Nelson Doubleday Jr., died Wednesday at his home in New York. He was 81.
Two days after his death, the Mets announced they would honor Doubleday with a moment of silence. A moment of silence? A moment?
Doubleday was the majority owner of the New York Mets from 1980-2002. He lifted the Mets out of the financial and competitive abyss of the late 1970s and early 1980s and, in six years, recruited and hired Frank Cashen and Davey Johnson, who stocked the farm system, developed talent and made the necessary transactions to acquire and build a championship roster.
1986 would not have been possible without Nelson Doubleday.
During his 22 years as majority owner, Doubleday’s Mets went to the post season four times, including two World Series (1986 and 2000) and one World Series title. The team won 90+ games during eight of those seasons and 100 or more twice.
In 2002, Fred Wilpon bought out Doubleday for $135 million. the Mets have had eight losing seasons since 2003 (including six consecutive losing seasons and counting) under the direct leadership of the Wilpon family. Coincidence? I don’t know. Fact? Yes.
Doubleday is deeply respected in baseball circles. He is remembered as an “everyday pedestrian multi-millionaire” by those who knew him. Except the Wilpon family. And for that, all he will get for his passion and success is a moment of silence.
It is a selfish act; an embarrassing gesture. The only weeping coming from the Wilpon’s is ego.
I am embarrassed to be a Mets fan today. Not because of wins and losses but because of the lack of leadership, character and grace.
Shame on you, Fred Wilpon.