In the New York Times on April 27, George Vecsey, praising a sculpture garden of great Cardinals outside Busch Stadium, wrote the following:
“Things are just more conservative in this river town, where the Cardinals have won 10 World Series, second only to the Yankees’ 26. The Mets have won two Series in their first 47 seasons, and management is hearing it from fans who say Mets history has been minimized at the new place.
What do Mets fans want — statues of Marvelous Marv Throneberry missing first and second base on a triple in 1962? Timo Perez shifting into a lower gear on a drive he imagined would be a home run in 2000? Nolan Ryan and Lenny Dykstra packing their bags?
The Mets have produced exactly one homegrown Hall of Famer, Tom Seaver, and a few spectacular underachievers, relying mostly on superb imports like Keith Hernandez, Gary Carter and Mike Piazza. Even factoring in Casey Stengel and Gil Hodges, that does not add up to a statue garden just yet.”
How could someone who wrote Joy in Mudville (Being a Complete Account of the Unparalleled History Of the New York Mets from Their Most Perturbed Beginnings to Their Amazing Rise to Glory and Renown), 1970 have written this? I have the greatest respect for George Vecsey, but does he no longer believe in what he wrote so long ago? Are the only baseball experiences worth cherishing those which are provided by Hall-of-Famers? Are the many and continuing disappointments of Mets history to be taken as proof that we have wasted as many years as we have spent rooting for them? Is this why the Mets didn’t do enough to mark their history in Citi Field? Are they ashamed of themselves? Why is Joy in Mudville out of print? Doesn’t anybody care? Should we be ashamed of ourselves? Are we all a bunch of losers? Should we have been rooting for the Yankees or the Cardinals? Sometimes I just get tired.