Antedating of "New York Mets" (OED 1964)

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Sun Jan 24 17:21:39 UTC 2010

Barry Popik, who I believe is a Yankees fan, has done extensive work tracing the origin of the "Yankees" name.  Since I am an avid Mets fan, it is fitting that I should work on antedating the name "Mets."  Such antedating is not very hard, since OED3, in one of its poorer first uses, traces the name of the contemporary baseball team only to 1964.

The following is the earliest citation I find in ProQuest Historical Newspapers:

1961 _Christian Science Monitor_ 29 Mar. 5 (ProQuest Historical Newspapers)  There are those today, therefore, who wait the rise of the so-called "Metropolitans" -- they do not yet have a permanent name ... But you have to think that he [George Wess] will secretly, perhaps, derive some satisfaction from future "Met" victories -- for there surely will be many under his leadership [as bad a prediction as I've ever seen]. ... The New York Mets were extremely fortunate to find a man of George's greatness available.

Incidentally, it is not at all clear to me why a proper name like "Mets," at least the contemporary team, should have a subentry in the OED.

P.S. Go Jets!!

Fred Shapiro

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list