Results tagged ‘ Mets ’

History & Legacy: The Mets Snow Whites

In their 55 year history, the Mets have had some of the best uniform designs in pro sports. That being said, there have been a lot of subtle small changes to the Mets looks that have kept it evolving throughout the history of the ball club.

Today, we are going to take a closer look at one of the more under appreciated uniforms, the all white pinned uniform, known informally as the “Snow Whites”

The History

 

The Snow White Uniforms debuted back in 1997, 20 years ago, on April 15th, during the first ever “Jackie Robinson Day”. Prior to the game the Robinson Family and Bud Selig proudly proclaimed that the #42 would never be issued to another player that didn’t previously wear #42. To honor the special occasion, the Mets trotted on in their Snow Whites, which resembled a classic Dodgers look, and were matched with a predominantly white cap (with a blue brim).

rick_reed_white_hat_april_16__1997_al_bello_allsport-0-0

The cap was not a hit, and was discontinued at the end of the year. The uniform top also had a subtle invisible white outline around the “Mets” word mark for the 1997 season, which was replaced with the black outline (known as the drop shadow) for the 1998 season. The drop shadow was invented by  Bob Halfacre (Uni-Watch did a whole story on this, so check out the full article here) Bob described his design in a way that I think most Mets fans had never even contemplated. “City of shadows” he told Paul Lukas in a 2015 interview. “You have all these skyscrapers, so everything has shadows. City of shadows.”

In 1999 and 2000, the snow whites were worn during the two famous postseason walk-off blasts at Shea Stadium, by Todd Pratt and Benny Agbayani, the only difference between the two tops were the lack of a name on the back of the 1999 version.

Paired with the more appropriate black hybrid cap, this uniform looked pretty good around the 2000 NL Championship year. The Mets even lost the World Series in their snow whites, technically an alternate at the time, instead of their pinstripes.

However, the most historical moment in a snow white uniform has to be Mike Piazza’s 9/21/2001 blast, giving the city hope after the tragic 9/11 attacks. I asked my Twitter followers which Mets game (in snow whites) was their favorite, and it’s no surprise that Piazza’s heroics in 2001 won-out:

If you’ve never seen Piazza’s homerun (how?), it’s worth checking out:

This home run, an example of how sports can aide at the worst of times, is undoubtably the best 30 seconds of any Met in a snow white uniform, and probably will always be, even if they decide to bring it back in the future.

However, I want to go back to something. Remember when I called the snow whites “technically an alternate?”

That’s because, in every season that the snow whites were around, the official home jersey was an identical white jersey (or cream after 2010) with blue pinstripes. However, the Mets rarely (if ever) took the field in those pinstripes, and the style guide (the internal design book of MLB Uniforms) listed the snow whites as “club preferred”, and was typically worn the the black trimmings (undershirt, helmet, socks etc.)

In 2007, following some use in the 2006 Postseason, the Mets pinstripes made a comeback, and returned to it’s real “primary home” title. However, the Mets still brought out the snow whites for big games, like the Home Opener at Citi Field:

Screen Shot 2017-10-18 at 11.47.26 AM.png

Even in the 2011 MLB All-Star Game, Mets hitters Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran trotted out in their snow whites. Screen Shot 2017-10-18 at 11.49.29 AM

This all changed in 2012, when, for the first time since 2000, the Snow Whites changed. This time, the drop shadow was cut (as it was for all uniforms to commemorate the 50th Anniversary season of the Mets).

26447183616_917ed9f7a2_o

This was one of the best looks the snow whites ever had; unfortunately it ended up being the last, only worn from 2012 to 2014, before being cut in a “merger of designs” between the cream pinstripes and the snow whites. This version was typically only worn during dame games, with the only exception being night games when Johan Santana requested the snow whites. One of those days was June 1st, 2012. The day when Johan threw the first no-hitter* in Mets history:

Santana’s no-hitter wasn’t the only Mets moment in 2012 where a Met pitcher celebrated in snow whites. R.A Dickey got his 20th Win in Snow Whites during his CY Young season:

In 2013, the Mets introduced two blue alternates, and in 2014, camouflage was introduced for select Monday home games. This meant that, including the black, which wasn’t worn regularly since 2011 but remained in the internal uniform set, the Mets had six uniforms. So, after the 2014 season, in effort to simplify their looks, the Mets did away with the snow whites. They were last worn on September 28, 2014, when the Mets played the Astros.

bartolo-colon

The Legacy:

The Mets snow white tops were a good look and were used during some of the most important games in Mets history, they never looked like the perfect Mets uniform, but in 2012, with only one alternate, they were a nice weekend shakeup. However, with the blue alternates, they became unnecessary, and led to poor use of the cream pinstripes.

