The New York Mets were created to fill a void.
The New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers had both recently fulfilled their manifest destiny by packing up and continuing their strong play in California. The relocations left local fans with only a few options – and rooting for the hated Yankees wasn’t one of them.
In the summer of 1962, the Mets of Flushing became New Yorkers’ chosen option.
Taking the orange from the Giants and the blue from the Dodgers, the Mets embraced an anti-Yankee fan-building platform.
And the Mets logo adopted the city and its people. Each building depicted on the logo’s skyline holds a significant meaning (the Empire State Building and United Nations Buildings are both featured). The bridge in the center of the logo symbolizes the unification of New York’s five boroughs.
The Mets have an always-exciting franchise, from the wildly successful teams of the late ’60s and ’80s; to the characters such as Armando Benitez, Benny Agbayani, Mo Vaughn, John Olerud, and Rey Ordonez of the ’90s; to the promise of José Reyes, David Wright, and Mike Piazza in the 2000s. There has always been an interesting clubhouse dynamic to the Mets.
Despite their two championships, the Mets have always played second fiddle in New York. But with a World Series run last year, an insanely promising young crop of pitchers, and the ageless wonder that is Bartolo Colón, the Mets are poised to be top dog.
Let’s take a look back through Mets uniform history to appreciate how far they’ve come.
1962–1992: The original logo for the New York Mets features “Mets” in orange letters over a blue New York skyline. The graphic is enclosed in a baseball with orange lining.
1993–1998: The logo remains largely the same, but the shade of orange is darkened just a bit.
1999–present: The small “NY” logo to the left of “Mets” is removed.
1999–2013: An alternate logo is designed that changes coloring and adds an orange trim to the “Mets” lettering.
New York Mets Primary Logo Patch
Notable Uniform Changes
1962: The home jersey displays “Mets” in blue font with an orange border. The jersey encompasses a traditional blue pinstripe design with the team’s logo on the left sleeve. The design combines aspects of the jerseys of the Giants and Dodgers – both of which had roots in New York. It features the player’s number on the back, but no number on the front. The design also includes a solid royal blue cap.
1966: Numbers are added to the left midsection of the jersey.
1974: The team replaces “New York” with “Mets” in cursive on the road uniform – an uncommon choice. Often, one uniform depicts the city name and another depicts the team name.
1978: On the road, the button-down style switches to a pullover with two buttons below the collar. A thin blue-orange-blue stripe is added to outline the uniforms.
1982: A second road uniform is added, utilizing a solid blue jersey along with the word “Mets” in cursive. The two-button collar is replaced by a V-neck.
1983: A blue-on-orange trim collar is added to outline the uniform.
1988: The elaborate cursive font on the road uniform is changed to a simplistic block font reading “New York.”
1991: The pullover reverts back to a button-down.
1993: Both the home and away uniforms receive touch-ups with slightly darker shading. The thick stripes are removed, and the word “Mets” on the home uniform receives a bold blue swoosh underneath. The cursive display of “New York” on the road uniform returns.
1997: An all-white alternate home uniform is added. It’s referred to as the “snow-white” design and features a matching cap and the skyline logo on the left sleeve.
1999: A black alternate jersey for the road is introduced with a new black cap. The cap features the “NY” crest outlined in blue.
2001: After the fall of the Twin Towers on 9/11, baseball resumes and the Mets take their field sporting hats to every bureau of first responders, including FDNY and NYPD.
2002: The home uniform’s pinstripes are removed. A patch is added to the right sleeve that commemorates the team’s 40th anniversary. The cap is changed from its historic royal blue to a combination of black and blue trim.
2003: The team debuts an orange alternate jersey that is briefly used.
2007: Under the tenure of former General Manager Omar Minaya, the Mets introduce a decidedly Latin flavor into the clubhouse. Embracing its players’ culture and the culture of many New York fans, the franchise unveils their “Los Mets” jersey to commemorate Hispanic heritage.
2009: The Mets wear white jerseys that serve as a tribute to the New York Giants of old. On the left sleeve, a patch of the mascot, Mr. Met, is included.
2011: The “Los Mets” uniform is reintroduced in royal blue.
2013: The team flip-flops the colors of the “Los Mets” uniform used in 2011, switching to an orange jersey with blue font and hints of white.
2013: The Mets unveil blue jerseys to serve as both home and road alternate uniforms.
2014: The Mets unveil yet another throwback jersey. This one is solid blue, with “Royal Giants” featured across the uniform – a tribute to a Negro League team, the Brooklyn Royal Giants.
2016: The home uniform features traditional blue pinstripes again. The road uniform uses solid gray color with blue stripes down the center. It also features “New York” in cursive, in blue with an orange outline.
Noah Syndergaard New York Mets Majestic Youth Official Cool Base Player Jersey – White
2016: The team also uses commemorative jerseys that pay tribute to the 1986 season with the orange-blue-orange pattern lining the perimeter of the fabric.
Looking Back to Look Forward
One thing has been true of the Mets since the ’90s – change is constant.
The managers have changed as quickly as the players – but both have changed more slowly than the uniforms. Who knows if this recent success (and embrace of the ’86 champion Mets) will lead to an embrace of the old-school uniforms and Mr. Met logo for more than a few seasons.
If their success continues, one thing that is sure to change is the quantity of numbers the Mets have retired – currently sitting at four.
No. 14: Gil Hodges (manager)
No. 31: Mike Piazza (to be retired July 30)
No. 37: Casey Stengel (manager)
No. 41: Tom Seaver
Mike Piazza New York Mets Player Pennant
An easy case can be made for David Wright to one day join that list, but he’s still worried about trying to get Championship No. 3 for the Mets, a quest that will undoubtedly, in itself, have an impact on the Mets’ uniform history.
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