The Mets have now played six games in their new ballpark, Citi Field, and while it looks like a very nice stadium from what I’ve seen of it on television, Mets fans do have some complaints about the place. No doubt the price of a ticket to attend a game there is one of them, as is the team’s 3-3 record there so far. But a major theme amongst the faithful seems to be the lack of Mets history around the ballpark.
That’s something Dwight Gooden tried to help with when he visited the stadium for its first game. While hanging out in the Ebbets Club and at the suggestion of one of the fans, Doc took out a Sharpie and signed a blank gray area of the wall next to the bar, writing “Doc Gooden 84 R.O.Y., 85 Cy Young, 86 W.S. Champs.” The Mets were not amused. They didn’t spend $632 million on the place to have players sign the walls.
From the NEW YORK POST:
“It’s a brand-new building,” said Jay Horwitz, the Mets’ VP of media relations. “No one is supposed to write on the wall. It’s going to be erased.”
The Mets then covered the signature up with a felt cloth held in place by four tacks, apparently with no disregard for the holes left in the wall, and will have it removed before the team returns for its next homestand. As you’d imagine, fans aren’t exactly happy about it.
“That’s the same spirit that caused them to build a new ballpark that doesn’t have any semblance of Mets history,” Lou DiBella said. “They charge $240 a ticket, and when your greatest pitcher tries to do something to reach out to the fans, the Mets make it seem like he did something wrong. It’s so stupid.
“I know a lot of good people put a lot of thought into this ballpark, but if you’re a Mets fans this is supposed to feel like home. To have a stadium sanitized to the point where they’re going to erase Doc Gooden’s signature is disgusting.”
I can see both sides of this argument. As a fan, it’s pretty cool to see the signature of one of your franchise greats on the wall. Yet if I’m the Mets, I don’t want my new stadium to start looking like a bathroom stall after only a couple of days in the joint. Sure, it seems harmless now, but sooner or later there’s going to be a “For a good time call Keith Hernandez at 212-328-2625.”