Philadelphians seem to have a better understanding of New York sports history and tradition than the current owners of the Mets.
From NBC Philadelphia
By JERE HESTER
Updated 7:25 AM EST, Wed, Feb 4, 2009
Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier in 1947. Six decades later, the Mets have the opportunity to do the right thing, and name their new ballpark after the baseball hero.
A report that bailout-begging Citigroup wants out of its $400 million naming-rights deal for the New York Mets’ new ballpark is a chance for the team to finally do the right thing: name the stadium after Jackie Robinson.
Citi Field sits right next to Shea Stadium in Queens, N.Y. Whether or not it will retain its corporate moniker is a question on a lot of people’s minds.
Robinson, of course, never played for the Mets. But he broke baseball’s insidious color barrier nearly 62 years ago, tearing up the base paths for the team’s spiritual and local National League predecessors, the Brooklyn Dodgers.
It was much more than just a New York sports story: Robinson, with his on-the-field determination and off-the-field dignity amid threats and venom spewed by fools, struck a blow for fair play and civil rights. He blazed a trail that arguably helped make way for Barack Obama’s journey to the White House six decades later.
Citigroup, meanwhile, has received $45 billion in taxpayer bailout funds, spurring calls by some lawmakers to scrap the expensive naming-rights deal.
CitiField Which Rhymes With.........
No one is rooting for Citigroup to fail. But amid tough times, the company shouldn’t be spending $400 million on a stadium name – Citi Field – that’s already been mocked by fans for its corporate sound and its unfortunate rhyming possibilities.
Besides, whatever happened to the notion that baseball stadium names should have something to do with baseball?
It’s a fight against the odds, but Robinson never let odds stand in his way. So fans, let your voices be heard, and demand that the Mets give us Jackie Robinson Field — the most fitting way for the pioneering ballplayer’s legacy to live on in the city where he helped change our world.
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