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Fred Wilpon
Fred Wilpon

Non-playing roles with Mets
  • Chief Executive Officer 1980 - 2016
  • President 1980 - 2002
  • Chairman of the Board 2003 - 2016

Father of Jeff Wilpon

Share your memories of Fred Wilpon


April 6, 2005
Wilpon, while not Steinbrenner, shows some dedication to fielding a winning team. It is not easy to compete in the Yanks' shadow.

Jonathan Stern
April 19, 2005
Yeah, but if you are a baseball owner, part of being "dedicated" is doing your homework as an owner: find the right the baseball men and team doctors, then let them do their jobs. Wilpon may feel snakebitten, but as a high school teammate of Sandy Koufax, he has been unable to prevent himself (and his son) from getting in the way of his execs and ballplayers. Actually, he has much in common with Steinbrenner (who is once again destroying his own empire as we speak). He's just less public about it, doesn't crave the back page of the tabloids. And he is also better able to admit his mistakes and apologize for them, which makes him far more likeable.

You are not likely to compete if you are a small-market team. But money doesn't guarantee winning, either. That is what has made being a Mets fan difficult since the late 1980's. Few teams have spent more money to lose so many games. It's unbelievable how well-run the Mets were up to 1986... and how inept they have generally been ever since, during which time Wilpon gradually assumed full ownership while the Yankees took over New York.

In the early 90's, Wilpon led the way in the attempt to sanitize the winning but x-rated clubhouse, only to create a deplorable bunch that lost 193 games under Torborg and Green. The brilliant work of Valentine and the unexpected arrival of Mike Piazza were the keys to the postseason teams of 1999 and 2000. The Mets would have been nothing without them.

But by 2002, the house of cards collapsed. Wilpon fired Valentine, retained Steve Phillips, forced out Doubleday. Then, oblivious to the need for massive rebuilding (and amidst accusations by Doubleday of fraternizing with players and allowing his son too much influence over the franchise), he boldly blamed Doubleday and Valentine for everything that was wrong with the team in '01 and '02. Over the next two seasons, the Mets, under Wilpon's handpicked manager, Art Howe, lost 186 games.

Wilpon was man enough to clean house prior to this season, ridding himself of beloved clubhouse lawyers and bringing in new coaches and trainers. It's time to start winning, once and for all.

blue and orange 4 ever
June 3, 2005
I have mixed feelings about Mr. Wilpon. I meet him every summer since his grandson attends the same camp as my son, and he is very easy to talk to. However his sole ownership of the Mets has hurt over the past 3-4 years. In February of 2004 I sent him a letter questioning where the team was going after passing on Vladdy Guerrero, A-Rod and the like but signing K. Garcia and Shawn Spencer. Though I never got a reply, the letter went a long way in bringing changes to the Mets in 05. I think Mr. Wilpon now understands that if you want to compete you need to get quality players at top dollar.

Judy Birnbaum
January 9, 2007
I met Fred, Judy, and Jeff Wilpon in 1963 when I became their steady babysitter. He lived in Baldwin, N.Y. on Long Island. Probably the finest people anyone could ever hope to meet. I continued to babysit for his 3 children until they moved to Roslyn in 1967. Fred Wilpon was warm and kind, and generous. I'm proud to have known him.

Enough is enough
May 27, 2008
Fred, Jeff - please sell the Mets.

Your hearts are in the right place, but you are not good baseball owners and you've had plenty of time to demonstrate otherwise.

The final straw was turning our team into an affirmative action, politically correct club for Omar Minaya to realize his hispanic vision.

No good deed goes unpunished; now, the lifeline you tossed ten-time-interview-loser Willie Randolph in 2005 comes back to bite you as Wille accuses your network of racism.

Sell the Mets Sell the Mets Please FredJeff please sell the Mets Keep your kiddies Keep your wife Just get your ownership out of the Mets' fans' lives

August 4, 2009
Nice man. But not a good baseball man or good owner, and now, the final chapter, in my opinion, has been written. Fred, please sell the Mets, recoup your Madoff losses and flee!

September 6, 2009
The Mets are second class citizens in New york because of this owner. Since he has been majority owner of this team. the have been to one postseason, while the Yankees have been there every year except last year! While the Mets do have a high payroll, they don't seem to spend a little more to get that one extra player (Manny Ramirez, Vladimir Guerrero, and a whole host of others). Their stadium has 8,000 less seats than Yankee Stadium. Plus, Citi Field seems to be home to the Brooklyn Dodgers! What the hell is that? This team has no farm system, while the Yankees, even though they have drafted as many great players recently, still have come up with more good players (Joba, Cano, Melky, and now even Phil Hughes as the 8th inning guy). The Mets came up with SNY only after the Yankees got YES. We are lagging behind folks, and the reason is because of the man that I am writing about now! Fred Wilpon! SELL THE TEAM!

