Changes are afoot at Citi Field and according to the team’s website, the Mets announced plans to expand the presence of club history at Citi Field next season. This was no doubt spurned on by the thousands of disappointed fans who felt the park paid more homage to the Dodgers than it did to the Mets.
Here are some of the key changes as described on Mets.com
RENAMING OF AREAS IN BALLPARK
The Mets will rename and visually theme Citi Field’s VIP entrances and outfield bridge after individuals who made an indelible mark on the club. First Base VIP will be named after Hodges to honor the manager who led the Mets to their first World Championship in 1969. Third Base VIP will honor Seaver, the Hall of Fame pitcher and Mets leader in wins, earned run average and strikeouts. Left Field VIP will be named after Stengel, the first manager in Mets history. The outfield bridge will be dedicated as Shea Bridge, honoring the legacy of the man who was the driving force to bring National League baseball back to New York after the departure of the Dodgers and Giants.
IMAGERY & TEAM COLORS
Next season, fans will be greeted by Mets colors as they approach Citi Field with full-color banners of Mets players on Mets Plaza in front of the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. Mets logos will be added on entry points to the parking areas and on the light poles in the parking lots. The addition of team colors will continue inside the ballpark with staircases painted with blue and orange and more Mets logos throughout the ballpark. Flowers in the gardens at Mets Plaza in front of the Jackie Robinson Rotunda will also be blue and orange.
METS HALL OF FAME & MUSEUM & HALL OF FAME COMMITTEE
The centerpiece for Mets memorabilia will be the Mets Hall of Fame & Museum, located adjacent to the Jackie Robinson Rotunda and accessible from both inside and outside the ballpark. A re-formed Mets Hall of Fame Committee will evaluate potential inductees, and is comprised of a combination of media members with a long-standing connection to the club and Mets front office staff.
Media members on the committee are: Marty Noble, the Mets.com beat writer who is entering his fifth decade covering the team; Gary Cohen, the New York native and voice of the Mets on SNY who has been a Mets broadcaster for 21 years; and Howie Rose, a Queens native and radio voice of the Mets on WFAN who has covered the team for 21 years on radio and television.
“The re-formation of the Mets Hall of Fame Committee is central to our concerted efforts to better connect our present and future to our past,” said Wilpon. “It reinforces the organization’s and our fans’ shared desire to recognize our greatest players. With our 2010 opening of the Mets Hall of Fame & Museum at Citi Field, now was the time to bring this group together.”
I love the changes and it’s definitely a step in the right direction. Eventually, I would like to see statues erected of Stengel, Hodges and Seaver outside the main entry gates.
They have already begun painting the stairwells with the first coat of orange paint which some mistook for the finished product. But I spoke to one of the contractors who is working at Citi Field and he told me that the orange was just the base coat and that the stairwells will have life-size player images and logos after they finish applying the next coat of blue paint.
In addition to the Mets Hall of Fame, I would like to see some other players numbers retired other than Tom Seaver’s 41.
It’s about time we also retire the numbers 7 (Kranepool), 16 (Doctor K), 17 (Keith Hernandez and his mustache too), and of course 18 (Strawberry). Strawberry and Gooden should be retired on the same day and they should give away bobbleheads to the fans. The original bobbleheads I had are sadly gone and I want a couple of new ones to replace them.