Part 11: New York Mets
As alluded to in the opening piece, the Mets have one of the least objectionable corporate name for a ballpark, at least of those names without an existing tie to the franchise. Citi Field sounds good, simple, and could easily be mistaken for a name without a corporate tie-in if not for the unfortunate spelling. On a related note, it took me several years before I realized the first wave of corporate-monikered NBA arenas in Salt Lake City, Phoenix and Chicago – the Delta Center, America West Arena and United Center – were named after airlines. They sounded so generic, not much different than the Memorials and Municipals of old.
The Mets’ former home, Shea Stadium, is almost certainly the stadium I’ve spent the most time in, between Mets and Jets games attended as a young lad. I haven’t been to Citi (or its crosstown and, it seems, inferior cousin built at the same time), but I hear it’s nice. I wish they hadn’t caved into pressure and pulled the outfield fences in, as others have done, which has only contributed to the K or HR frenzy in today’s game.
There should be no shortage of options for potential names, though I’m asking Jim to give Fred Wilpon the old Base treatment so we’re not inundated with some variation on Ebbets Field.
Here’s the Mets thread – hold the self-immolation.
Name: Citi Field, 2009-present.
Other ballparks used by club in its current city: Polo Grounds, 1962-63, Shea Stadium, 1964-2008. Also, Mets’ National League forebears New York Giants played games at various stadia named Polo Grounds 1880-1957, and while Brooklyn Dodgers played at Washington Park 1883-1891, Eastern Park in 1892-1897, Washington Park (the sequel) 1898-1913, Ebbets Field 1913-1957.
Distinctive Features: Shea Stadium favorite, the apple; Jackie Robinson Rotunda, one of the park’s many nods to Wilpon’s Brooklyn Dodgers fetish; Shea Bridge.
In 2012, Johan Santana threw a reverse Galarraga, benefiting from a blown call by third base ump Adrian Johnson to toss the first no-hitter in club history in the team’s 8,020th game.
Later that month, R.A. Dickey tossed a Vander Meer Light, blanking the Orioles 5-0 for his second-straight one-hitter. Four months later, he’d capture the Cy Young Award.
Still later that year, David Wright singled to center in the fourth inning against Pittsburgh, which mercifully allowed him to pass Ed Kranepool as the club’s all-time hits leader.
In 2013, the Mets hosted the All-Star game for the first time in 49 years. As this was during the It Counts era of the contest, the American League’s 3-0 victory gave the Junior Circuit HFA in the World Series, allowing the Red Sox to win the Fall Classic on home soil a few months later. Thanks.
In 2015, Eric Hosmer, the major leaguer who most closely resembles one of those evil snowmen Calvin used to build, raced home from third on a ground ball to Wright, scoring when Lucas Duda’s throw from first sailed wide of the plate. The run tied Game 5 with two outs in the top of the ninth, and the Royals would later score five in the outward half of the 12th to win the first all-expansion World Series.