The NY Post’s George Willis is reporting that the Mets are up to their old tricks:
WHEN Dwight “Doc” Gooden attended the Mets’ Opening Day ceremonies at Citi Field last week, he stopped by the Ebbets Club along the first-base line and mingled with fans who cheered him during his Mets career. He shook hands, took pictures and signed autographs.
Someone thought it would be a nice idea if one of the greatest pitchers in franchise history signed a blank gray wall next to the bar. Gooden obliged, taking a black Sharpie and writing in script “Doc Gooden 84 R.O.Y., 85 Cy Young, 86 W.S. Champs.”
Gooden took a picture next to the signature, and so did countless fans lucky enough to afford the price of a ticket that allows them access to the club.
But now the Mets – who have been criticized for not showcasing enough of their history in their new ballpark – plan to erase Gooden’s signature from the wall, treating it as if it were unwanted graffiti.
Read the whole article here. Granted, it’s a little strange that Gooden autographed a wall, but it’s not like he could have posed for pictures in front of a photograph of himself or the ’86 Mets – from what I’ve heard, those photographs are nowhere to be found at the new ballpark.
When you think about it, it’s amazing that Gooden is still alive, much less visiting the new ballpark and interacting with fans. Leave it to Mets management to step in and screw it up.
The fact is, Gooden DID autograph the wall and now that it is there, it should be left alone. It should be allowed to become part of the stadium and part of the team’s history. The minutiae and folklore of this team – like skydivers, black cats and Bill Buckner – are created and shared by players and fans. Ownership can build the ballpark, assemble a roster and sell the tickets, but they can’t control the memories. Unfortunately, that is exactly what they are trying to do.
About the Author
John Fitzgerald is an independent film/TV producer. In 2007, he followed former Mets 2B Wally Backman and his minor league team for the TV show, "Playing for Peanuts." Click here for DVD ordering information NOTE: $5 from each sale goes to maintenance costs of MetsToday.com