I really hope someone in the Mets front office was watching Yankees Old-Timers Day on Saturday because it was really good stuff. And it should spur the Mets to reinstate their own day to honor their veterans.
I was watching in a bar without sound, but even with those limitations, I could tell it was a really fun and emotional day. Seeing legends like Whitey Ford and Reggie Jackson, watching the tribute to the ailing Mel Stottlemyre — all I could think was “why can’t the Mets do this.”
The Mets used to have Old-Timers Day every year, but one year, it just disappeared.
“It was particularly unpopular as a promotion,” then-Mets executive vice president for baseball operations Dave Howard told The New York Times back in 2009. “We didn’t see an increase in ticket sales or interest from sponsors or even from people who already had tickets. It died of its own unpopularity in the early ’90s.”
That may be true then, but my guess is that it would be extremely popular now. The cynics say the Wilpons just do not want to spend the money to stage the event. Given their behavior, it would be hard to argue with that.
In my opinion, this goes to the Mets unfathomable unwillingness to embrace their history. From the Dodgers shrine that is Citi Field to not retiring player numbers, Mets management seems to not want to look back at the team’s past.
The Mets have been around for 50 years. They have been to four World Series, winning two of them. There have been some incredible memories, both good and bad, over the years. They should be celebrated, not ignored.
Mets fans would love to see Dave Kingman and John Olerud on the same field — maybe they would discuss who had the sweeter swing. Or Bud Harrelson and Rey Ordonez standing at shortstop together. Or Tom Seaver and Johan Santana — that would be a hell of a picture.
Mets fans love their team, and despite the Wilpons’s best efforts, they love their history. It is time for the team to finally honor it.