August 25, 2010
Since Carlos Beltran struck out looking to end the 2006 NLCS, it has become embarrassing and painful to be a Mets fan. Why does Omar Minaya keep his job? He has not improved the team in 5 years, suffered 2 season ending choke years and the last 2 years are just forgetful. The team has no heart or soul. Why do players like John Maine who cares and wants to play get chastised and embarrassed by management from WANTING to play, yet Beltran, Castillo are pampered for marginal injuries and they patiently wait for them to return. Mr. Wilpon has his head in the sand. He needs to replace Minaya, Manuel, Warthen immediately and return some pride and respect to this franchise. He needs to listen to what the Met alumni have to say about the current state of the franchise. As much as I hate the Yankees for throwing dollar after dollar to fix any problem they have, at least they try to fix it. The Mets are just hoping all the stench from this regime goes sway. I am a lifelong Mets fan, but do not expect me to pay $400+ to see this sorry team play baseball at Citi Field, which by the way was built for the wealthy and sticks the 'Real fans' far away from the playing field.

Shickhaus Franks
September 25, 2010
Here it is another sad September playing MEANINGLESS GAMES in front of intimate gatherings of 31,000(?) and Mr. Wilpon, who is still reeling from that creep Bernie robbing his family without a gun, still RUNNING THE METS!!! If I were Bud Selig, I would give a DIRECT order for the Wilpons to SELL THE METS or at least take in a rich partner who WASN'T robbed by that waste of life Madeoff!!!! Here is a simple plan: Sell the team to MARK CUBAN where he would turn the Mets from a lowly stepchild to a team that would be in the playoffs EVERY YEAR instead of every 7 to 10 years and it would make all those loud, crude, big mouth Yankee fans SHUT UP FOR ONCE!!! Mr. Selig should do this for the BEST INTERESTS OF BASEBALL!!!!

February 8, 2011
Hopefully, Wilponzi's days as Mets owner are numbered.

Jonathan Stern
February 8, 2011
Forget the Midnight Massacre and The Worst Team Money Can Buy. 2011 may prove to be the low point in the history of the New York Mets thus far. Going into this year, there were the two chokes, the two losing seasons that followed and the off-the-field altercations of Bernazard and K-Rod, all punctuated by (once again!) the team's spending too much money on the wrong players. And now, we have the Madoff scandal, which lays bare the not very surprising fact that the Wilpons are even more incompetent business-wise than they are baseball-wise. It's pretty simple: either the Wilpons knew what Bernie Madoff was or they were duped. Whatever the case, it's ugly, and it's only going to get uglier as the months go by, with the team likely to lose at least 90 games for the umpteenth time while the courtroom drama proceeds.

I don't think there has ever been a worse time to be a Mets fan and that's saying a lot, given what has happened since Jesse Orosco struck out Marty Barrett. The Wilpons seem to do almost nothing right. Even the new stadium is a debacle on many levels, conceived as it was as a tribute to Jackie Robinson and the Brooklyn Dodgers (Mets baseball history being basically an afterthought, for whatever reason). It may take years, perhaps a decade or more, to clean up the mess they have made. Although the human being in me feels no joy in writing this, the Mets fan in me hopes the Wilpons sell the team ASAP. They took a proud franchise with a colorful history, a franchise that once owned New York City, and reduced it to rubble.

Peter M. Arel
May 20, 2011
If I must fault Fred Wilpon for anything it would be for tinkering with the chemistry of the 1986 Mets, but I cannot blame him entirely for that. He wanted the team cleansed of players who made the team look bad after that business on the plane when the team was returning from Houston, which showed he was jealous for the good name of the franchise.

Hendu Schneck
May 29, 2011
You can tell by the comments over the years that for the longest time the press kept us in the dark over Wilpon's actual influence over the club. They blamed Cashen in the late 1980s for the kind of idiotic moves that magically began when Wilpon bought his 50% share of the team and would become a Wilpon era trademark.

They also kept us in the dark about the kind of guy he was. A decent man? Ask his neighbors who are looking at eminent domain. Ask his employees who lost their retirement funds while Wilpon walked away from Madoff $300,000,000 ahead. Ask the season ticket holders who were bullied into full season plans after Wilpon shrunk capacity in the new stadium by 15,000, tripled and quadrupled prices and refused to say if even partial season plans would be offered. His dream was to make Citi Field all corporate and all full-season ticket holders.

And now that his greed caused him to bite off more than he can chew, and he can't handle the debt load he's going to slash salaries and run the Mets like a small market team rather than relinquish control.

You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time. Looks like we've all finally figured out the guy wasn't just incompetent - he was a slimeball.

John L.
December 6, 2011
Why hasn't the media or MLB asked, just how much of Wilpons fake Madoff profits allowed him to purchase the club from Doubleday. If the money wasn't sound, should the Wilpons ownership somehow be nullified?

Jonathan Stern
March 20, 2012
Well, we're stuck with the Wilpons, for now, maybe forever. Anyway, the Mets did come awfully close to a pennant in '06, as well as playoff appearances the next two years. A right move here, a swing there, and we might have been champions. You can't hold the Wilpons responsible for the Mets coming up short in those cases. Those were contending teams that they put together. The question is whether Sandy Alderson will prevent the Wilpons from spending money on the wrong players yet again. From a non-Madoff, purely baseball position, that has been their biggest problem.

We have nowhere to go but up.

Hendu Schneck
May 26, 2014
Fred Wilpon might not care about putting a respectable team on the field, but he's sure making out like a bandit on the development across the street from the stadium. NYC already gave him $500,000,000 in free land with more free money to come.

Perhaps that's why he refuses to let go of the team and continues to run it into the ground?

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