The former players applauded and shook hands as they joined him for a group photo on Old Timers Day.
The crowd behind the third-base dugout roared and later chanted “Thank you, Steve” on separate occasions.
Steve Cohen was treated like a hero, as the Mets welcomed some of their best players in franchise history to an event they last held in 1994.
“It’s their day, it’s not my day, okay,” Cohen said on Saturday ahead of the Mets’ 3-0 win over the Rockies. “I’m just glad I can bring them together. It’s better late than never. We have such a great history with the Mets, it’s important to celebrate.”
It is one of many changes in Cohen’s oversight around the Mets. From their high payroll near the top of the game to their interactions with fans on Twitter to the Tom Seaver statue, which was finished and displayed in May, a lot has changed about the Mets with the new ownership.
The current team tops the .500-plus NL East in 35 games, their best record at this point in the season since the World Series champion 1986 team.
“He brings a sense of hope, probably the best way to put it,” said former Met and current Yes and ESPN analyst David Cohn. “There is a sense of hope in the entire fan base now that it is sustainable. Year after year, that whatever has to be done, is being done. It’s just a great feeling as a fan. He seems to understand the modern way of doing things and how the fan base reacts. ,
A Mets fan growing up, Cohen said he didn’t find it strange that the Mets didn’t have Old Timer Day every year like rival Yankees. But once he took over from Wilpons, and the idea was suggested, he was up for it. Current manager Buck Showalter praised Cohen for being willing to spend the money needed to organize such an impressive event.
“Believe me, it doesn’t go unnoticed,” Showalter said. “I told him, ‘Thank you.’ He didn’t want to hear it.”
Sitting in the locker room with players from every era of Mets baseball, Cohen was thrilled about the turnout and the chance to hear so many stories from former players. Those players in turn spoke 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’s taking it to a whole ‘nother level. What do I mean by that, back to the alumni Involvement, putting fans and organization first, put a competitive team back on the field.”
Coen and Gooden both believe the Mets can be as consistent winners as they were 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 Day was memorable, attracting Pedro Martinez, Klein Jones, Darryl Strawberry, Doc Gooden, Mike Piazza, and Jose Reyes, and many others. Before the actual game began, the Mets retired Willie Mays’s No. 24.
“These are simple things. I think fans just want to know that you care, and want to know that ownership is listening. That’s just what I’m trying to do,” Cohen said. fans, and so I’m listening to what they have to say. I don’t always have to agree, okay, but it’s important for me to know what they’re thinking and it’s important for me that they know I care.”