Pop Pop Epistle # 77 – About October 15, 1969

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Dear Grandkids,

You already know that I am a New York Mets fan from Pop Pop Epistle #43.

It started when I went to see my first major league game in Atlanta between the Braves and the Mets. I started following the Mets that day. They were laughable losers. Their first year in the league was 1962 and they only won 40 games out of 160. Which means they lost 120. They did not get much better over the next 6 years, though in 1968 they did manage to win 73 games, finishing 9th out of 10 teams in the league.

In 1969 the league expanded and went to two divisions per league. In mid-August the Mets were 9.5 games behind the Chicago Cubs but went on a tear the rest of the year. They finished with 100 wins, won their division, and then swept the Atlanta Braves and Hank Aaron in the playoffs to gain their first World Series appearance against the mighty Baltimore Orioles.

Everyone picked the Orioles to win the series and after they won the first game 4-1 it was pretty much a foregone conclusion. But nobody told the Mets. They won the 2nd game 2-1 and the 3rd game 5-0.

The 4th game was played 50 years ago today – October 15, 1969. Cy Young Award winner Tom Seaver was on the mound for the Mets. He took a 1-0 lead into the 9th inning. Future Hall of Famer Frank Robinson singled and got to third after another Orioles single by Boog Powell. Future Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson came to bat not knowing that he would make a very historic out.

Now at this point you need to know that my favorite player on the Mets was their right fielder Ron Swoboda. He was better known as a hitter than a fielder but here is his play by play of what happened next…

Swoboda’s catch has been called the greatest ever World Series catch – which is saying a lot when you consider the catch that Willie Mays made in the 1954 Series. The Mets went on to win the game in extra innings and then won game 5 the next day 5-3 and their first World Championship. They were dubbed the Miracle Mets or The Amazing Mets.

I was 11 years old in 1969. I can still remember watching the World Series. I still have a bunch of baseball cards from those days. I’ll show you my collection some day – especially if you swear allegiance to the New York Mets for life. And if they ever make it back to the World Series maybe I’ll let you take me to a game.

Never forget that you are very loved!

Pop Pop

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