In a decidedly odd online auction, the cash-strapped Mets are hawking seven separate chunks of the padded left-field wall, that’s been guarded by such “old-time” Amazin’s legends as Daniel Murphy and Jason Bay.
Flushing faithful with a few thousand bucks in their pockets can get their hands on markers celebrating their favorite corporate sponsors and championship teams.
Mets VP Jay Horwitz insisted the sale isn’t a cash grab, just a routine auction prompted by the team’s left-field redesign.
“It’s a common business practice; a majority of teams run these online auctions,” Horwitz said.
“They sell everything from trees, to seats, to bases, to pitching rubbers to foul poles.”
Mets owners lost millions in the Bernie Madoff scam, but Horwitz said the auction has no connection to the humiliating financial fiasco.
“It has nothing whatsoever to do with that,” the Mets rep said.
“All we’re doing is replacing the old wall with a new wall.”
Citi Field’s nonhistoric left-field wall had always been 16 feet high, until the team decided to lower it eight feet in hopes of striking a more fair balance between pitchers and home-run hitters.
The soon-to-be-auctioned wall chunks are made up of two or seven panels, each section about 4 feet wide and 8 feet tall.
Bidding began on Tuesday at 12:15 p.m. and fans have until 8 p.m. Jan. 29 to pick up:
- “Lincoln: TriStateLincoln.com,” in an ad riding over seven panels.
- “Delta,” soaring over seven panels.
- “1988 National League East Division Champions,” representing any fan’s love for Lenny Dykstra and those late ’80s Amazin’s.
- “2000 National League Champions,” paying tribute in two sections to New York’s second-best baseball team that year.
- “2006 National League East Division Champions,” in a two-panel decoration that would match perfectly with any Mets fan’s statue of Carlos Beltran.
Shipping will not be included in the winning bid, so purchasers must pick up their new oversized wall decorations themselves.
All three championship markers will be replaced with new ones in different spots along the wall.
“There’s a market for this kind of stuff,” said Horwitz, a fan himself who purchased seats from now-demolished Shea Stadium and Giants Stadium.
“It’s for diehard fans.”