Dwight Gooden's Signature Not Welcome at Citi Field

The Mets are hearing a lot of criticism for ignoring team history

There have been two loud criticisms of Citi Field. One is that you can't see enough of the field from certain levels of seats, and the other is that the ballpark pays more tribute to the Brooklyn Dodgers than to the New York Mets. The former may be a design flaw that's hard to fix, but the latter is easily changed.

Dwight Gooden gave the Mets a chance to honor a bit of their own tradition when he autographed the wall of the Ebbets Club, a bar inside the stadium available to a certain level of ticketholders. It's a nice touch to a room that's named after another team's stadium, features a picture of Ebbets Field and no Mets memorabilia whatsoever. A wall of signatures could be like caricatures on the wall of the Palm or the footprints in cement outside Graumann's Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles.

The Mets, however, have announced that the autograph will be erased from the wall and a cloth held up by tacks was covering the offending signature during Sunday's loss to the Brewers. Lou DiBella, a boxing promoter and Mets ticket holder, spoke to the New York Post about the Mets' decision.

"That's the same spirit that caused them to build a new ballpark that doesn't have any semblance of Mets history...That's insulting to the people who care about this team and care about its history," DiBella said. "Doc did that with the best intentions, and the idea they're going to cover that up is sickening."

A couple of weeks ago, we discussed whether or not the Mets should retire the numbers of Gooden and Darryl Strawberry. That was before Citi Field, and its distinct lack of Mets history, had been opened to the public, but even then the feeling was that the Mets haven't done enough to celebrate the great moments in their history. Seeing Citi Field, with its Jackie Robinson Rotunda and limited nods to the actual home team, only reinforced the notion.

Gooden's decision to autograph a wall gave the team a chance to reverse that course. The second-best pitcher in franchise history just picked up a pen and signed his name, a cool story to tell about how the Mets Wall of Fame came to be. Maybe he shouldn't have done it, but someone had to do something to get more Mets flavor in the stadium.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.

Copyright FREEL - NBC Local Media
Contact Us