Wow. I can’t believe it. It’s as if New York never had a team that won 10 pennants and played at the Polo Grounds!
Green seats? Really? Green Seats are the shout out to the Giants? I’d like to thank the Orioles for honoring the Giants too.
Giants fans won’t be forgotten at Citi Field
Gary Mintz of South Huntington, a Giants fan dating back to their days in the Polo Grounds, e-mailed me last week with this concern:”At the meeting of the New York Giants Baseball Nostalgia Society [recently], many of the members (all in their 60s through 80s) feel slighted that Mr. Wilpon has made Citi Field look like Ebbets Field and are honoring Jackie Robinson with the rotunda.”Granted, he is the owner of the team, and the one who pays the bills.
But the old-timers feel that since the Mets took the orange of the Giants when they were formed, something in the stadium should honor the N.Y. Giants, whether it be a section or the like.”That seemed like a reasonable question, so I took it to Mets COO Jeff Wilpon Tuesday. And Wilpon took me to Citi Field itself, to convey the message that, while the Dodgers – Fred Wilpon’s favorite team as a Brooklyn youth – do get the majority of the love, you long-time Giants fans were not forgotten.While I’m not quite old enough to have made it to the Polo Grounds, it seems that Mintz and his fellow Giants loyalists will be heartened by two elements of the new, impressive ballpark:The seats are dark green, just like those at the Polo Grounds.
(WHAT??? Are you kidding me??? Green Seats = Remember The Giants??? Please.)
This serves a direct tribute to the Mets’ first home, according to Dave Howard, the team’s executive vice president of business operations.Citi Field’s outfield features a plethora of unique angles and wall heights, as did the Polo Grounds. Consider this more of an indirect shout-out. “We looked at pictures of the Polo Grounds that made you think about it,” Wilpon said.Wilpon wanted me to see the outfield because it was hard for him to put into words, and even after seeing it, it’s difficult to describe it to you. The key area is right-centerfield. That’s where the fence slams on the breaks and takes a sharp turn. It’s not as deep as Fenway Park’s “triangle” in centerfield. It’s more of a right angle than a triangle. It should prove challenging for outfielders, and memorable for fans.Rightfield also has the upper-deck overhang in fair territory, reminiscent of the old Tiger Stadium, that should be manna to lefty pull hitters who can regularly put the ball in the air.The heights of the walls, too, stand out. The fence rises as high as 18 feet in left-centerfield, where it’s 379 feet from home plate, and then down to eight feet in dead center, which rests 408 feet from the batter’s box. In rightfield, where it’s about 370 feet for a homer, it’s back up to 14 feet.It’s anything but a perfect replica of the Polo Grounds. But it’s quirky like the Giants’ long-time home, and its uniqueness will strike you – and, the Mets hope, their opponents, once Carlos Beltran and his corner outfielders get the hang of it.”A lot of people said, ‘Why don’t you make it symmetrical?’ ” Jeff Wilpon said. “But symmetrical is not going to make it work. We want a homefield advantage.”They should have that, and the old-time New Yorkers should possess some sense of comfort that the Mets know they are the National League descendants of both the Dodgers and the Giants.The ballpark, by the way, is scheduled to be completed on Jan. 25 of next year, giving the Mets a healthy 10 weeks or so of room for error.
NICE TRY METS. NICE TRY. WE’RE WATCHING YOU. YOU’RE NOT THE DODGERS AND YOU WILL NEVER BE THE BROOKLYN DODGERS. HONOR THE GIANTS CORRECTLY.