As you all know by now, the New York Mets announced that Banner Day will return Sunday, May 27 prior to the Mets playing the San Diego Padres at 1:10 p.m. at Citi Field.
Banner Day was a Mets tradition from 1963 to 1996 with fans of all ages parading on the field showing their homemade banners made with bed sheets that professed their love for the team, but do you know how it first came to be?
Well according to the Daily News, the late Bob Mandt, the former Stadium operations manager at Shea, once said Banner Day was sort of invented by fans. Some had brought banners to the Polo Grounds in the Mets’ nascent years and the Mets used to eject the fans, whose homemade art projects sometimes blocked the view of other fans. But famed Daily News sportswriter Dick Young wrote a column saying the banners should be allowed in and the Mets changed their mind. An event was born.
It took place between games of doubleheaders, which were still scheduled back then. Sometimes it annoyed both managers, because as many as 8,000 or so fans showing off their banners could make the break between games as long as two hours. Neither skipper would know just when to start warming up his Game 2 starter.
One last item… Before the Mets first game in the Polo Grounds, there was the New York Giants’ last game at the Polo Grounds… Was that banner from way back in 1957, a sign of things to come?