With WFAN’s Craig Carton joining the chorus of persons wondering why the New York Mets are so hesitant to acknowledge their own history at Citi Field (“is there anything in that stadium that actually says ‘Mets’ on it?” howled Carton earlier today), the New York Post’s George Willis writes the franchise intends to paint over some impromptu tagging done by one of their all-time icons (thanks to Jesper Eklow for the link).
Someone thought it would be a nice idea if one of the greatest pitchers in franchise history signed a blank gray wall next to the Ebbets Club bar. Dwight Gooden obliged, taking a black Sharpie and writing in script “Doc Gooden 84 R.O.Y., 85 Cy Young, 86 W.S. Champs.”
But now the Mets, who have been criticized for not showcasing enough of their history in their new ballpark, plan to erase Gooden’s signature from the wall, treating it as if it were unwanted graffiti.
“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.”
Lou DiBella, a Manhattan-based boxing promoter and devoted Mets fan, was in the Ebbets Club on Opening Day when Gooden signed the wall, and he was there yesterday as the Mets lost 4-2 to the Brewers in the final game of a three-game series.
He’s among a number of fans angry Gooden’s signature likely will be gone when the team returns from a short trip to St. Louis.
“That’s the same spirit that caused them to build a new ballpark that doesn’t have any semblance of Mets history,” 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.”