Crain’s New York Business reports that David Wright will probably be immortalized in wax at Madame Tussaud’s wax museum on 42nd Street. He will join Babe Ruth, Joe Di Maggio, Mickey Mantle, Derek Jeter, and George Steinbrenner who already represent the other team in the city.
I suppose this is good. David, and this is not an insult, has a good face for wax. His features are very regular. If, God forbid, he is ever traded, they can use his statue, or effigy, or whatever you would call it, for someone else.
So where are they going to put him? Is he going to be with the five Yankees, maybe standing a little bit off to the side? Isn’t it going to look funny to have five Yankees and one Met? When they had no Mets, you might not have noticed the imbalance. Now you notice it. I hope they have a little sign that will explain in several languages why the NY on his hat is orange.
Madame Tussauds is mainly for foreign tourists (whom I welcome to New York!) and foreign tourists don’t know about the Mets. Wherever I’ve traveled, I’ve seen Yankee hats that people have purchased as souvenirs. The only place I’ve seen Mets hats has been Greece, where everyone has cousins in Queens.
Hell, there are kids in New York City who don’t know who the Mets are. The Mets do get famous, but it happens according to a wave pattern whose formula I’d love to have. The Yankees are always famous. They will always be the most famous baseball team. There’s nothing that can be done about this. Their myth-making machine has been working overtime for a century. Ours is much younger and it cranks up from time to time and then it just stops.
Babe Ruth is Babe Ruth, after all. He was larger than life and he deserves to be a deity. Joe DiMaggio was a hero to The Old Man and the Sea and to Mrs. Robinson. We’ve had Seaver and Piazza, but they’ve never had the opportunity to find their way into the world’s imagination in the way these great Yankees have. Probably the most famous Met in the world is Keith Hernandez, thanks to Jerry Seinfeld.
Well, we have those episodes of “Seinfeld,” and the film “Frequency,” and the excellent neglected film “Used People.” And there’s that episode of “Everybody Loves Raymond.” And now we get a wax statue. But that’s it. And it’s not enough. It’s nothing compared to “The Pride of the Yankees,” a film that even a Yankee-hater like me loves.
The wax statue of David is a start. But let’s keep the ball rolling. A few more exciting seasons from an exciting team. Maybe a couple of movies. Maybe a museum in CitiField celebrating our glorious history so that at least Mets fans will know what and where we’ve been. A Triple-A affiliate in Shanghai? Let’s be creative. Let’s convince the world of something that almost half of all New Yorkers already believe: that we, and not them, are New York’s real team.