I am guessing that if I do a little Googling tomorrow I will find several articles and blog entries that address this issue in detail and answer a lot of questions for me, but that said, I simply had to post after watching the “Shea Goodbye” coverage.
I was born and raised in New York City and went to my share of Mets games growing up. But once I got married to a true die-hard “bleed orange and blue” Mets fan, I went to a lot more games for the rest of the time we were living in New York, from late 1983 until we moved down to the DC area early in 1989.
In fact, we went to the Mets home opener in 1984 the day after our wedding (since we had to delay our honeymoon several weeks because of work commitments).
While I wasn’t a fanatic to the degree that my husband is/was, I was definitely a fan.
So with that in mind, I just have to say that as moving as many aspects of this tribute were (I got tears in my eyes when I saw Ed Charles and Doc Gooden) …
It just wasn’t the same without Mookie.
I know that both Mookie and Davey Johnson were absent due to long-standing issues they have with the team. I don’t know if they were invited and turned down the invitation or simply were not invited (see: Clemens, Roger, Yankee Stadium).
But at least during the beginning of the tribute when former greats who could not be there due to “previous commitments” were announced, Davey Johnson was mentioned.
Unless I missed it, Mookie was not. (DID I miss it? DID they announce him?)
If indeed the two were invited and turned down the invitation, then it’s sad that the fans were deprived of the chance to cheer for them, and to chant one more time “Mooooooooooo.” And granted part of the onus has to lay (lie? I can never remember. Good thing I’m not an English teacher) on Mookie and Davey for turning down the invite that would have thrilled 50,000 fans.
BUT … if that is the case, then the Mets choice to not take the high road and at least announce Mookie puts the “mean ball” back in their court.
I don’t know what happened between him and the organization during his short tenure as a Minor League manager …
All I know is there were few if any players more truly beloved by the fans. Even my husband caved in and bought his one and only bobblehead doll on eBay so Mookie sits on our mantleplace in our kitchen so we can see hm there every day.
My other favorite former Met was also missing from the festivities but I confess I didn’t really expect to see him there …
Anyway … what a great last weekend … can’t wait for the playoffs to begin. I am waiting nervously for the Rays to announce their post-season roster now that Carl Crawford is back. I will be interested to see who doesn’t make the cut. Needless to say I am crossing my fingers that their Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year both stay active (that would be Fernando Perez and David Price in case you were wondering).