I do think the Mets will bring back the snow white uniforms, unlike the black alternates, but it won’t be for a while. There is something very calming about the plain nature of the snow whites, which worked well during lazy summer day games. That being said, there isn’t a pressing need to revive them, so I doubt we will see them come back anytime soon.

#ThePlusInMetsPlus Introduction: A Weekend In Cooperstown

This past weekend, to celebrate the end of the 2017 season, my family and I went to Cooperstown, NY to see some early foliage and get out of New York City.

However, this trip wasn’t going to be a normal one, instead, I documented my experience into a series of journals for #ThePlusInMetsPlus. The report will be broken down into three unique features, which I will talk about briefly here.

Part 1: Cooper Inn Hotel Review

The Cooper Inn was my choice for lodging during this trip, a sister property of the Otesaga Hotel & Resort. In this review, I discuss the features of the property, it’s rooms, breakfast, and why it’s good for your money.

Part 2: The Leatherstocking Tale of the Otesaga Hotel & Resort

One of the most prestigious resorts anywhere in the United States, the Otesaga Hotel & Resort is a must visit for anyone in Cooperstown. We spoke to the Otesaga and toured the property.

Part 3: Outside of the Hall Of Fame in Cooperstown.

While the Hall of Fame is a staple of the village of Cooperstown, there is so much more that makes this town a hidden gem in New York.

Hopefully, this will be the first of many of these #TPIMP Trip Journals, something I plan to do in the Winter Meetings in Orlando this December.

If you have any comments or questions on Cooperstown, feel free to tweet me anytime @NikoMetsPlus, or, for a formal response, you can email me at Niko@MetsPlus.com.

The Mets Ownership is Pulling a Cheap Trick……

16812751-mmmain

I don’t usually talk about ownership here on MetsPlus, but after watching the drama over Terry Collins impending departure, I feel like I have to at least share my thoughts, even if it’s not pro-Mets in the least.

First, as I’ve stated many times to Twitter, I’m not a huge Terry Collins fan, I believe he makes many questionable in-game decisions, frustrates fans, answers some questions the wrong way from the media, and does make your head spin. Despite that, Collins has been able to rally the team to two postseasons, including a NL Pennant. On top of that, every player I’ve spoken to and everyone around the team has spoken extremely highly of him and his personality in rallying the troops.

However, if you were new in town and saw the media coverage and “leaks” you would think that Terry Collins is the worst person to ever step 100 feet from Citi Field.

In brief, the Mets seemingly blamed Terry for Familia’s injury, and also reported that they seriously considered firing him during multiple points in his tenure.

Quickly, the media seemed to back Terry:

So look, here are my thoughts in a nutshell via an analogy: When you own a bus, and the bus driver has been working the same route for seven years, and, despite some shortcomings, you don’t stab the wheels of the bus driver THREE DAYS before his tenure is over. And, to add insult to injury they are quietly doing it without saying that they are doing it.

Maybe I shouldn’t be this upset, but my frustrations with the Mets have been through the roof, and I question rooting for a team with owners of such poor morals.

 

Top 5 All-Time Posts on MetsPlus

mets-plus-2015-logo

MetsPlus.com will officially be leaving MLB.com, in two days. And before that happens, I wanted to share with you my Top 5 all-time posts on MetsPlus.com, since we joined MLB.com in April of 2014.

There are a LOT of posts that I’ve written over the past few years that I’m extremely proud of, but after an extensive review and a lot of decision making, I believe I’ve settled on five posts that I’d call my favorite.

#5: Culinary Citi, Parts 1 and 2 (May 2016)

saucepig66655

Yes, after interviewing some of the games best, doing some amazing things, eating my way through Citi Field was one of my favorite memories. While, the PIG GUY NYC Bacon on the Stick was very memorable, I also enjoyed the Fuku Chicken Sandwich, Box Frites, Keith’s Burger and all the other places that we went around to see.

I might do a Part 3 of Culinary Citi in 2017 if the Mets add some new options to the ballpark fare this Spring.

4. 11 Questions with Branden Wellington (September 2014)

screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-3-55-59-pm

This pick is most likely a sympathy pick, as over the years I have interviewed people a little more well known than Branden Wellington, however, I was amazed by the professionalism and the willingness of the first person I ever interviewed for Mets Plus, and, it was truly an exciting interview. In the interview, Mr.Wellington shares his game day routine, favorite experiences, and on-screen moments.

#3 – NL Wild Card Game Picture Blog (October 2016) 

Had the Mets actually won the NL Wild Card game, this would have been considerably higher on the list, maybe even at #1. This was the first time for me doing a personal recap of a game I attended, and I enjoyed it immensely.

Looking back at that game two months later, I realize how amazing that game actually was, and how close the Mets came from playing the Cubs at Wrigley in the NLDS.

#2 – Top 5 Winter Meetings Experiences (December 2016)

unnamed-611

You have to give me some credit for putting a Top 5 List in a Top 5, huh?

