What is a “True New Yorker”? Are You One?

In case you didn’t receive it, there was a letter sent out by the Mets marketing department. It read:

To True New Yorkers –

The victory you earn is sweeter than the victory you’re given.

When we won in ’69 and ’86, we, the players, didn’t do it on our own.

We made history together — players and fans — through a gritty, even stubborn, belief in this club against all the odds.

When we’ve won, we’ve proved through the way we did it that true New Yorkers are Mets fans.

So today we’re issuing a call to all Mets fans: Show your New York Mets pride — stand up and say you’re a true New Yorker.

As players, we can tell you that what happens in the clubhouse and what happens in the stands — players and fans together, believing in each other — makes a tremendous difference with what happens on the field.

Your support matters; we wouldn’t have won without you. So we’re calling on you to give today’s club the same chance we had.

If you agree that the fans have a role to play in making amazing things happen, add your name to this letter:

Mets.com/TrueNewYorker

One fan — maybe you — will present the signatures on this letter and the messages from fans to the team, before the Mets’ first Subway Series game at Citi Field. If you add your name, it could be you.

We’ll see you there. Let’s Go Mets!

Keith Hernandez, Ron Darling, Cleon Jones, Ed Charles, Jerry Koosman, and Doc Gooden

What? No signature by Curtis Granderson? What the hey?

No, I’m not making this up — this letter really did go out to fans, and it really did come from the Mets. The idea is that fans sign it for a chance to win two tickets to the upcoming “subway series” vs. the Yankees. Maybe you’ll be getting a copy forwarded to you via email from your Aunt Susie (likely in between her forwarding to you a Mother Teresa Novena chain letter, a forwarded email about the danger of plastic water bottles, and what she thinks is a really funny joke involving a priest and a rabbi visiting a brothel).

So, let’s discuss: what do YOU define as a “true New Yorker”? Is he/she a Mets fan? Why or why not?

Ready … set … go!

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. crozier April 30, 2014 at 11:09 am
    No, I’m not a true New Yorker; I’ve never lived there (nor am I a true Pennsylvanian, where I currently live — I was born and raised in Jersey).

    I “get” the letter, however clumsily executed it was. But sorry guys, times — and New York — changed. In ’69 there was a significant population of middle-to-lower-middle class people to whom the Mets belonged. They’ve been priced out of the real estate market. 1969 doesn’t even enter today’s discussion for that and a bunch of other reasons.

    The ’86 team had a wealth of fan support (and talent) at the get go; everyone expected them to win big. They didn’t need a letter to broaden the fan base.

    I’m no Yankees fan, but I find the emphasis on “true New Yorker” foolish. Whether or not the Yankees bought their winning teams, they did win a bunch of times. They’ve earned their status as the “true” New York team.

    Here’s my tweet (no time for letters, sorry) back to the Mets: Continue to field a team that wins most of its games, and the fans will, eventually, come and support it.

    When you’re winning and making money, no one cares about true anything.

  2. Walnutz15 April 30, 2014 at 11:16 am
    M-I-C….K-E-Y

    M-O-U-S-E!

  3. chris April 30, 2014 at 11:24 am
    I’m kind of baffled by this. Are they trying to talk people into set rooting allegiances into maintaining them or switching them? Are they implying that fans from NJ or CT, or god forbid, a relocated Jerseyite in FL like myself aren’t real Mets fans? It is all kind of weird.
  4. DanB April 30, 2014 at 11:29 am
    As someone born, raised, and living in New Jersey, I will ignore the “true New Yorker” comments. I will ignore the stupidity of the marketing plan. Instead, I will point out that a professional team is one part players, one part owners, and one part fans. I have no complaint about my fellow fans nor about the effort of the current players. If there was one component not fullfilling its responsibility, I am going to say it is the group charging “true New York” prices but spending a “true Kanas City” budget. Another classic example of the Wilpons trying to get something without paying full price for it.
  5. chris April 30, 2014 at 11:29 am
    Separately I was wondering how irritated you were about the official rulings during Saturday’s victory over the Marlins. I have the Marlins feed here in FL, and the popup that dropped between the catcher & the pitcher they seemed to agree was a legitimate hit because TDA couldn’t see it and the pitcher shouldn’t be getting in the way. I am sorry, but someone needs to catch a 20 foot hanging pop up. It is inexcusable and I cannot fathom how they labeled it a hit.

