By 1980, Fred Wilpon would purchase the team, adding another layer of connective tissue: Wilpon attended Brooklyn’s Lafayette High School with Dodgers Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax and was a rabid fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers. It was under his watch that Citi Field opened in 2009 with so many Dodgers-related touches — most notably, the enormous Jackie Robinson Rotunda — that some Mets fans complained there were more nods to Brooklyn than there were to the Mets.

The connections would only continue, with Mike Piazza’s Hall of Fame career spanning the franchises and Justin Turner, a crucial member of the current Dodgers team, having started his career in orange and blue.

Now, Steven A. Cohen, who tried to buy the Dodgers in 2012, calls the Mets’ shots. In his first public remarks after purchasing the Mets, he cited the Dodgers as the model for what he hoped the Mets would become. He has backed that up by pushing the Mets’ payroll near the top of the sport.

“They’re going to separate themselves from the pack,” said Valentine, who, in keeping with the theme of connective tissue, was once married to a daughter of Ralph Branca, who pitched for the Brooklyn Dodgers. “A lot like the Dodgers tried to do when they left town, and the Yankees have always done.”

Two of Hodges’s adult children — Gil Jr., 72, and Irene, 71 — plan to be in Dodger Stadium on Saturday night, as well as two of Irene’s granddaughters and a cousin. And as the videos roll and the lights flash, the iron steel cable running through the decades and the miles will remain as strong as ever.

“Without a doubt, the ’69 World Series was amazing,” Irene Hodges says of her favorite memory. “Everybody was just ecstatic. All of Brooklyn was crazy. It was a wonderful time. My dad, I believe, was a little apprehensive about managing in New York. He knew how good the fans were here, how much they loved him, and he just wanted to do right by them. He wanted to have a successful team. And he did.”



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