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Queens Chronicle

Mets will finally honor history

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Posted: Thursday, December 3, 2009 12:00 am

Mets management came to the same conclusion that fans did: that there was not enough of the team’s history visible at Citi Field. Now the Mets will name a pair of entrances after Tom Seaver and the late Gil Hodges, and the outfield bridge after William Shea of Shea Stadium fame. Shea was the man most responsible for getting the National League to place an expansion team in New York after the Dodgers and Giants left for California in 1958.

Even more significant, the Mets will build a hall of fame museum that will be accessible to the public throughout the year. Team executives would be wise to travel to St. Louis to study the Cardinals Hall of Fame, which is the best baseball shrine outside of Cooperstown.

While the Mets plan to pay tribute to their past, JetBlue is honoring the Jets’ 50-year history with a gallery of photographs at the airline’s JFK Terminal 5 home. There are plenty of visual memories from Gang Green’s 1964-1983 glory days when they played at Shea.

In the midst of their seemingly endless losing streak, the New Jersey Nets fired beleaguered Head Coach Lawrence Frank. Frank was in the last year of his $4 million a year contract and likely would have been dismissed at the end of the season no matter what. The Nets, who reportedly have been losing at least $30 million annually, were hoping to make it through the season without having to change head coaches since they’re stuck paying Frank’s contract regardless.

The game that probably sealed Frank’s fate was the Nets’ loss last Wednesday to the Denver Nuggets to kick off their western road trip. It wasn’t simply that the Nuggets, being a vastly superior team, won the game. What had to have incensed Nets executives was that in the fourth quarter the Nuggets, pretty much assured of victory, were throwing flashy behind-the-back passes and half-court alley-oop passes as if they were the Harlem Globetrotters and the Nets were their hapless rivals, the Washington Generals. I’m surprised the Nuggets didn’t start piping in “Sweet Georgia Brown” over their public address system.

While the Nets are understandably not scheduled to be on national television this year, the NETSational Dancers, their popular dance troupe of men and women who are over 60 years old, were part of last week’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. A documentary about the Nets’ senior dancers, “Gotta Dance,” was released to art house theaters last summer and is now available on DVD.

1968 Olympic track and field gold medalist and Jamaica High School alum Bob Beamon is one of the many retired athletes playing in the Celebrity Golf Invitational this weekend at the Tres Rios Resort, located just south of Cancun on Mexico’s Mayan Riviera. The event is sponsored by the Mexican Tourism Board, which is hoping that type of golf tournament will encourage Americans to travel more south of the border. The recession, along with news stories about kidnapings and drug wars, have taken a toll on Mexico’s main industry.

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