Too much to say about Citi Field to confine it to one posting:
I wanted to give you some visuals to illustrate what I was talking about yesterday. Here's the gate comparison I was talking about comparing San Francisco to Citi Field (maybe it's not entirely accurate, now that I see the pictures...incidentally, it was SBC Park when we were there. I kept calling it AT&T Park...I don't even know what it is now. And I've given you the side view of Citi - that's where these high gates are):
And then here's the field comparison I was talking about with PETCO ("Where The Mets Go") versus Citi Field, particularly with the outfield walls:
A couple of more comments about the experience:
-We parked in the lot, and were lucky enough to choose a spot near an exit (we got to the park around 3:30 for the 7:10 start, so we had our choice of spots), which turned out to be a direct shot right out the door. That was lucky.
-But it was great that we had the car there. Since we were there so early, we were waiting for the gates to open, and that's when one of the vendors right inside the gate decided to start selling the 'collector's edition' programs for the first game at Citi Field. (He kept looking over his shoulder like he was doing something wrong, selling them through the gate.) So after I bought the program, rather than carry it around all night, I was able to put it in the car and keep it in nice condition. I was excited about that.
-Interestingly, there was texting interference all night. Clearly I didn't have much trouble sending out texts, since I was able to update Twitter all night, but when I tried to send a picture of the big flag to the Southern Bureau to post on the blog, it wouldn't go through. Then, when I walked through the concourse later in the night, a bunch of texts started to pour into my phone that had been sent hours before. So if you texted me Monday night, that's why I didn't reply.
Finally, Justin in NYC sent this e-mail, which I'm not sure he meant for publication, but I will anyway. Not only is it a good point, but it illustrates how he keeps an ear to the ground for me from the NYC radio stations, which I appreciate:
Lots of people were calling up and complaining to Francesa today about how they thought Citi Field tried so hard to embrace New York's national league history, that it was ignoring Met-specific history.
They were saying it looks like Ebbets Field and has the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, but none of that has any direct link to the Mets except that Wilpon grew up in Brooklyn. Your thoughts?"
I think this is an interesting point, because it's sort of what I'm getting at when I talk about the Mets Hall of Fame. At Shea Stadium, it was hidden outside the Diamond Club, which I didn't actually go into until last year, the final year of its existence. In other words, the casual fan never saw it. And I don't know where that is at Citi Field - but obviously it's not prominently displayed, because I didn't see it. I would love if it was in the Rotunda, but I don't think it is. (This is what the Arizona Diamondbacks did so well - they have their 2001 trophy front and center as you walk in - and they have zero history. It spices up an otherwise boring ballpark. In Pittsburgh, where there's a ton of history, there's not much visual evidence of it. One of the flaws of a beautiful ballpark.)
But we need to remember, when thinking about this, that the Mets represent National League baseball in New York City. The whole reason they are blue and orange is because of the Dodger blue and the Giants orange. So there is sort of a connection to those teams, and I think it's an appropriate connection to Ebbets Field.
Yes, I would have liked for there to have been a mention of the 40th anniversary of the 1969 champions (which I'm sure will be celebrated this year, but has been overshadowed by Citi Field), and I would love for the Mets to trot out the 1986 Mets every game. I also think the orange stripe around the outfield walls would look cooler on a blue wall, showing the Mets colors. But the championship banners are flying in the new park, and the exterior of Citi Field (you can see it a little bit in the picture at the top) has pictures of Mets from every era.
What history the Mets have is displayed. You just have to look for it. And there's nothing wrong with the Mets carrying the New York National League baseball torch. So long as, now that they've introduced the world to their throwback ballpark, they start putting more of an emphasis on their own history.