Steve Cohen receives hero treatment on Mets Old Timers’ Day

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The former players applauded and shook hands as he joined them for a group photo on Old Timers’ Day.

The crowd behind the third base dugout roared and later on several occasions chanted, “Thank you, Steve”.

Steve Cohen was treated like a hero as the Mets welcomed some of their best players in franchise history to an event they last hosted in 1994.

Steve Cohen
Corey Sipkin

“It’s their day, it’s not my day, okay,” Cohen said Saturday before the Mets’ 3-0 win over the Rockies. “I’m just glad I was able to bring them together. It’s better late than never. We have such a great history with the Mets, it’s important to celebrate.”

It’s just one of many changes under Cohen’s guard around the Mets. From their high pay at the top of the game to his interactions with fans on Twitter to the Tom Seaver statue completed and put on display in May, so much has changed about the Mets with new ownership.

The current team tops the NL East 35 games over .500, with its best record at this point in the season since the 1986 World Series champion’s team.

“He’s brought a sense of hope, that’s probably the best way to say it,” said former Met and current YES and ESPN analyst David Cone. “The whole fan base has a sense of hope now that this is sustainable. Year in, year out, whatever it takes will happen. That’s just a great feeling as a fan. He seems to understand the modern way of doing things and what the fan base is reacting to.”

As a Mets fan growing up, Cohen said he didn’t find it strange that the Mets didn’t have an Old Timer’s Day every year like the rival Yankees. But when he took the helm from the Wilpons and the idea was floated, he was all for it. Current manager Buck Showalter praised Cohen for being willing to spend the necessary money to put on such an impressive event.

“Believe me, it won’t go unnoticed,” Showalter said. “I said to him, ‘Thank you.’ He didn’t want to hear it.”

Cohen was excited about the turnout and the opportunity to hear so many stories from former players that he grew up sitting in the locker room with players from all eras of Mets baseball. Those players, in turn, raved about him and his passion for the Mets.

“He’s definitely changing things,” Gooden said. “He knows, he gets it. … Nothing against the Wilpons, they were great too, but he takes it to a whole other level. What I mean by that, involving alumni again, putting the fans and the organization first, putting a competitive team back on the field.”

Both Cone and Gooden believe the Mets can be a consistent winner, just like they did in the 1980s. There is excitement about the team, for this season and beyond. There is also a sense of pride in the history of the Mets under Cohen.

Saturday’s Old Timer’s Day was memorable, attracting the likes of Pedro Martinez, Cleon Jones, Darryl Strawberry, Doc Gooden, Mike Piazza and Jose Reyes, among so many others. Before the actual game started, the Mets knocked out Willie Mays’ number 24.

“These are simple things. I think the fans just want to know that you care, and want to know that ownership listens. That’s all I’m trying to do,” Cohen said. “I’m doing this for the fans, so I listen to what they have to say. I don’t always have to agree, okay, but it’s important for me to know what they think and it’s important to me that they know I care about you.”

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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