Too much Brooklyn Dodgers and not enough Mets went the complaints about CitiField from opening day.Be careful what you wish for.
I was one of around 8,000 season ticket and plan holders to attended the Mets workout at CitiField on a beautiful Easter Sunday, and, boy, the place has been magnificently or over Metsmorized (Metsified? Metamorphosized?), depending on your point-of-view. The place is positively festooned with Mets iconography â€“ player banners, pennants, billboard-sized photos, walkway plaques, and named entrances and sections, honoring nearly everyone who has worn a Mets uniform. Practically the only places unadorned with Mets' images are the bathrooms. Even Tom Seaver would get sick of the number of his images strewn hither and yon.Despite the Mets memorabilia overdose, I love the original Home Run Apple in the plaza; it's a landmark that'll likely become the regular meeting place at Citi as the giant Louisville Slugger bat was at the old Yankee Stadium.
All around the plaza and along the exterior stadium baselines are player banners hanging from light stanchions, flapping noisily in the breeze. A LOT of banners.
The VIP entrances at left field, third base and first base now honor Casey Stengel, Tom Seaver and Gil Hodges, respectively; I'm assuming we'll tell folks to "Meet me in front of the Stengel door," for instance (See all the external accoutrements here
The Fanwalk brick sections now have a dozen new center plaques commemorating special Mets occasions, such as Mike Piazza's game-winning homer against the Braves in the first post-9/11 game, both World Series clinchers, and Tom Seaver's 19 K and near perfect game performances. (See all the plaques here
Most magnificent is the new Mets Hall of Fame, located where the Mets team store used to be just to the right of the Rotunda entrance (the team store has been moved inside). The museum is far larger than I expected (I overheard a couple of people expressing the same opinion), with plenty of high-concept designs and clever presentations, including a wall of Met Hall of Fame plaques. These must have existed and been displayed somewhere at Shea, but I never saw them. There are entrances for both the Hall of Fame museum and the Team Store on the first base side inside the Rotunda, and you can move from one to the other inside. (Here
are myriad photos from inside the museum.)Just inside the Rotunda, Jonathan Niese was signing autographs:
Other additions:â€¢ Met championship banners over the right field entrance (these MAY have been there last year, but the only time I went in that entrance was for the McCartney concert last July, and I don't remember seeing them).
â€¢ The Ebbets Club on the field level has been renamed the Champions Club with Mets photos displayed on the glass walls of both entrances.
â€¢ The bridge in right field has been named the Shea bridge in honor of Bill Shea.
â€¢ Lineups will be posted on a Topps-sponsored board at the top of the Jackie Robinson Rotunda; one assumes the players will be presented as baseball cards.
â€¢ A game-used equipment sale area on the first base side of the field level.
â€¢ The centerfield fan fest as been re-arranged to create a less congested/more open plaza.
â€¢ A New Era cap stand on the left as you walk over the Shea Bridge into the centerfield food area.One improvement may not be ready for Opening Day â€“ McFadden's. As you can, they still seemed to have plenty of work to do as of Sunday.
There may be additional Met dÃ©cor additions, but only the field level was open for the workout.
Oh, and the Mets also worked out. Here's David Wright putting one into the bleachers in left. Wright and Bay hit many BP homers, including several impressive blows into the left field upper deck. And the notorious pull hitter Bay just missed hitting the new Apple in dead center and also hit several deep shots into right field as well. Here
are some other on-the-field shots.Let's hope this power appears when it counts.<!--EndFragment-->