Today is a golden anniversary in the world of baseball, for 50 years ago today, the Mets unveiled a logo that has been with them virtually unchanged ever since.
The birthday logo.
It’s a pretty logo, but almost all the elements have some meaning to it. There’s a bridge in the foreground that’s supposed to represent the NL returning to New York City, which had been without a Senior Circuit team since the Dodgers and Giants left for California in the late 1950s.
The colors also harken back to the old Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants as blue and orange had been the primary team colors for each of them, respectively.
The circular logo shape and orange stitching on it are the most obvious symbolic elements. It represents a baseball, of course.
Some of the buildings also represent certain city spots. The skyline features a church spire on the left because Brooklyn was apparently known for its churches. There is also the tallest building in Brooklyn back then, the Williamsburg Savings Bank. After all, Brooklyn was famously torn up about losing their Dodgers, so it makes sense to appeal to those fans. The logo also represents the Woolworth Building, Empire State Building and on the right the UN Building.
Designed by cartoonist Ray Gatto, the Mets club has thought enough of it to keep using it. Exactly fifty years after its debut as Mets logo on Nov. 16, 1961, it’s still a symbol associated with the club.
Aside from that, many other events celebrate their anniversary or “day-versary” (which is an event occurring X-thousand days ago) today. Here they are, with the better ones in bold if you just want to skim.
2,000 days since Derek Jeter gets his 2,000th career hit. It takes him 1,571 games.
2,000 days since Vladimir Guerrero hits his only career inside-the-park homer. It’s his 318th homer overall.
3,000 days since former pitcher Claude Passeau dies.
3,000 days since the big league debut of Chad Cordero.
6,000 days since Edgar Martinez plays a full game at third base for the last time.
7,000 days since the Red Sox top the Brewers, 2-1, in 15 innings on a walk-off error.
7,000 days since Randy Johnson has a Game Score of 97 but gets a no-decision as the contest goes 13 innings. His line: 9 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, and 15 K.
7,000 days since Cal Ripken is caught stealing twice in one game for the only time.
7,000 days since Chicago’s Frank Thomas enjoys the only five-hit game of his career. He goes 5-for-5 with two doubles, three runs, and two RBIs.
7,000 days since Boston’s Bob Zupcic lays down a rare walk-off sacrifice hit. Boston beat the Brewers, 2-1, in 15 innings.
9,000 days since the Royals trade David Cone to the Mets.
10,000 days since the Dodgers retire the numbers for Pee Wee Reese and Don Drysdale.
10,000 days since Expos trade longtime shortstop Chris Speier to the Cardinals.
10,000 days since all-time Royals victory leader Paul Splittorff retires from baseball.
30,000 days since the American League postpones all its game in honor of Miller Huggins, who just died suddenly.
1887 Major league baseball issues some rule changes. Walks will no longer count as hits. It will no longer be four strikes for a strikeout; it will be three. It will still be five balls for a walk.
1891 The Louisville Colonels are sold at auction to Dr. T. Hunt Stuckey. The American Association is falling apart, and Louisville will join the National League.
1893 The Giants purchase George Van Haltren, a center fielder who arguably belongs in Cooperstown, from the Pirates for $2,500.
1894 The National League expels Pittsburgh manager Al Buckenberger, Louisville manager Billy Barnie, and Louisville second baseman Fred Pfeffer. The three had attempted to revive the dormant AA.
1930 Paul Foytack is born. For a long time, Foytock is the only man to surrender four successive homers in one outing.
1950 League presidents Ford Frick (NL) and Will Harridge (AL) vote to deposit $950,000 from the World Series TV/radio money into the player pension fund.
1950 The Pirates select Dale Long in the Rule 5 draft from the Yankees.
1951 Red Sox manager Lou Boudreau says Ted Williams is available for a trade. Boudreau will soon back off this comment.
1962 The Braves are sold to a new group headed by Bill Bartholomay.
1964 Dwight Gooden is born.
1975 Julio Lugo is born.
1976 The Angels sign free agent Don Baylor.
1979 The Red Sox sign free agent Tony Perez.
1979 The Angels sign free agent Bruce Kison.
1980 The Mets sign amateur free agent Kevin Mitchell.
1987 Jim Brewer, former relief pitcher, dies.
1992 The Rockies sign free agent Andres Galarraga.
1995 The A’s hire manager Art Howe.
1999 The Rockies trade Darryl Kile to the Cardinals for Jose Jimenez in a seven-player trade.
1999 The Blue Jays releases Mike Matheny.
2001 The Orioles release Brady Anderson.
2001 A Minnesota judge issues a temporary injunction ordering the Twins to play their full home schedule and says Twins owner Carl Pohlard can’t sell the team to someone in order to move it.
2002 As part of a six-player trade, the Marlins send Preston Wilson and Charles Johnson to the Rockies for Juan Pierre and Mike Hampton.
2004 The Nationals sign free agents Vinny Castilla and Cristian Guzman. This doesn’t work too well for them.
2005 Former broadcaster Ralph Edwards dies at age 92. He’s the voice that launched the Jimmy Fund, the kids cancer fund long associated with the Red Sox.
2006 The Mets sign free agent Damion Easley.
2010 Florida trades Dan Uggla to the Braves.
History instructor by day, statnerd by night, Chris Jaffe leads one of the most exciting double lives imaginable; with the exception of every other double life possible to imagine. Despite his lack of comic-book-hero-worthiness, Chris enjoys farting around with this stuff. His new book, Evaluating Baseball's Managers is available for order. Chris welcomes responses to his articles via e-mail.
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