Mets' fans are hiding in the weeds, ready to come out to the fabulously designed (save for the deep fences) Citi Field in droves if the organization contends for the pennant one of these days. And they long for the team's glory days.
At the book signings, it was evident that fans in the New York area have a special bond with the Mets of the Eighties. Many of them had a story for Mookie, some touching, others hysterical, but all of them heartfelt. What better way to boost attendance for a day and treat Mets' fans to see their old heroes once a year than to bring back Old Timers' Day?
The Mets used to have an Old Timers' Day. They typically celebrated the likes of the old Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants. Do the Mets have enough heroes from their 52 years of baseball to make this a cherished event? Absolutely.
I believe the Mets missed a golden opportunity to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 1973 Mets last year. While that club only won 82 games that regular season, they upset the heavily favored Cincinnati Reds in a memorable NLCS, and then took the Oakland A's, in the midst of their mini-dynasty, to a seventh game of the World Series. The Mets could have honored Mets' royalty like Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Jon Matlack, Rusty Staub, Jerry Grote and, of course, Willie Mays. 1973 was the first year I started watching baseball, so that Mets team was special. This was before Play Station, cable televison and the internet, so fans of that generation had limited choices of entertainment. That edition of the Mets was huge then and still is today.
Do I need to even get into the Miracle Mets of '69?
And the Mets could bring back their biggest rivals from their glory days--think Mike Scott, Jack Clark, and John Rocker (uhh, ok, maybe not him). And get Pete Rose, the biggest rival the Mets ever faced-- a one-day hall pass from the Wilpons' friend, Commissioner Bud Selig.
The Mets need fannies in the seats. And the fans need a day like this to get the juices flowing again. It's a win-win. I challenge the Mets to give this some serious consideration.