When the New York Mets played the Washington Nationals Wednesday night, they wore their hats as they normally do. However, just as they have for every September 11 game over the past 12 years, the Mets wanted to wear the hats of the FDNY, NYPD and other first responder agencies during the game to honor those groups.
But just as they have for the past 12 years, MLB said no.
This is another occasion in which MLB is letting its outdated rulebook, so-called tradition and absurd need for propriety outweigh common sense. The rulebook states that the Mets have to wear their usual team hats during a game, but for one game, on this one day a year, why can’t baseball just look the other way? It’s not asking a lot to allow the Mets break protocol for just one game a year.
There’s no reason why the Mets should be forbidden from wearing first responder hats one game a year. It’s an anniversary that means a lot to the city of New York, to Mets fans and to the Mets organization.
The Mets aren’t gaining a competitive advantage by wearing first responder hats, and they’re in no way compromising the integrity of the game; they are simply trying to recognize and acknowledge groups that deserve to be recognized, and it’s something the Mets should be able to do without issue.
The consolation prize is that the Mets are able to wear the hats before the game during batting practice, but is that really enough? All MLB has to do is look the other way on one minor detail one day a year. Is that too much to ask? The Mets wearing first responder hats is a small gesture that they are able to make to people who deserve it, and MLB should be ashamed that they don’t allow the Mets to do it.