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Back in the (Pink and) Black?

A sportswriter once asked Yankees owner Colonel Ruppert to describe his perfect afternoon. Replied Ruppert: “It’s when the Yankees score eight in the first and then slowly pull away.”

Wrong team, different margin, but yeah — a flurry of first-inning Mets hits was all Bartolo Colon [1] would need, and all we’d need with our team finally back home after weeks of wandering the post-All-Star Game world. Epic drama is the lifeblood of a baseball fan, but a nightly dose of it is a hard way to live: the occasional laugher makes for a very nice respite [2].

The only flaw exhibited, as far as I saw, was that the Mets were wearing their horrible Padres-style camo ensembles. I’m all for Military Monday and supporting the troops, but the sand-colored togs might actually be the worst outfit this team has ever worn — they’re an incoherent mess that assaults the eye more viciously than the return of the tail, the brief-lived white ice-cream hats and most everything you can think of except the Mercury Mets, and that was only for a night. Want to make Military Monday special? How about a flyover, extra introductions of men and women in uniform, and scoreboard features about Mets who served? (In fairness, I haven’t been — perhaps some or all of these things happen already.) Freedom from terrible uniforms would be a small tribute as well.

Speaking of uniforms, an interesting bit of Mets lore popped up yesterday. The Mets’ baseball logo was created in 1961 by cartoonist Ray Gotto; back around the time of QBC ’14 [3], uniform designer Todd Radom [4] revealed the surprising discovery [5] that Gotto first created the logo in pink and black, with publicist Lou Niss requesting that the colors be changed to orange and blue. That was both fascinating and baffling: black was a couple of generations away from its later vogue, and pink seemed as unlikely then as it does now. But Radom kept digging and discovered yesterday [6] that there was a perfectly logical reason for Gotto’s choice: pink and black were the colors of Greentree Stable, owned by Joan Payson and her brother John Hay Whitney.

The Mets had a glorious period in black, and pink has crept into the palette for Mother’s Day and games dedicated to fighting breast cancer. But pink and black? Maybe it’s just the aftereffects of a night gazing at Colon swathed in yards of camo, but why not try it for a night or few? I’ve always wished the Mets would try throwback uniforms designed to showcase the alternate names for the franchise — the Skyliners, Meadowlarks, Continentals et al. (I’ve long thought Skyliners would have been a badass name for a franchise, but that’s another post.)

“Meadowlarks,” in fact, was Payson’s preferred name for her club. Why not Joan Payson Night, with the Meadowlarks taking the field in their pink and black home alternate uniforms?