It appears on every player’s uniform, but you’ve probably never spent much time thinking about it. It’s the Mets logo. You’ve taken for granted that it depicts the New York skyline inside the form of a baseball. But here’s a few facts about the Mets emblem that you might find interesting.
The Mets logo is a result of a contest held before the team’s first season in 1962. Over 500 entries were submitted. Three judges picked the winner, unveiled on November 16, 1961. It was designed by Sporting News cartoonist Ray Gotto, also the creator of the Ozark Ike comic strip. His prize was a $1,000 check given to him by M. Donald Grant, chairman of the board of the Mets.
Many mistakenly believe that the white bridge in the logo is the Brooklyn Bridge. But actually it’s no specific bridge. Instead, it symbolizes the return of National League baseball to New York, by representing the connection to all five boroughs, New Jersey, and Westchester.
The cityscape skyline in the Mets logo is not random. Left to right, it includes a church spire representing the Borough of Churches – Brooklyn. Just look out a plane window on approach to La Guardia or Kennedy airport. You’ll see the spires of many church towers.
The second building from the left is a stylized depiction of the Williamsburg Savings Bank. At the time of the logo design, it was the tallest building in Brooklyn at 37 floors.
Next is Manhattan’s famous Woolworth Building. Followed by a skyline view of midtown Manhattan. Including New York’s iconic Empire State Building at the center of the logo. The famous skyscraper took slightly more than a year to construct.
The tall building at the far right represents the United Nations Headquarters. The UN building opened in 1948 and is recognizable around the world.
You might know that the colors, blue and orange, are in memory of the old Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants. The two National League teams left New York for the West Coast. The blue represents the Dodgers and the orange represents the Giants.
Blue and orange are also the official colors of the State of New York. Additionally, blue, orange, and white are the colors seen on the official flag of New York City. The colors were adopted from an earlier version of the Dutch Republic flag called the Prince’s Flag.
On May 8, 1961, the new National League baseball club in New York announced that the team nickname would be “Mets”. It is a natural shorthand of the club’s corporate name, “The New York Metropolitan Baseball Club, Inc.”. Which hearkens back to a former New York team in the American Association from 1880 to 1887 named the “Metropolitans”. The shortened name also helped with newspaper headlines.