Tag Archives: Banner Day

Banner Day returns, brings out the fans

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

banner day

Wearing a sparking golden crown and wielding a play horse, 1971 Banner Day winner Debby Brandon stood in line on the outskirts of Citi Field for the event’s return.

The contest, which was halted in 1996 but revived this year for the team’s 50th anniversary, featured more than 300 Mets fans parading around Citi Field with signs of their love and commitment to the team.

Brandon, 53, was devastated when the event was halted, but rejoiced in its return on Sunday, May 27.

“We’re thrilled,” Brandon, a resident of Middle Village, said. “We used to enter all the time.”

She entered the contest this year with a theme based on the Triple Crown, referring to the possibility of the Mets winning a third World Series title this year.

The event brought back memories of when she won Banner Day when she was just 12 years old.

Back then, Brandon dressed up in a handmade Mr. Met costume with her friend, who sported a Statue of Liberty outfit.

As they walked across the diamond, Brandon held a banner which read in colorful, bubble print “Even the Lady is a Mets fan,” while her friend held one that said “Come on baby light my fire,” – in reference to the popular song by “The Doors.”

The contest judges loved the idea and the girls won a trip to Puerto Rico.

They took one more person with them on the trip, Lynn Rapkiewicz, Brandon’s sister and the inventor of the idea.

“It was a good idea,” Rapkiewicz said. “We’re real New Yorkers and the whole idea was the Statue of Liberty represents all of New York, and to us New York is always the New York Mets.”

For the return of Banner Day the sisters attempted to win top prize again while also passing down the tradition.

Rapkiewicz, 63, thought of a similar idea for her grandchildren, Danny and Samantha Hodurski. Because the event ran on Memorial Day Weekend, Danny, 9, dressed up as Uncle Sam and Samantha, 7, wore the Lady Liberty costume.

“Baseball is all about tradition,” Rapkiewicz said. “It was rewarding for me to see my grandchildren become part of the next generation of Mets fans.”

The kids held a banner that said “I want to yell ‘yippie’ for the next 50 years.”

Although it did not win the top prize, when the youngsters walked the warning track on Citi Field, fans yelled “yippie” in response.

Fans reminisced and traded similar stories as they waited for the competition to start.

Mary and Roger Bow, a husband and wife pair from Bayside, entered Banner Day in 1984 when they were just high school friends.

Two years later they married and more than a decade after that they had a child.

Now the entire family, including son Andy, now 14, participated in the contest with a revamped version of the couple’s original banner – a Mets influenced rendering of the famous picture of soldiers planting the American flag after World War II.

“This is so exciting,” Andy said “I love how my parents have been doing this since they were so young and how I get to be a part of it.”

Banner Day participants were so happy with the return that they wished the event would come to stay.

“I think it’s a great thing,” Rapkiewicz said. “The Mets, I think more than anybody, have been about the fans. To have them bring this back is great.”

Mets celebrate first Banner Day in 16 years

| brennison@queenscourier.com

Banner Day

It truly was a banner day at Citi Field on Sunday.

The Mets celebrated Banner Day for the first time in more than a decade.

Click here to see all the photos from the event.

Hundreds of fans paraded around Citi Field with home-made banners in a tradition that dates back to the 60s.



Fifty years of Amazin’

| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Mets 50th Anniversary Logo - FINALw

The New York Mets are commemorating their golden anniversary in Amazin’ fashion.

In honor of their 50th season, the Mets, who played their first game on April 11, 1962, are initiating an array of tributes, including a new, celebratory logo.

Third baseman David Wright, first baseman Ike Davis and outfielder Lucas Duda were joined by six season ticket holders from the club’s inaugural season to introduce the changes on November 16.

The 50th anniversary logo integrates the same fundamental elements of the team’s classic blue and orange skyline symbol, with accents of gold to celebrate the milestone. The patch will be positioned in place of the current logo, on the left sleeve of team jerseys, as well as on the back of blue game caps.

The Mets will also don different uniforms, with blue pinstripe or white being worn at home and grey on the road, reflective of the jerseys the club wore in its inaugural season. The primary home uniform will be the pinstripe, paired with the blue caps, and white and black alternates will be worn only on select dates. The black dropshadow will also be removed from the Mets script logo, letters and numbers.

One of the Mets’ favorite pastimes, Banner Day, is also returning. Banner Day, which began in 1963, will have a unique 50th anniversary theme, complete with fans parading around the warning track holding signs representing their favorite memories from the team’s history.

Each decade of Mets history will be celebrated throughout the upcoming season with a series of alumni bobblehead giveaways, commencing in April with Mets legend and Hall of Famer Tom Seaver. Other promotional giveaways will include 50th anniversary logo caps, T-shirts and collectibles. One fortunate fan at each home game will also receive an authentic No. 50 jersey, embroidered with the name “FANTASTIC.”

To show reverence to the team’s past, the Mets Alumni Association presented by Citi will also make several appearances throughout the season, and new exhibits highlighting Mets 50th Anniversary artifacts will be featured in the Mets Hall of Fame & Museum in time for Opening Day on April 5.

To get information about the Mets’ plans for their golden anniversary, fans can visit the newly-launched Mets50.com web site. Visitors will be encouraged to share photos of their favorite Mets memories to enter the “FANtastic at 50” sweepstakes and win a pair of 2012 Mets season tickets. Other website features include an interactive timeline detailing significant and influential moments in Mets history and archival footage from the past half century.