Antedating of "New York Mets" (OED 1964)

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Sun Jan 24 17:36:55 UTC 2010

Before posting my previous message about "New York Mets," I should have realized that Barry Popik would have researched this name, and would have done an excellent job of doing so.  Looking now at, I see that he has still earlier evidence for the contemporary team name, and also for the older team name (OED 1883):

31 August 1881, New York Times, pg. 2:

The Albany nine, who always play a close and exciting game of base-ball with the Metropolitans, have recently secured the services of Larkin, Schenck, and Walker, all of the Atlantics, of Brooklen, and succeeded in defeating the "Mets" yesterday afternoon on the polo grounds, in the presence of about 800 spectators.

8 August 1882, Olean (NY) Democrat, pg. 2, col. 5: New York, Mets 5, Troys 2;

2 December 1960, New York Times, "What's in a Name?" by Arthur Daley, pg. 36:
Sooner or later a label also will have to be produced for the National League team in our village. No effort has yet been made by Charlie Hurth, the general manager, to supply one for a team that already is being referred to as the New York Metropolitans or Mets. This nickname rings no bells, throws off no sparks.

16 March 1961, New York Times, "A Smart Move" by Arthur Daley, pg. 45:
If Rickey had been persuaded to become head man of the Mets - or whatever their name will be - it's a cinch that he would have installed as manager his favorite reclamation project, Leo Durocher.

Fred Shapiro

The American Dialect Society -

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