2009-02-13 / Editorial/Opinion

Call It 'Jackie Robinson Field'

When the New York Mets sold the naming rights to the new stadium being built to take the place of Shea Stadium, few people took note because that is the way the baseball world has worked during the last decade. The mantra was, "make the most money you can and don't worry about the fans." So, when Citibank won the bidding war, fans resolved themselves to many years of "Citifield." With the economic meltdown and the massive federal handouts to financial institutions, the Met fan underground went to work, demanding that the name be changed to something like "Bail-Out Park," and worse. We have an idea that is not novel with us, but we think fitting. The name of Shea Stadium (named for William Shea, a functionary in the city government when the park was first built) should be changed to "Jackie Robinson Field." The reasons for naming a New York City national league baseball park after Robinson are obvious. He was the Brooklyn Dodger great who broke the color line in baseball, suffering all sorts of indignities because of his race. He never took the racist bait, however, preferring to answer it by playing the best he could on the ball field. A movement is mounting to rename the park after that famous racial pioneer, and we want to add our voices to that chorus.

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