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2006 Baseball in New York: Mets Rivaling the Yankees
Thursday, January 26, 2006
On a recent trip to New York, I performed an informal (but still highly scientific) study to see who the most popular team in NY was. Each day, I counted (roughly) the number of people wearing Yankees hats versus people wearing Mets hats versus people wearing yarmulkes. Surprise: the Mets came in third...

With the exception of a few lucky/ magical/ miraculous Mets seasons, the Yankees have had the luxury of being the undisputed kings of New York. The Yanks have enjoyed record attendance, worldwide fandom and countless records and honors, all of which have continuously sealed their fate as the most popular and powerful team in New York. The Mets, on the other hand, have historically been an underdog, the Yankees’ nerdy-but-lovable little brother, and even with their exciting brushes with success in ’69, ’86 and ’00 they’ve never quite been able to reach the Yankees’ level of popularity.

These days, though, it looks like the Yankees’ charming little brother may be growing up – and he could be reaching the Yankees level soon.

Top Five Signs the Mets Are Blowing Up….In a Good Way

5. The Mets have the first Latino GM in baseball history, the first black manager in NY baseball history. With Pedro, Delgado and Beltran on the team they have cornered the market for Latino fans.

4. They’re getting their own broadcast station…and they’ve got Keith Hernandez, Gary Cohen and Ron Darling on board.

3. Adios Shea: a new, $600 million stadium is coming just in time to rival the Yanks forthcoming new stadium.

2. The Mets organization is finally appreciating their history, after all but ignoring their drug-saturated past since the ’86 World Series. Strawberry has been doing some spring training coaching, Hernandez is a commentator, Gary Carter is managing in the minors, and there are rumors that the Mets will finally retire some numbers this year.

1. Payroll, baby. People love to rail on the teams with the highest payrolls (*cough*), but the fact is that the best players are going to cost you - - a lot. The Mets have made huge strides in the past few years in acquiring big name players like Pedro, Beltran, and Wagner, and the money has proved well spent.

posted by Yankees Chick @ Thursday, January 26, 2006  
  • At 8:27 PM, Anonymous Captain Scurvy said…

    A resurgent Mets franchise, led by Omar Minaya, has been one of the pleasures of living in NYC this last year or so. An ad campaign throughout the subways before the start of the 2005 season proclaimed that "The New Mets" had arrived. After a disappointing start and a lousy series against the Braves the NY Times opined the headline, "False advertising: same old Mets."

    But this is an exciting year for the Metropolitans, and their fans.

    I have been particularly impressed with how aggressively Minaya has pursued the Latino market. YC, you mention that the Mets "came in third" in your informal experiment. I don't know if you were joking, but as far as I can tell (again, living in NYC), they do come in third: behind the Red Sox. At the restaurant where I work, for example, the Latino staff members, nearly to a man, count themselves Red Sox fans. 2004 hurt, lemme tell you. Nothing spells humility like a kitchen full of prep cooks that don't even speak English pointing at your Yankees cap and laughing.

    Anyway, the Latino allegiance began to shift the very day Pedro Martinez crossed over. It's a bizarre commentary on how free agency has changed the face of baseball enthusiasm, when fans will show more loyalty to a single player than they will a team!

  • At 7:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wearing a Yankees hat in NY or anywhere else in the world does not mean anything. Most people donning one do that out of fashion (tourists, hip-hop shit) and lack of imagination (especially they sell thousands of cheap knock-offs of them). But when a fella like me has a Mets hat on, it surely means that he is a genuine Mets fan. So your hat survey is not relevant at all.

  • At 8:53 AM, Anonymous Captain Scurvy said…

    Some good points, Anonymous, but I don't think you can completely discount the relevancy of the informal hat survey (wow, now I'm getting into brass tacks).

    While it is true that the presence of a Yankees cap does not necessarily denote the presence of a Yankees fan, it is also true that no baseball fan that is not a Yankees fan would be caught dead in a Yankees cap.

    Regardless, I am just as likely to see a Red Sox cap as I am a Mets cap, and I live in Queens for cryin' out loud.

  • At 11:27 AM, Anonymous reedster said…

    In Los Angeles during my first 33 years on the earth, you never saw anyone wear an Angels hat.


    Then came 2002... and the F**KERS came out in droves.

    Then, Arte Moreno gets the team, and he starts advertising the Angels as "The A Team" in L.A. with cities in L.A. county with the Big "A" put in them (like PAsAdena, MAlibu, etc).

    /I hate bandwagonners
    /I hate Arte Moreno even more
    /you can bet you will see (at minimum) more Mets hats than Yamalkes (sp?) come September and October

  • At 1:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Well, still on the topic of hat-wearing. The Red Sox hats in NYC do not mean anything either.
    A lot of it has to do with the media constantly depicting the Yanks-Bosox rivalry as the biggest in the sports world (which is absolutely false, I know of much worse rivalries, at least a dozen of 'em, between soccer teams to such a point that fans and sometimes players have to be separated) and their relationship as pure hatred.
    So following the Yankees hat trend, the Bosox hat trend emerged as a counter-trend move for people who thought they were being cute wearing an anti-Yanks hat. This trend got a boost from the 2004 WS. Most of those guys don't even watch baseball.
    The only way you can accurately measure a club's popularity is through its park attendance and TV scores. In that regard, the Yanks win over the Mets in NYC, but not overwhelmingly.
    A Queens guy and Mets fan

  • At 3:26 PM, Blogger Yankees Chick said…

    my hat study was certainly not the most accurate judgement of number of fans. it was just for fun...but still interesting.

    I doubt that the mets will ever overtake the yankees in worldwide popularity. but it will be fun to watch them grow!

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