This past Thursday, the Mets dedicated the Tom Seaver and Gil Hodges Gates at Citi Field. Hodges managed the team to its first-ever World Series Championship back in 1969. Seaver is a Hall of Fame pitcher who won over three hundred games and earned the right to be called, “The Franchise,” by the Mets organization after being awarded the NL Rookie of the Year in 1967.
Throughout his baseball career, Seaver has always been perceived as an objective yet positive voice of an organization that he gave the better of twelve seasons to. However, it wasn’t always that way. Traded to the Cincinnati Reds in the middle of the 1977 season, in the middle of the night no less under messy conditions, it has taken a lot of cajoling over the years on the part of the Mets organization for Seaver to continue to be that voice.
“They went a long time with not understanding how important an organization’s history is,” Seaver said. “I say that from my standpoint not as a player, but as a youth, because it is such a game that ties generations.”
Since Citi Field’s inception last season, Mets fans have been very critical of their new home. Citing a lack of allegiance to the Mets signature orange and blue combined with a stronger emphasis on the old Brooklyn Dodgers teams of the past, fans have felt somewhat slighted and disconnected with their team’s new digs. Hopeful that they will eventually come to love their new ballpark, the organization has since opened a Mets Hall of Fame and has named the pedestrian bridge that adorns the rear of the stadium, Shea Bridge.