. But I have to admit that before this season, I was really looking forward to going to Citi Field.
The surprise set in when we realized that Citi Field wasn’t really about the Mets, it was all about the Brooklyn Dodgers and Jackie Robinson. Sure, Robinson is an individual worthy of all the recognition that he gets, and more than we know. But there was something glaring missing from the new stadium… The Mets history!!! In building this new $800 million project, the Mets forgot that the Mets were going to be playing there and that they’ve had some history of their own.
Four and a half months into their inaugural season at Citi Field the Mets are beginning to correct that glaring problem. And I’m glad that they’re finally starting to make this into a park for Mets fans. It’s nice that Dodgers fans were so welcome until now but it seemed to come at the expense of their own fans.
The Mets are adding images of their own championship 1969 and 1986 teams and some of their great players that have come along in the last half-century. We’ll finally get to see the team’s championship banners in left field that were previously relegated to facing the street on the outside of the stadium like a forgotten and unimportant blip in history.
We’ll finally get to see images of Tom Seaver, Dwight Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, Keith Hernandez, and others that were strangely absent. It’s finally starting to feel like the Mets fans own this park instead of the team’s sponsors that are so prominently displayed both inside and out. The Pepsi Porch and the Subway sandwich sign that are more prominent than the team.
A big problem is being fixed. It’s just sad that the people that run this team were blind to the problem that was right before their eyes. Clearly, they’re out of touch with their fans. The only things that are still missing are a statue of Seaver outside the stadium and an ownership group that understands what this team is all about.