November 14, 2006

Remember where you came from

Now I know that a stadium can not keep a name forever, but I'm at a loss of words for what we will be losing. I don't mind that the park will be called Citifield or that there will be a memorial to a player who was a Dodger (not a Met). I don't mind that there will be a considerable amount of fewer seats for the fans or that we will be losing our neon ball players that said we were at the home of the Mets.

What I do mind is that in twenty years, no one will remember what William Shea did or who he was. The least the Wilpon's could have done was name something after him in the stadium. The generations that will follow the new ball park will have no memory of what Shea did for the Mets and New York.

They'll have no idea that after the 1957 season, when the Dodgers and Giants abandoned New York, he was on the head of the committee to return National League Baseball back to New York. They will have no clue that in 1959 after trying to bring numerous existing franchises to New York, Shea along with Branch Rickey formed a third Major League called the Continental League. After the threat of a third Major League forced the MLB to expand their league and adopt four of the Continental League teams in an expansion. They won't know that in 1962 the Mets and the Houston Colt .45’s were the two National League teams that were to be added (if you were interested the AL teams were the LA Angels and the Washington Senators). No one in the generations to follow will know that that is the reason the New York Mets ball park was named Shea Stadium.

Now like I said I'm not entirely agenst the name Citifield, because I know that money always is the number one priority and is what drives any professional league owner. What I am agenst is the fact that what William Shea said before he died has more or less come to pass.

He said," I know that fifteen minutes after I die they will change the name of the stadium."

It has not been fifteen minutes, but rather fifteen years. It is all the same when it boils down to it. In a matter of a couple of generations, no one will remember who William Shea was or what he accomplished for the city of New York.

No comments: