Richard Sandomir of the NY Times writes about the Mets decision to not honor former owner Nelson Doubleday Jr. with a memorial patch. Doubleday, who was a major part of the team for 22 years, passed away in June this year.
With New York’s incredible success in the 1980’s, Doubleday is one of the most important figures in Mets’ history. He was the majority owner of the team from 1980-1986 before becoming 50-50 partners with the Wilpons.
“No question in my mind Nelson deserves one,” said Tim McCarver, who called Mets games from 1983 to 1998. “I don’t understand why not. An ‘N. D.’ patch would not be excessive in my view, and I don’t think any Met fan would think twice about that — especially in a year when the Mets are stealing back the thunder in New York.”
Sandomir says the Mets’ decision to not honor him with a patch could be due to his contentious relationship with the Wilpons. They disagreed on many important topics and eventually had a falling out in 2002.
“Mr. Jeff Wilpon has decided that he’s going to learn how to run a baseball team and take over at the end of the year,” he said. “Run for the hills, boys. I think probably all those baseball people will bail.”
Doubleday has also been denied a spot inside the Mets Hall Of Fame.
However, former Met Bob Ojeda says that Fred Wilpon wouldn’t erase Doubleday out of the team’s history because of spite.
“Fred’s not like that,” Ojeda said. “Maybe it’s because it’s been a long time since Nelson has been a part of the organization. Still, it’s never too late. There’s no time frame on these things. Those of us who knew Nelson, and worked for him along with Fred, remember him fondly as a big part of the success of 1986.”
Whatever the reason may be, Doubleday deserves more of a remembrance for his role with the team. A short statement and a moment of silence isn’t enough for someone who played such a key part in the franchise’s history. Hopefully, the Wilpons reconsider their decision and honor him with a memorial patch this season.