Friday, January 08, 2010

(5) Comments

Fact or Myth: 1978 Mets Banner Day (Picture)

Can anyone tell me what is happening in this picture?

Pete sent it over and says it is something called "Banner Day."

Pete claims this photo was taken at Shea Stadium in 1978.

To believe that I would have to believe the Mets let fans walk on the field with signs telling everyone how much they love the team.

Why would a team do such a thing?

I mean who is going to do that, some little kid?

As if 35 years later that kid is going to remember that he walked around the field with a sheet.

As if a team could invent a tradition unique to the franchise.

As if a team wants the fans walking around feeling like a community.

Hogwash I say.  Just run around the bases kid, spend two seconds with Mr. Met II and be happy with that.

Nice try Pete, I don't know how you photoshopped this, but there's no way the Mets would ever let children walk around the field holding a sheet.  I've been following this team this entire century, and I'm telling you there's no way they would ever do such a thing.

Next thing you'll want them to bring back old Mets players, as if someone wants to see a bunch of old men in baseball uniforms.  That would be way too much work to organize.

''That's silly, and that's not the reason,'' said Dave Howard, the Mets' executive vice president for baseball operations. ''It was particularly unpopular as a promotion. We didn't see an increase in ticket sales or interest from sponsors or even from people who already had tickets. It died of its own unpopularity in the early '90s. (Times)

It's all about the money Mets fans.  Always is.  Read the quote read the quote read the quote.  


Whew, got worked up there.  This post was supposed to be part of Share Your Shots where you send your Mets photos to and I kinda went on a tear and then typed Banner Day David Howard into google, and even though he's talking about Old-Timer's Day there it still made me see red.  Gotta go chill.  Send me some pictures will ya?

Speaking of sponsors, I can't wait for the promotions calendar.  My post that day will be something like this...

"May 16th.  Kraft Singles Mets crazy straw night" - I'll whip out Dave's quote and then rant that Kraft could spend money on crazy straws but we can't have Ed Kranepool come by?

Ok I'm ranting again.  I've done this before but here goes.  I'm going to plan Old-Timer's Day.

Hey Keith and Ron, need you to come downstairs at 1 on August whateverth.  Someone call Seaver and tell him we'll give him 50 grand and plug the marines and his wine.  Tell Bob Ojeda at SNY to catch a ride with Burkhardt.    Do we still have Mazzilli's number?  How we doing with that prominently displayed Gooden signature we promised?  Call Doc and we'll knock that out.  Tell Wally to let the third base coach run the dopey A ball team.

That's 5 minutes work, three phone calls and I have 7 Mets there already.  Kranepool will show up, trust me.

Rant over.  For now.  Your turn.

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5 Responses to "Fact or Myth: 1978 Mets Banner Day (Picture)"
hereisg said :
January 8, 2010 at 8:22 AM
I'll add to your list for old timers day. You have Buddy Harrelson living on Long Island and has been back for most major events. Heck he can pick up Kranepool on the way. You have David Cone, and Ken Singleton sitting cross town working for YES... I would think they may be able to come back for a day.

what I find more amazing is that it's too much money now, but the first old timers day was held before the Mets had old timers. It was anyone involved with the Mets or wanted to show up. Ralph Kiner in a Pirates uni.

Now that we do have enough history we can't support it? I call BS.
jmp said :
January 8, 2010 at 12:11 PM
One of the issues with the way Banner Day used to be done, which would be more problematic today, is that fields in major league ballparks are much more meticulously maintained these days than they were 20+ years ago.

Over the summer, my wife got comped tickets because a promotion tied in with the place she works. At one point, I was talking with the Mets rep who dealt with her office, and I commented that our older son loves the Mr. Met Dash, and that it's a shame that they don't do it more often. He said that one of the reasons it's so rare is that they can only do it after the last game of a homestand, as it takes the grounds crew 2-3 days to get the field back in playing condition after all the crowds.

I found this astonishing. We're not talking about a crowd that trashes the field. I understand that the grounds crew should never be put in the position of having to work to repair the field overnight before a game as they had to before the game on September 18, 1986, but they did it and the Mets and Cubs managed to play even on that wreck of field. We're talking about a controlled crowd that never touches the grass. We enter along the warning track, the kids cross onto the infield dirt on a matt laid over the grass, then get back to the warning track on a similar matt.

If it field needs to be maintained so perfectly that it takes 2-3 days to fix the damage of having fans walk on the warning track, there's no way they'll let fans walk on the field before a game.

Of course, it begs the question of whether or not they're being ridiculously overprotective of the field. Is the warning track really that fragile? Is it possible that the Mr. Met Dash could be done any time before a single day off? (God knows the kids love it, and it's an extremely inexpensive promotion for the Mets to run.)

If the field is that fragile, what technology is used to avoid the problem in places where a Major League team shares a field with an NFL team? It didn't stop the Marlins from success in the years that their management bothered to field a team...
January 8, 2010 at 12:27 PM
But what's the difference between walking on the last day of a homestand with a banner vs a dash around the bases? So have it at the end of a it before a game though, the world won't end.
jmp said :
January 8, 2010 at 12:42 PM
I'm not disagreeing that it should be done before a game, and would really do minimal damage to the field.

I think that somewhere along the line someone let the grounds crew become a bunch of primadonnas. Getting the warning track in shape for a game after a few hundred people walk over it is part of their job, and shouldn't really be that difficult. Keeping people off the grass is all well and good, but this shouldn't be outside the realm of possibility, yet the grounds crew seems to have the power to make it an impossibility...
HarborPointe said :
January 10, 2010 at 3:54 PM
Of course, it's also entirely possible the Mets rep in question was full, baloney, and that's just a convenient--if not comically exaggerated--excuse.

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