Going to the doubleheader today between the Mets and Dodgers and aren't sure what to do between games?
Check out the brand-new Mets Hall of Fame and Museum!
I only have a couple of problems with the museum:
1) It took the Mets way too long to do something like this, and
2) I wish they had a better history.
As you might expect, the displays in the museum are ultra-heavy on 1969 and 1986. The first thing you see is the image at the top left, which has the two World Series trophies back-to-back. (World Series rings from both years are also on display.)
I particularly liked the display at the middle left, which shows all three ballparks the Mets have played in throughout their history. (I'm such a sucker for ballparks...plus, I've always had a soft spot for pictures of the Polo Grounds. What a weird park.) Not sure if you can see them in that picture, but the display also includes the baseballs from the last game played at the Polo Grounds, the first and last games at Shea Stadium, and the first game at Citi Field. I like stuff like that.
The bottom left features a nice collection of cool items. The glove at the bottom left is Jesse Orosco's from Game 7 of the 1986 World Series (the one he tossed in the air). The bat on the bottom is Gary Carter's bat from his first game as a Met, when he hit a game-winning home run in 1985. And that's Carter's jacket in the middle.
Other neat displays, not pictured, included interactive displays on Mets' broadcasters and Mets history, and some neat documents like Casey Stengel's notes from spring training and a scouting report on Darryl Strawberry.
The museum is very accessible - it's right off the Jackie Robinson Rotunda...and good or bad, it leads right into the team store (I didn't realize where the museum ended and the store began)...but this means it's probably accessible year-round. Shea Stadium never had such an accessible display, but I guess that's because of limited space. Outside the restaurant within Shea, the Mets Hall of Fame busts were displayed, but it was so out of the way. The weird thing here is that the busts are not in the museum, but the plaques of the Hall of Famers are. (Bust from Shea below, left; plaque from Citi Field, below right.)
Other than my desire to re-write Mets history, I was really satisfied with the Mets Hall of Fame and Museum - there was enough to look at that I can go back and see something I didn't notice before. When we were in Cincinnati, we took a quick walk through the Reds' Hall of Fame and Museum - that was probably the best one I've seen...but that's an old franchise with a tremendous amount of history. The Mets have done a good job with what they have to work with.
I leave you with the image that has kind of come to represent the Mets Hall of Fame and Museum - the original Mr. Met.
I think the story I heard was that the paper mache head was laying around a storeroom somewhere in Shea, and no one really knew what to do with it.
It's a little weathered, there have been some changes over time, but it's still the same old lovable item. It's just found a new home.
Just like the Mets.