Well, the Winter Meetings truly was action packed, and there were a lot of moments that were extremely unforgettable. The Trade Show was probably at the top of that, but meeting some of my favorite TV Personalities, speaking to Job Fair candidates, and interviewing a guy that was holding a sign in the lobby. This was truly a memorable and amazing week.

#1 Piazza Induction & Number Retirement (July 2016) 

 

screen-shot-2016-07-31-at-12-33-30-pm

I mean, how can meeting Mike Piazza not be at the top of the list? This is actually two blog posts, the first part was my time in Cooperstown, New York for the induction ceremony, and part two was the actual number retirement, which I enjoyed a little more.

This, without a doubt, is my top Mets related memory of all time.

Honorable Mentions:

1) Citi Field Tour Recap (November 2016)

2) Fall & Winter Fest Review (Fall and Winter 2014) 

3) 11 Questions with Art Shamsky (November 2014) 

 

Is There any Scenario Where Terry Collins Should Stay in 2018?

19105335-mmmain

Yesterday, Baseball analyst Jon Heyman wrote an article on the Fan Rag Sports Blog entitled “The Tea Leaves Don’t Look Good for Terry Collins”, where he elaborates on the fact that most of the organization and fanbase likes Terry, however, all signs are indicating that the Mets will not renew his contract, even though there is no direct evidence.

Despite the cryptic wording, I think that Heyman is correct in that Collins will not come back in 2018. While Collins will leave a lasting impression on Mets fans for years to come, it’s no secret his managerial regime is become awfully tired. Even if it’s just psychological, there is the feeling emulating from the clubhouse that he is on the way out, and keeping him around for any longer would seem to prevent the Mets from “turning the new leaf” that they want to do as quickly as possible before their window of opportunity closes.

On the flip side, though, while it would make sense to remove Collins as quickly as possible to get the players aquatinted with a new manager, I believe Collins, who took the Mets to the world series and consecutive postseasons, has earned the right to finish out his year, and that’s why nothing is confirmable from the front office.

Either way, I’d like to thank Terry for his guidance and taking the team to their fifth National League championship, despite the shortcomings, everyone can agree that Terry was a favorite in the clubhouse and in the organization, and his work is appreciated.

My Thoughts on the Jay Bruce “Fiasco”

image

In the last 48 hours, even with the Mets out of any feasible playoff contention, the Mets Twitter-sphere was in total chaos, after it was disclosed that Jay Bruce was traded to Cleveland for single-A prospect Ryder Ryan; a relief pitcher who played third base in college.

There were also rumors that the Yankees were interested in Bruce, offering two prospects, but weren’t willing to eat up the entire $5 million owed to Bruce. In the immediate aftermath, most called out the Wilpons for being cheap (which usually happens whenever the Mets make a controversial move) and some came to the team’s defense, citing the unknown factor in the Yankees deal, and the fact that it’s $5 million dollars that can be invested elsewhere.

Even Nelson Figueroa, the Mets pre and post game host, defended the team by saying:

At it’s face, Mr.Figueroa has a point, even though he does make some bold implications, like how the five million could be used for one year of deGrom, Conforto and Syndergaard, which is absurd, as you couldn’t sign those types of controlled players for $5 million, and even if you did have organizational guys that were coming up, they wouldn’t be held up by the $5 million on the owners’ tab due to keeping Bruce.

Another issue was the fact that had the Mets held on to Bruce until the end of the year and offered him a qualifying offer, they would have received a 3-4th round draft pick had he declined, which would have been a little bit more promising than Ryder Ryan, who, along with his low draft status, has had poor statistics in his professional career.

I know that some people don’t want to call out the front office on this deal by calling it a salary dump, because that implies you think the owners aren’t thinking out for the team, but this is as close to the definition of a salary dump as it can get. I’m not the guy to rant non-stop on Twitter about the Wilpons being cheap, but it’s no secret that the fat cats upstairs (in any organization) have deep, deep pockets, and I’ve always thought the Mets owners are a little too inadequate in this regard, and this fiasco does not help their case.

In any case, Bruce is gone, and, while I don’t think we will see him back in the Orange and Blue, he was a real leader in the clubhouse, and I think all the Mets will miss his professionalism and dedication to the team. Best of luck in Ohio.

New York Mets 2017 Walk-Up Songs (Second-Half)

Courtesy of Sports Intros.

How many Mets Blogs are out there?

Screen Shot 2017-08-01 at 2.21.56 PM

Yesterday, I read an interesting column on the history of print and web based journalism, and how written mediums are quickly getting replaced by multi-media tactics.

I knew this was prevalent in our society, but it’s becoming increasingly more clear nowadays when top-tier writers like Ken Rosenthal are linking to their Facebook to express their opinion.

