Citi Field has often been an afterthought instead of being at the forefront during its three-and-a-half year history.
That will change next summer.
The City of New York, Major League Baseball and the Mets unveiled the 2013 All-Star Game logo in a joint ceremony Tuesday afternoon at Citi Field. WFAN radio play-by-play man Howie Rose and SNY play-by-play man Gary Cohen emceed the press conference.
“On behalf of the Commissioner and the other 29 Major League Baseball clubs, we just want to let everybody in New York City — all the baseball fans, all the Mets fans and everyone assembled here today — [know] how thrilled baseball is to bring the 84th All-Star Game to this magnificent park in this magnificent city that has such a great National League tradition,” said MLB Executive Vice President for Business Tim Brosnan.
“New York City will be the center of the sports universe next summer,” Brosnan said. “By hosting the All-Star Game, New York City, the New York Mets and this ballpark will be exposed to a worldwide audience.”
Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon represented the Mets along with general manager Sandy Alderson, manager Terry Collins, third baseman David Wright, starting pitchers Johan Santana and R.A. Dickey, and alumni Ron Darling, Keith Hernandez, Doc Gooden and John Franco. First Deputy Mayor for New York City Patricia E. Harris was in attendance as well.
“To showcase this ballpark next year is going to be a good thing,” Wilpon said. “It’s a great honor to have the ballgame here and be able to showcase this building.”
Next year’s event will be the ninth time that New York City has hosted the All-Star Game, and it will be the second time in Mets franchise history. The Mets hosted the 1964 All-Star Game at Shea Stadium which the National League won, 7-4. The Philadelphia Phillies’ Johnny Callison was named the game’s MVP after slugging a two-out, three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth. Second baseman Ron Hunt was the Mets’ lone representative in that game.
“Now the mid-summer classic is coming back to Queens and the Mets will have an opportunity to showcase yet another beautiful new ballpark — Citi Field,” Rose said. “This is way bigger than it was in 1964.”
Harris was steadfast that the All-Star Game festivities would benefit the city, as she estimated that the All-Star Game would generate a “$200-million impact.” A feasibility study reported that this year’s game, hosted in Kansas City, brought in $60 million. It also stated that the 2008 All-Star Game, held at the old Yankee Stadium, generated $148.4 million for the City.
Mayor Mike Bloomberg said in a statement, “Major League Baseball hit a home run when they chose to hold the 2013 All-Star Game in New York City. Incorporating our city’s iconic skyline into the logo highlights that the game will be played on the world’s biggest stage.”
“Major League Baseball is proud to partner with the New York Mets on their first All-Star Game in 49 years and the first in their spectacular new home. We look forward to celebrating not only New York City’s great National League tradition but all the best of the national pastime with the loyal fans of the Mets,” added Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig in the same statement.
Follow Mets beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.