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Mets Everyday Persona What City Needed Post 9-11

By Mike Silva ~ September 11th, 2011. Filed under: Morning Digest, New York Mets, New York Yankees.

Throughout their history the Mets have always taken a backseat to the Yankees on the field. Perhaps you could argue that wasn’t the case during their 80s run of dominance, but even then it was fast and fleeting and filled with George Steinbrenner’s antics on the back page. We have seen numerous tributes about the ten year anniversary of 9-11 during the past week. One common theme was the work of Bobby Valentine and his Mets team in the wake of the tragedy. It seems the Mets became a team for the people in a way that is impossible for the Yankees due to the nature of their brand.

I am not suggesting the Yankees didn’t step up and do their part, they did. They did their tributes, and visited firehouses to console those that lost colleagues and loved ones. What I am saying is that Mike Piazza‘s home run began the healing process of getting sports back to normal in this town. It wasn’t the Yankees run to the championship a few weeks later that we have looked back upon. It’s not even George W. Bush throwing out the first pitch during Game 3 of the ’01 World Series.It’s a home run in what turned out to be another game during a season that was wildly disappointing. The Mets would break their fans hearts two days later by blowing a ninth inning lead. They would do it again the following week to seal their fate in the NL East. No one remembers the Armando Benitez blown saves. They just think of how Piazza used one of his dramatic moments to do something bigger for this town than win the Mets a baseball game. They think how hard the team tried to connect with the city over the last three weeks of that season.

The love for the Mets response goes deeper than just Piazza’s homer. Maybe it was a matter of opportunity as Shea Stadium served as a staging area for rescue supplies. Maybe it was because the Mets had local boys like Al Leiter and John Franco on the club. Maybe it was because Bobby Valentine didn’t stop managing during baseball’s layoff; he was coordinating the rescue effort in the Shea parking lot.  The Mets always seem to connect better with fans throughout their history than the Yankees. There is never that “moat” between them. The Yankees are rock stars. The Mets are regular guys that just happen to play baseball.

This isn’t a Mets spin machine creating this. It’s just how things have developed and public perception over the last 50 years. The Mets will always be, regardless of position in the standings, a team for the people. The Yankees have their brand, the Mets have theirs. Each serves its purpose, but post 9-11 the city didn’t need history and luxury; it needed community. The Mets throughout their history have always represented community better than their Bronx counterparts. The players, despite protestations from MLB, wore the hats of the NYPD, FDNY, EMT, and PAPD throughout the rest of the season. It wasn’t about MLB’s brand or marketing, it was about connecting with people.

Ten years later the Yankees have gone on to win another World Series. The Mets have suffered all sorts of bad luck on the field of play. Right now, the divide between the organizations is very wide. The Mets are looking to get functional again. The Yankees are looking to cash in and win their 28th World Series. Both teams did yeoman’s work in being sensitive to the city’s plight after the tragedy. The Mets and their everyday persona were just more what the city needed at the time.


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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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2 Responses to Mets Everyday Persona What City Needed Post 9-11

  1. dana

    what a load of crap.

  2. Stu B

    A highly intelligent response from Dana.

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