Saturday, May 11, 2013

Banner number 2

Okay, and now on to Banner number 2.

This banner idea and design has evolved from something inspired by Casey Stengel and Harry Caray to something that helps promote what I feel will be a hidden theme in Banner Day this year - the All-Star Game at Citi Field taking place sometime in July. The first evolution of this banner came from a "thing" that I've been doing at Mets games since 2009. It has origins that date all the way back to September 28, 2008, for the final game at Shea Stadium, when the Mets were hanging on by a thread and needing the Cubs to beat Milwaukee on the final day of the season to extend the Mets season and to extend the life of Shea Stadium by just a little bit.

We hit the 7th inning stretch of the Mets game needing help from the Cubbies, and I decided to get clever and invoke a little help from the baseball Gods by calling on Harry Caray's famous alteration of one of the lines in "Take Me Out To The Ballgame", where he would show how he really felt and sing "Root, Root, Root for the Cubbies" (instead of rooting for the "home team"). On that day, it didn't work. Both games seemed to implode on us at right about the same moment. But somewhere that offseason, I came up with a Casey Stengel-Mets-inspired version of what Harry Caray famously had done for years - "Root, Root, Root for the Metsies". I would love for that to catch on, and I decided this offseason that it had possibilities as a banner idea. A friend of mine, when I saw his banner from last year hanging in his basement, helped me to realize that you can't over do it on the banner because you only have a few seconds to impress the judges, and what I had last year was really complex to look at. Even the first banner I designed for this year I thought would be too complex for a short display for judging, and this second idea would work a whole lot better.

So the banner was going to center around the lyrics "Let us root, root, root for the Mesties/If they don't win it's a shame!", with the Mets script logo expanded to say "Metsies". That element is in the final banner with one alteration that I'll get to in a bit. But the minimum space that I had to work with (22" x 28") was gigantic compared to what I was trying to do. And I started seeing possibilities after I started playing around with different large hand-printed words on the space that I could go all the way and include all of the lyrics to "Take me out to the Ballgame", complete with my "Metsies" alternate lyric.

I started spacing it out, and then it hit me. This year, Citi Field is hosting the All-Star Game. It wasn't formally announced as a theme, but I could see it in some of the online banner submissions (including the eventual winner) and thought it would earn me a lot more points if I included the All-Star Game in mine. And I got clever, replacing some more lyrics from the song with All-Star Game references. It's not the "ballgame", it's the "All-Star Game", with different All-Star Game logos used instead of just showing the words. And it's not a shame if the Metsies or home team doesn't "win". In the All-Star Game, it's a shame if they don't "play".

I really started to like where this was headed. I could see the different pieces coming together (literally, based on how I create everything hand-drawn or traced on printer paper and tape/glue it to the posterboard once I have the layout I want and can easily remove/replace any mistakes). But I still had some more space to fill. Then Matt Harvey was pitching this past Tuesday night. And he was dominant. Nearly perfect. I don't think it fits the definition of "imperfect", but darn near close to that. And I thought, I had to get Matt Harvey into my banner. But how? The brain clicked on again, and the last piece of the banner was born. The left side features what is meant to resemble a lineup card, but not for any single game. Rather, it shows the 18 different Mets who have started an All-Star Game, going from Ron Hunt in 1964 to David Wright in 2010. After seeing Matt Harvey pitch on TV Tuesday night, and seeing what he's accomplished already this year, I had no doubt in my mind that Matt Harvey should at least get consideration for starting the All-Star Game in his home ballpark. Hence, the final entry in that lineup card, in a different color so it stands out, and with question marks after the year "2013" since it's what he's working towards.

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