However, the most shocking moment for me was when Matthew Cerrone, the king of Mets Blogs, talked about sharing and interlining content with other blogs during his book signing. He explained that he doesn’t do that nearly as much because “There aren’t many left”. Those words echoed to the back of the Barnes & Noble, and reverberated off the skulls of the blogger in me, now curious, unsure if my pursuit of become a more regular writer is something that won’t be available for me in 10-20 years, when I’m older.

It was a perfect bit of dialogue that captures how the media world is changing day by day. What used to be expressed in a 100 word blog post can now be just as easily described in a 100 character tweet, but it wasn’t always this way, oh no. When I was younger, I remember just how many Mets sites were out there, so many, that I thought (and still do) that the Mets have the most passionate and well-educated fans anywhere in the league. There were so many, that Mets360, made a comprehensive list of all the Mets related sites out there. He came up with over 25 and listed even more that were once considerably active that still share some Mets information.

However, the times have changed a lot since then, some new blogs popped up, and some older blogs disappeared, so I wanted to start a list to see how many Mets Blogs exist actively that share Mets information.

To qualify, I think a blog should at least have written five posts in the year 2017 and one post in the last 3 months, additionally 50% of the content be related to something Orange & Blue. That’s it.

So here is the list, feel free to add to it if you’d like by commenting below or tweeting @NikoMetsPlus. I’m actually curious to find the exact number of active sites left.


 


Simply put, I’m amazed. There are just about 25 sites that are active (most of which were started in the Shea Stadium days) and there are plenty more that I probably couldn’t find on my own.

While I’m pretty active on the Mets online-sphere, I didn’t know of a good chunk of these blogs until I composed this list.

It’s awesome to see how many websites share different types of information, and not just the lineups and recaps. Articles on unique baseball cards, the bullpen cart, uniform alterations, their podcasts, unique interviews, and all the other stuff one can’t get from a quick social media post is what makes the Mets blog network stronger than ever.

It’ll be interesting to see this list evolve over the coming years; and if there are any blogs left out, again, feel free to comment or tweet me, so I can add it. This list should be a place where one can discover new Mets sites and connect and network with their authors.

 

Citi Field netting could be further expanded to the Foul Poles

mets_put_up_more_protective_netting_at_citi_field

This is absurdity at it’s best.

Shannon Shark of MetsPolice.com, shared this New York Times article that came out yesterday over the state of protective netting at New York stadiums.

In brief, the article talks about how Terry Collins and Jay Bruce support their employers  decision (shocker), and how the Yankees have balked at the idea, as even preliminary discussions have prompted Yankees fans to write in and complain.

However, one very interesting point is this little excerpt that Shannon highlights on his blog, which has my head spinning:

As significant a move as the Mets have made with the additional screens, it does not meet what City Councilman Rafael Espinal is asking for in a bill that would require both the Mets and Yankees to extend protective netting all the way to each foul pole.

Now, we should all remember that there are hundreds of bills that are proposed every year that never come to surface, but the idea of netting extending to the foul poles is so preposterous.

Even the folks that support protective netting, who say that there are little kids and the elderly that do not have a quick reaction time, I’m curious, why not sit in the 25 sections along the field level that now have netting? And, also, who’s reaction time is so slow that they can’t get out of the way of a ball that travels 330 feet?

I’ve never been in support in any additional netting, and while, sure, I feel terrible for the occasional child that isn’t paying attention in the first row, this overkill is 100% linked to the increase in distractions prevalent in modern ballparks and advances in modern technology.

Don’t get me wrong, I check my Twitter feed and email several times during a game, but when I sat in a box seat behind the dugout, I was locked in to the action when the game was being played. And, if, you do want to be casual at the game and go for the experience instead of the game (which is fine, in my opinion) that’s what outfield seats, the Excelsior and Promenade levels, and seats behind home plate are for.

Even before the netting, over 80% of the ballpark seats were safe from ballpark netting, and those 15-20% behind the dugouts were subjecting themselves, which has always been prominently displayed as a disclaimer on Mets.com when purchasing those tickets.

When I used to go to Shea Stadium as a kid in those famous orange box seats, I remember the usher telling us that we should pay attention, as the ball comes fast, and that we might have a chance to get a ball. And, you know what? I payed attention, and I loved the game of baseball from that moment on.

Last week, I sat in similar seats when the Rockies were in town, and I felt totally distanced from the game, like I wasn’t a part of the action. I could reach out and grab a ball, and while that’s not important for me, I’m sure the younger kids in attendance, who will be adult Mets fans in no time, might not have the same connection with the game as my generation did when I grew up.

So, Councilman Espinal, I understand your concerns for safety, but at some point there has to be a line. Sure, safety is paramount, but we don’t go to the game to be safe, we go to have fun, root on your team, eat ballpark fare, play games, be with the family etc. People that care about safety have options readily in place. This isn’t an airport or an automobile, this is a ballpark.