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Take a trip down memory lane to the early years of New York Mets baseball with this pair of homemade stadium banners. Though they finished deep in the basement their first four seasons, the Mets still managed to stir up some fan passion, as evidenced by these vintage team supporters. These (2) time-tested souvenirs have emerged on the fiftieth anniversary of the team’s climb out of last place, to become available for a nostalgia-minded future owner.
One banner measuring 24 x 20-1/2” is lettered on what appears to a section of vinyl shower curtain with “In 1964-We Bet It Will Be Yanks/Mets This We Promise ‘Cause We Have Frank Thomas”. Showing overall wrinkling and ink migration with a small tear or two, this weathered survivor nevertheless remains distinct and appealing. The second banner is 30-1/2 x 23” and is formatted in the same fashion as the other, only with more interesting details and less wrinkling and ink migration. This banner is decorated with decent representations of team mascot “Mr. Met” on both sides, with Hebrew lettering in the center and the slogan “Lets Go Mets” at bottom.
Also included are (3) original period photos supporting the authenticity of the banners origination in the 1963-1964 period. The Mets began a tradition known as banner day on 9/15/63, which was held annually on that date until the end of the 20th Century. Perhaps these banners were created for the first such event. One of the supporting photos is a laminated 8x10 showing Mets players Galen Cisco on the left and Frank Thomas on the right, with a group of children in between holding up the Mr. Met/Hebrew sign. Cisco was traded to the Mets in September of 1962 and stayed with the team until 1965. Thomas was an original 1962 Met and led the team with 34 HRs and 94 RBIs that year. He was traded to the Phillies in August of 1964. So if these banners were created for a Mets banner day event it would have to have been in September of 1963. The other two photos are 3x4 Polaroid prints featuring one of the boys seen in the 8x10 photo, holding up each of the banners respectively. As one banner mentions the 1964 season with Thomas and the two smaller photos look to have been taken at the same time, these banners can only date from 1963-1964. A clue to the exact year the 8x10 photo was taken lies in the stadium stands in the background. The Mets played their 1963 home games at the Polo Grounds, and in 1964 moved into Shea Stadium.