TRENTON, N.J. – The Assembly unanimously passed a resolution Thursday urging the Golden Days Era Committee of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum to induct former New York Mets owner Joan Whitney Payson for her extraordinary achievements and contributions to Major League Baseball.
The measure (AR232), sponsored by Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-Morris) and Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin (D-Essex), supports making Payson just the second woman to ever be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
“Joan Payson is the reason the Mets are in New York,” said Webber (R-Morris). “She was involved with the team from top to bottom, including picking the team’s name. Under her leadership, the Mets went from a record-breaking 120 losses in its first season to world champions in just seven years.”
Payson spearheaded the successful effort to return National League Baseball to New York, and in 1962, she became the majority owner of the New York Metropolitan Baseball Club, the Mets. She was the first woman to buy majority control of a team in a major North American sports league.
“Women’s History Month is an especially appropriate time to recognize Mrs. Payson’s groundbreaking contributions to baseball and the Mets,” continued Webber. “Despite the many contributions women have made to the game of baseball, there is only one woman in the Hall of Fame, out of 333 total inductees. Joan Payson was a pioneer and a winner who rightfully earned a place in the Baseball Hall of Fame, and we encourage the Golden Days Era Committee to recognize that by making her the second woman ever inducted into the Hall of Fame.”
Payson served as the first president of the Mets from 1962 to 1975, overseeing the team’s first of two World Series Championships. She was greatly admired by the team’s personnel and players and was inducted posthumously into the New York Mets Hall of Fame in 1981.