As you may have seen on Twitter, which we brought to you first at around 9am, the Mets have moved the location of their retired numbers and honor patches in preparation for the Mike Piazza number retirement ceremony next Saturday, July 30th.
Previously painted on the former LF wall turned Party City Deck turned M & M Deck, the numbers are now going to be displayed on the top of the facade in left field adjacent to the out of town scoreboard.
The move allows better visibility of the numbers for all seats in the park and also them being displayed in a higher place, signifying prominence. Previously, anyone sitting beyond the left field wall most likely could not see the display.
The Mets have been tight lipped on the move and there has been a specific front office gag order on staff to not convey details of the move or plans about the ceremony. Construction began early this morning and completed around noon.
The Ralph Kiner Mic patch has already been removed from the Deck wall area, and the Mets plan to remove the pads that presently display 37 – 14 – 41 – 42 – SHEA before they team returns home on Monday.
The order of the numbers, as well as how they are organized, has also been changed. The change, missed by most, was predicated on a specific plan.
Previously, the numbers were displayed chronologically by order of dedication. See Below.
Casey Stengel‘s 37 was retired back in 1965. Gil Hodges and his 14 were immortalized in 1973 and the last Mets’ number to be retired was Tom Seaver and his 41 in 1988. Jackie Robinson‘s 42 was then retired league wide in 1997.
After the move to Citi Field in 2009, the Mets added a Shea Commemorative patch to their honor area. All of these were originally positioned in fair territory, and the original outfield wall padding remains. Once the fences were moved and the top of the wall was lowered in 2011, the first of two moves to make the ballpark more hitter friendly, this area became the backdrop of the Party Deck.
The new placement of the numbers also led to some slight changes to the configuration of the distinguished digits.
All people (and objects) that were not in Mets uniform are placed over the left field wall. They are also displayed chronologically by order of dedication, from 42, to Shea, to Ralph Kiner.
As you proceed left past the corner and into foul territory, uniformed Mets players and managers are displayed. The shift in the facade by the foul pole helps distinguish between on field and off field honorees.
Once again, they are displayed by order of when the numbers were dedicated. The NY logo is covering up the 31, which will be dedicated next Saturday. This gives the Mets more space to keep retiring numbers to the left (Insert your #17, #8, #15 conspiracy theories where you wish.)
I have seen mixed reviews for the new placement and some unique comments. I have been lucky enough to catch Met games at 24 Major League stadiums, and most of the ones I have seen have their numbers displayed in higher, distinguished places such as this. Some examples include, Boston, Atlanta, Houston, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, LA Dodgers, San Diego to name a few.
Well, Lets hear it…What do YOU think? Vote in our poll and comment.