I have to hand it to the New York Mets for doing an excellent job of putting that 1969 Mets tribute together. It was so touching to see all those great Mets of the past, together again for one last time. Unfortunately, many of those who played for the Amazin’s in that magical season have passed on, but I’m sure they were smiling down on their former teammates and even helped to hold back the rain so that the festivities can go on.
I was so happy to finally see Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan wearing his number 30 Mets jersey for the first time in 38 years. After seven no-hitters, he returned to honor the team that gave him his only World Series ring. Maybe his presence may have snapped the curse that has kept us from tossing our own no-hitter. Lets keep our fingers crossed!
Tom Seaver was his usual elegant and eloquent self, and he graced us with some of the night’s most memorable quotes. Seaver went 25-7 with a 2.21 ERA in 1969 to win the first of his three Cy Young awards. He spoke for the team after everyone was announced, telling the crowd that the improbable World Series championship was a thread that ties the team members, their children, grandchildren and the fans of that team together forever.
“People called us the Miracle Mets, but nothing was impossible when you played for Gil Hodges. You believed in us and we believed we could do it. Thank you, New York.”
I hope most of you were able to watch.
Finally, here is a list compiled by NorthJersey.com of all the 1969 Mets and where they are now.
What the surviving members of the 1969 world champion Mets are doing now and the list of deceased members:
Coach – Yogi Berra, Owner, Yogi Berra Museum. Lives is Montclair
2B – Ken Boswell, Rancher, Austin, Texas
3B – Ed Charles, Retired, Queens, N.Y.
P – Jack DiLauro, Consultant, Hudson Capital LLC, Malvern, Ohio
C – Duffy Dyer, Minor league instructor, Padres, Phoenix
SS – Bobby Pfeil, Apartment renovations, Stockton, Calif.
3B – Wayne Garrett, Florida Irrigation, Sarasota, Fla.
P – Gary Gentry, Director of retirement home, Phoenix
OF – Rod Gasper, Owner of money management firm, Mission Viejo, Calif.
C – Jerry Grote, Owner, Texas Java coffee house, Belton, Texas
SS – Bud Harrelson, Co-owner, Long Island Ducks, Hauppauge, N.Y.
LF – Cleon Jones, Retired, Mobile, Ala.
P – Jerry Koosman, Retired, Osceola, Wis.
1B – Ed Kranepool, IRN Credit Card Processing, Jericho, N.Y.
C – J.C. Martin, Retired, Advance, N.C.
P- Jim McAndrew, Retired, Fountain Hills, Ariz.
Coach Joe Pignatano, Retired, Brooklyn, N.Y.
P – Nolan Ryan, President, Texas Rangers, Dallas
P – Tom Seaver, Vineyard owner, Calistoga, Calif.
1B/OF – Art Shamsky, Author, New York City
RF – Ron Swoboda, Radio, TV announcer, New Orleans
P – Ron Taylor, Team physician, Toronto Blue Jays, Toronto
2B – Al Weis, Retire,d Elmhurst, Ill.
Coach – Eddie Yost, Retired, Wesley, Mass.
Members who are deceased
Mgr. Gil Hodges, died April 2, 1972
Coach – Rube Walker, died Dec. 12, 1992
P – Cal Koonce, died Oct. 28, 1993
CF – Tommie Agee, died Jan. 22, 2001
1B – Donn Clendenon, died Sept. 17, 2005
P – Tug McGraw, died Jan. 5, 2004
P – Don Cardwell, died Jan. 14, 2008