Remembering the highs and lows of the Wilpon era

The Post’s Mike Puma takes a look back at the Wilpon era, which concluded Friday with the sale of the Mets to Steve Cohen:


2000: The Mets, co-owned by Fred Wilpon and Nelson Doubleday, win the National League pennant and play the Yankees in the first Subway World Series since 1956, losing in five games. It’s the Mets’ first World Series appearance since beating the Red Sox 14 years earlier, when Wilpon was still a minority partner.

2001: Following the 9/11 attacks, the Mets are forefront in the community as part of New York City’s healing.

2006: The Wilpons launch SNY, a team-owned network, to carry their games. Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling are hired for the network and remain in place among MLB’s premier broadcast teams.

2006: The Mets, with Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado, David Wright and Jose Reyes among the stars, win their first NL East title since 1988 before advancing to the NLCS and losing to the Cardinals in Game 7.

2009: Citi Field opens, replacing Shea Stadium. Fred Wilpon’s vision of an Ebbets Field-type venue for his team is realized, but many fans aren’t enamored of a ballpark that seems like more of a shrine to the Dodgers than to the Mets.

2015: After Yoenis Cespedes’ arrival at the trade deadline, the Mets storm to their first NL East title in nine years, reaching the World Series for the first time since 2000. The championship dream ends with a loss to the Royals in five games.


2000: The Mets buy out the $5.9 million remaining on Bobby Bonilla’s contract, agreeing to a restructuring with deferrals. Bonilla in 2011 begins receiving $1.19 million every July 1 in what has become known as Bobby Bonilla Day. Those payments won’t expire until 2035. Bonilla’s payments include eight percent annual interest — a yield the Wilpons felt comfortable they could top through investing with Bernie Madoff.

Fred Wilpon Terry Collins
Fred Wilpon, left, talks with then-manager Terry Collins during spring training 2011.AP

2007-08: After their loss to the Cardinals in the 2006 NLCS, the Mets miss the playoffs in consecutive years in similar fashion, by losing to the Marlins on the final day of the regular season.

2008: Madoff is arrested for running a Ponzi scheme, and Fred Wilpon’s wealth decreases by roughly $500 million overnight. Wilpon, who earlier profited from his investments with Madoff, later receives a favorable ruling in a clawback lawsuit that helps him keep the team.

2011: Fred Wilpon criticizes Beltran, Wright and Reyes in a New Yorker piece written by Jeffrey Toobin (presumably with both hands on the keyboard). The Mets owner apologizes to all three players.

2015: The Mets settle a lawsuit with Leigh Castergine, a former senior vice president for ticket sales who said she was frequently humiliated by Jeff Wilpon for her out-of-wedlock pregnancy. The suit alleged Wilpon stated in a meeting with the team’s all-male executives that he was “morally opposed” to Castergine “having this baby without being married.”

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