Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Mets History: An Ounce Of Respect, Please

Yesterday marked the 87 birthday of former Dodger great, Mets manager, and should be Hall Of Famer, Gil Hodges.

Hodges suffered a fatal Heart attack on April 2, 1972 – two days before his 48th birthday.

Hodges will be forever linked to the Brooklyn Dodgers as a standout Gold Glove first baseman, as well as the Skipper of the 1969 World Champion Mets. Hodges accomplishments, which should have earned him enshrinement in Cooperstown, is truly deserving of greater acknowledgement by the Mets.

When the Mets were preparing to open their new ball park in 2009, they let the fans know that they had sold out, naming the stadium Citi Field instead of a much more deserving Gil Hodges Memorial Park.

The Mets negated to give tribute to their history during the first year in the beautiful new ballpark, deciding to pay homage to Jackie Robinson instead of his teammate, who was a Mets player and manager, Gil Hodges. There was much Brooklyn Dodger history to be found, but very little Mets history.

With the 2010 season, the Mets decided to add some Mets history to the stadium, and did a nice job. The Shea Bridge, Gil Hodges VIP Entrance along 1B, Tom Seaver VIP Entrance along 3B, etc although an acknowledgement, were less than adequate. While naming an entrance after Mets greats might seem nice, it is a slap in the face of those who paved the road of Mets History.

The most appropriate name for the Mets new home is Gil Hodges Memorial Park, or more passionately coined by me, GHMP.

I realize the Mets are in financial dire straits, and are being paid in the neighborhood of $20-$25M/year for the naming rights, but doesn’t it seem as if the Wilpon’s prostituted the new stadium to the highest bidder?

If there is some financial backer out there who is willing to infuse the Mets with some much needed money, it would be nice to see the Mets cut ties with Federally Bailed Out Citi Bank, and rename the ballpark after something Mets related: Gil Hodges Memorial Park. Has a nice ring to it; It’s classy; it’s historical; it’s Mets; IT'S DESERVED.

Wasted breath might have been spent on this subject, but as Hodges deserves enshrinement in Cooperstown, the Mets should show much owed respect to the man who brought credibility to fledgling franchise, and name the park after Hodges.

The Mets are remiss to retire numbers, and in many ways don’t show proper respect to those of past Mets generations. Small strides have been made, but not enough. It’s time we let the Wilpon’s and Mets know that as fans, we would like proper respect paid to those who shaped this franchise.

There is no better way of doing this than to respectfully rename the Ball Park. It’s not hard. I’ve been calling the Mets digs GHMP since 2009.

Source: Baseball Reference

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