Joan Whitney Payson was a part-owner of the New York Giants and the only one who opposed the team’s move to San Francisco in 1957. She sold her stock and worked to bring a new National League team to the Big Apple, assembling a group of owners who were ultimately granted the expansion franchise that would become the Mets. Payson served as team president in the franchise’s first 13 seasons until her death in 1975. She was the first woman in the United States to buy a majority interest in a sports franchise and faced a great deal of veiled and not-so-veiled comments about a woman’s aptitude for MLB leadership. It must have been supremely satisfying, then, when she presided over the Mets’ first World Series win in 1969.
( C ) New York Mets (photo by Heritage Werks)