    Shortly after there was a sharply hit ball, I believe by Chris Young that was originally labeled a hit because the Marlins first baseman couldn’t cleanly handle it. They eventually changed it to an error, rightly in my view, but the announcers were apoplectic that a hard hit ball could be an error. It was right to first base! These guys are major leaguers! Its an error if a little leaguer doesnt make the play, never mind a highly paid “professional.” This is making my head hurt.

  6. hart April 30, 2014 at 12:38 pm
    This letter is pathetic. If anyone should be “issuing a call” it should be the fans, to the ownership, insisting that they either stop running the Mets as a small market team or sell to a more capable owner. Disappointed that Keith and Ron are a part of this.
  7. K. Lastima April 30, 2014 at 1:22 pm
    As a lifelong New Yorker and lifelong Mets fan, this is pathetic, cringeworthy and the most embarrassing marketing effort yet by the Wilponzis, which is saying a lot
  8. DaveSchneck April 30, 2014 at 2:03 pm
    What Walnutz15 and DanB said.
  9. NEIL HALPERN April 30, 2014 at 3:20 pm
    NOT TO BE RUDE, BUT I CAN NOT SEE LAGARES SITTING ONE DAY WITH HIS STATS COMPARED TO THE OTHER THREE OUTFIELDERS UNDER ANY CONDITIONS. THE IDEA IS TO WIN, NOT PLAY BALLPLAYERS WITH AVERAGES UNDER 200 JUST BECAUSE YOU MADE A MISTAKE IN SIGNING THEM FOR A LOT OF MONEY. QUOTING COLLINS, “FIVE BALLS GRANDY HIT ON THIS HOMESTAND WOULD HAVE BEEN A MOE RUN IN YANKY STADIUM” IS PROBABLY TRUE, GREAT, SO SEND HIM BACK. THAT DOES NOT HELP US!
  10. argonbunnies April 30, 2014 at 4:28 pm
    Wow, the Mets just can’t stop making a joke of themselves, can they?

    Re: “True New Yorker”, here are the best stereotypes I can come up with:
    • The ambitious money-making borderline sociopath? Yankees fan. (Except Madoff!)
    • The underemployed alternative artist or punk or hippie? Mets fan. (Or doesn’t like baseball.)
    • The casual “fan” who invests nothing of themselves in the sport beyond attempting association with winners when it’s convenient? Yankees fan.
    • The blue-collar die hard whose fandom is passed down from family? That’s geographical — Yankess in the Bronx and Manhattan, Mets in Brooklyn and Queens.

    I assume “true New Yorker” best fits the last category, in which case it’s a Mets-Yankees split.

  11. NormE April 30, 2014 at 4:31 pm
    Maybe it’s me, but it’s good to see that Seaver, Strawberry, Piazza, Harrelson among others did not sign (or were not asked to sign) this embarrassing, bush league ploy.
  12. Dan42 May 1, 2014 at 5:12 am
    What a crock. Otherwise all of the above.
  13. murph May 2, 2014 at 1:19 pm
    What does this campaign do?
    – throws down a gauntlet vs. the Yankees (a challenge they cannot win)
    – reminds everybody they have won only twice in 50+ years, and haven’t won the WS in going on 28 years.
    – insults Mets fans that are not New Yorkers.

    so if that is what they were trying to do, bravo, they succeeded.

    • Joe Janish May 3, 2014 at 12:39 am
      Good points, Murph.

      I also think they succeeded. Therefore, a successful campaign!