Foul poles and fan-friendliness

Come 2019, Citi Field will be home to the New York Mets, and their dedicated fans, for an entire decade. While the time has certainly flown by, the stadium has distinguished itself from the cross town rival New York Yankees’ as the best baseball stadium in New York. While the stadium might be overall better, Yankee Stadium still holds a distinct advantage over Citi Field in one field. The Yankees truly have made their fans feel at home by Yankee-fying the place, from the myriad of retired pinstripe numbers to the frieze that rounds the stadium. Meanwhile in Queens, Citi Field can sometimes feel like a dedication to baseball history more than a home stadium. The 7 Line recently asked their Twitter following what they thought was needed to make the ballpark better, and it was mostly based around giving the stadium a more at home feeling.

The experience for most fans begins with entering through the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. While Robinson was a pioneer for everything that he contributed to baseball history, it was a puzzling decision to make him the focal point of the entrance to your ballpark. This space should probably have went to an all-time great player that donned the orange and blue pinstripes. Tom Seaver, anyone? While it is too late to remove the rotunda, it is never too late to rename a significant entrance to the ball park to Seaver.

This conversation comes at the time of year when the hot stove is starting to become quiet for the Mets, so attention shifts to things that we as fans want. Usually, the idea of a statue comes to mind for Seaver. A statue would be nice, but creating an entire section dedicated to just him would be more appropriate. Is there any reason not to? Seaver is one of the greatest to have ever played the position, and deserves the bullpen gate named in his honor.

Other suggestions made by fans ranged from bathroom improvements to orange and blue seats. It would be incredibly interesting to visualize what the stadium would look like with the seats adorned with the colors of the team. It wasn’t until 1980 that Shea Stadium had both blue and orange seats, and along with the green and red, made for a look that was unique and colorful to anyone who had the pleasure of taking in a game at the now demolished stadium.

A tradition that made Shea unique is still carried on at Citi Field. The Mets are still the only team that has orange foul poles in each corner, which might be one of the traditions carried over from the old park. There will always be the apple, which is hated by about as many fans as it is loved, but still a symbol of home to cling onto. Citi Field is a beautiful stadium by all means, and as a baseball fan, it is truly a pleasure to be able to go to games there. While it is a nice stadium though, it does not necessarily shout home for the fans, but there is always time to fix that.

7 comments for “Foul poles and fan-friendliness

  1. December 29, 2018 at 9:27 am

    http://cdn2.sbnation.com/assets/3974085/Tom_Seaver_68.jpg

    No Athletic image can ever surpass my memories of Seaver’s Ferocity, Roaring Down the Hill unleashing his Attack at the Hitter. He was a Ballerina..a Scientist..an Angry Ape–All at Once!!!!

    They should Put it in Bronze….100 feet Tall…. “Paul Bunyon” in front of that Citi Field.

  2. Chris B
    December 29, 2018 at 10:06 am

    Under the Bloomberg administration, the city worked with private developers to create a Willets Point Redevelopment plan. The project would create a massive mall and overhaul of the zoning district around Citi Field, including new housing and shopping areas.

    The private developers are ‘Related Companies and New York Mets Owners’. However the plans were slowed down with a new mayor in town and ultimately stalled due to the mall. Earlier this year it was noted that the mall was removed from plans and replaced with more housing.

    I’ve always been envious of the environment around Yankee Stadium, Fenway, etc. The entire experience is enhanced when you can celebrate before and after the game – Citi Field is surrounded by Auto body shops.

    I’ll be keeping tabs on the project but am not hopeful for movement anytime soon.

  3. Mike Walczak
    December 29, 2018 at 10:21 am

    This is a great article. Tom Seaver is Mets royalty. Yankee stadium is historic. They honor and preserve their history better than any team.

    Part of the way to draw new fans is to honor and preserve the teams history and honor their great players. It has to start with the greatest.

    I loved that Seaver pitched every fifth day. I love that when he started, he would probably pitch a great complete game. To me, Seaver had the most powerful effective pitching motion in the majors.

    Maybe we should start a Go Fund Me page for a statue.

    Happy New Year Everybody

  4. Hobie
    December 29, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    A Statue of Liberty sized (well, maybe a tad smaller) bronze Seaver would be a great addition to the Met campus, I agree. But to go toe-to-toe with those other guys in baseball iconophilism is foolish.

    Maybe it’s because I was a NY NL guy long before Metdom, but the one area to skew the pinstripers about is their integration history. The Jackie Robinson Rotunda has an appropriate setting in a NL NY park and trumps an amount of retired numbers.

  5. Metsense
    December 29, 2018 at 7:05 pm

    It should be the Gil Hodges Rotunda. ( and the Jackie Robinson Grotto within it) There should be a corner in left or right field that should in named Kiner`s Korner.In front of Low A Ball Stadium at LP Franz Stadium in Hickory , NC there is a statue of a pitcher and a catcher. Many fans take their position in the batter’s box and a photo on their phones. Why can’t the Mets have statues of Tom Seaver pitching to Mike Piazza? I have been at every stadium on East Coast, AL and NL. When I visit New York I try to take in a game ( two last year) and Citi Field is the best stadium but owners don’t make it home for us dedicated Met fans.

    • Chris F
      December 29, 2018 at 7:17 pm

      At lest its improved from when we took over in 2009, which was a place that could have been named “baseball stadium, home of a baseball team”.

      There were cool elements that should have come across in an 800M$ build. What about part of the interior being some Shae panels? How about a blue neon player? I am appalled that centerfield was not 410′.

      Of course Kiner’s Korner should be there.

      Someone mentioned the heresy of Cano wearing #24. Really out of respect for Mrs. Payson, rest her soul, the number should have been formally retired. However, Cano is not the first “post Mays” wearer, so Im ok, and quite frankly as much as I want to, and how much ’73 meant to me as a kid, its hard to be teary eyed over Mays as a Met. More of a bummer is the lack of retiring #8. Carter may have been a super star for Montreal, but he was critical to the 86 WS team and he was awesome as a Met…oh yeah, he’s in Cooperstown too.

  6. MattyMets
    December 29, 2018 at 8:56 pm

    A prominent Seaver statue is definitely missing. The initial build was a travesty – felt more like an homage to the Brooklyn Dodgers than a Mets Stadium. It was a perfect example of how tone deaf these owners are, but in typical reactionary fashion, they Did just enough to placate fans with the addition of the player banners around the outer perimeter. You could make a better case for the Jackie Robinson Rotunda if there was also some sort of tribute to Willie Mays. A hat tip to the Brooklyn Dodgers and NY Giants would makes sense, and unlike Robinson, Mays actually played a bit for the Mets.

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