I adopted the Mets as my team back in 1967 when they were perennial cellar dwellers. I went to a ball game in Atlanta to see the Braves vs the Mets and came away a fan for life. Baseball was my sport. I played it whenever I could. I watched it whenever I could. Like many kids back in those days I knew champions and statistics of players who had died long before I was ever born. I WAS the kid on The Sandlot.
I struggled with the Mets through ’67 and ’68 and for a good part of ’69. And then the dog days of summer came along. The Mets were 9+ games out of first behind the Cubs on August 14 and they got hot. (This was the year of the infamous black cat at Wrigley Field during a game with the Mets). They roared to first place in their division, went on to sweep the Braves in the first ever League championship playoffs and then after losing game 1 of the World Series they won the next 4 to beat the powerful Baltimore Orioles (Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, Boog Powell, Jim Palmer, Dave McNally…)
Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Nolan Ryan, Ron Swoboda, Cleon Jones, Tommie Agee, Bud Harrelson, Tug McGraw, Jerry Grote, Art Shamsky, Donn Clendenon, Al Weis. managed by Gil Hodges. Heroes. They were dubbed The Amazing Mets. It was a magical year. We saw a man walk on the moon in July and we saw a team go from next to last place to first place (in 1968 they finished 24 games in back of the St Louis Cardinals) to win a World Series.
The last 40 years have been interesting. 3 more World Series appearances: Losing to the Oakland A’s in ’73. Winning in miracle fashion against the BoSox in ’86. Losing to the Yankees in 2000. Several heart breaking years when they had things wrapped up and then just folded down the stretch. But through it all – always a fan.
Back to last night. Historic. The Mets organization started back in 1962. That makes 50 years. And NEVER in all 8,019 games (prior to last night) had anyone thrown a no-hitter. A couple of guys had come close. A bunch of guys threw them for other teams after leaving the Mets (most notably would be Nolan Ryan) but never for the Mets.
And last night it finally happened. Johan Santana. You can read about it HERE if you like. So I figured today was as good a day as any to chronicle a bit of my love affair with the Amazin’s. Here is a picture of some my Mets memorabilia. I brought it out just to relive my childhood, to bask in the celebration of a no-hitter, and to get ready for a playoff run this year. The boys are playing good ball. We’ll see if it lasts. Always a fan!