30 Years Ago: The Day Binghamton’s New Baseball Stadium Opened
It's been three decades since several thousand people attended the opening ceremonies at Binghamton Municipal Stadium.
I can't believe 30 years have passed since the Big Day: April 16, 1992. It turned out to be a rainy, blustery Thursday afternoon when the $4.5 million facility on Henry Street was ready for baseball.
The Binghamton Mets were scheduled to play the Harrisburg Senators that day. But the weather prevented the game from taking place.
That was fine by me. The official opening of the stadium was the story. I had an opportunity to chat with Governor Mario Cuomo about baseball and the significance of this venue in a small upstate New York city. He seemed to understand why the people of Binghamton were so excited.
Cuomo and Binghamton Mayor Juanita Crabb participated in the festivities, along with New York Mets president Fred Wilpon.
Baseball fans in the Binghamton area had waited almost 24 years for the moment when they could enjoy their game in a Broome County stadium. The Triplets had played their last contest on August 30, 1968 at Johnson Field... a few months before the place was torn down to make way for the Route 17 Expressway.
During the opening day ceremonies at the downtown Binghamton stadium, Crabb said "we're all singing in the rain." About 6,000 people packed the place which previously had been part of a bleak-looking railyard.
People who had hoped to see the Binghamton Mets that afternoon had to be patient. The weather in April 1992 was fairly typical for the region as winter appeared reluctant to give way to spring.
Efforts to play the inaugural B-Mets game the next two days were thwarted by inclement weather. Finally - on Easter Sunday - the first game was played: Binghamton defeated Harrisburg by a score of 1-0.
It's pretty safe to say most of those who saw that contest agreed that it had been worth the wait. Baseball was back in Binghamton.
It was something many people around here didn't believe would happen. But it finally did.
Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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