Michael posted this in the comments a while back, and I have been sitting on it for a rainy day. Since it rained today and Duke’s passing makes this topical…
Realistically looking at it, both the Giants and Dodgers may as well have been expansion teams with veteran players that were created out west for all the acknowledgement they have of their pre-1958 past. Other than Jackie Robinson, the Dodgers retired numbers are all from players that have played since 1958 for them (although some of these players actually had their glory years in Flatbush). The Giants have done a better job of lip service to their heroes of the past, but it is safe to say that the ghosts of the great Giant teams from days of yore, managed by the spectre of John McGraw, are still roaming the Elysian Fields of Coogan’s Bluff. Terry, Ott, Matty and McGraw are better remembered in New York than in California (and when someone is looking back at the career of Willie Mays, many people look back at him more often as a New York Giant more than a SF Giant. It has been argued that the fans in San Francisco disliked him there because they always considered him a New York Giant which is why they embraced McCovey et al more than they ever embraced him).
Say what you will about the Wilpons, but I do believe that they take seriously the mantle of the Mets being representative of both the NL teams of pre-1958 and also of their own history. Which is why I believe they rectified the color scheme of the Mets twelve years ago by adding black to the official colors. Also,I think that any HOF player that played for the pre-1958 Giants or Dodgers should have some sort of banner with their name at Citi Field with the respective black & orange NY or blue & white B to honor them where they actually were represented. And, since he actually did play for the Mets and went with them to the World Series in 1973, the Mets should retire Mays’ #24. IMHO FWIW.
I’m too lazy to go through my pictures but somewhere I have a shot of what the Phillies do. In centerfield they have a wall of Philly baseball history…it includes the A’s and some Negro League teams.
Perhaps the inclusion of some New York baseball history (from the ancient Metropolitans to Mel Ott to Pee Wee Reese and some Negro League teams) might make for a nice exhibit in the museum. There’s plenty of room in the back where the weird jewelry waits for someone to purchase it.