(The Hits at the Park Restaurant by the way is located right next to the party deck inside that long concrete windowed building by the RF Foul Pole).
As we stated earlier, Harbor Park was the actual follow-up to
Oriole Park @ Camden Yards and it should no surprise that today... the Norfolk Tides serve as the Triple-A International League home of the Baltimore Orioles. The New York Mets PDC however did carry over to this new ballpark and this was always meant to be the permanent home for the Mets once Tidewater's old "Met Park" had been demolished. The relationship between the Mets and the town of Norfolk was something that is rarely seen in baseball. Between the one season at Frank D. Lawrence Stadium, the 23 years at "Met Park" from 1970-1992 and then another 14 years here at Harbor Park... the New York Mets made the Norfolk region their Triple-A home for a total of 38 straight years. That is no small feat and is one of the top 10 longest relationships that any team has had with any Minor League town in the history of the sport. You can imagine how bittersweet the breakup was and how devastating it must have been for Tides GM Dave Rosenfield to finally sever those ties... when he himself is the one that place the Mets Triple-A here in Norfolk all those years ago. Dave believed very passionately in trying to maintain a strong and healthy relationship between the Norfolk region and the New York Mets... making the two nearly synonymous as their 4th decade together approached. Sadly ... things had changed though through the years as the Mets ownership went from Payson to Doubleday to Fred Wilpon and then as his son Jeff took a more formative role in the New York Mets day to day operations. Rosenfield found that the younger Wilpon didn't posess the maturity to respect the loyalty that this town had shown for the Mets for nearly 40 years... and seemed equally disappointed by the father's (Fred Wilpon's) inability to teach Jeff the proper way to interact with those you worked alongside... especially when that person was a famed "iconic" General Manager of your Triple-A team organization (and trust us when we say that Rosenfield wasn't exactly the "warm and fuzzy type" to just accept that sort of thing). Feeling that he and his Tides were not receiving the support the franchise deserved after the city of Norfolk spent so much of its time supporting the Mets... Dave Rosenfield severed the NY-Norfolk relationship after nearly 4 decades sending the Mets' Triple-A out to be nomads roaming from New Orleans's Zephyr Stadium to Buffalo's Coca-Cola Park (where they apparently also burned bridges)... to finally to being stuck 3,000 miles away at Las Vegas's Cashman Stadium. There the Triple-A Mets would spend the next 6 years trying to figure out how to get their players to back and forth from New York to Vegas after an injury... on flights including check-in and security (and waiting for a flight to become available... these weren't chartered flights remember)... that could last nearly 10 hours before the player finally arrived at Citi Field. This was usually too late for that player to appear in that evening's ballgame. There was a point in 2017 where Manager Terry Collins was forced to play with a short bench or bullpen nearly every day for weeks on end as the Mets kept getting decimated by injuries and some players would be returned to Las Vegas only to find a message on their phone telling them to get right on the next plane out of LV back to New York again. There were about 5 players on the team that season that seemed to spend more time in the air than on the field. Mets fans however understand exactly what GM Dave Rosenfield probably had to deal with after the Wilpon's took over the Mets ... and having to keep their Triple-A team 3 time zones away as a consequence for the next 6 years (until 2019) and deal with an injury bug that kept the probably cost the Mets more in airline fees than they spent in salary for the entire Las Vegas team... probably left Dave Rosenfield with quite a chuckle and ever-lasting smile on his face til the end.