Not Even Irene Can Blow Away My Great Mets Memories
With hurricane Irene bearing down on the New York area, the Mets have postponed the next two games of the Braves series, leaving us without baseball for a few days. It’s gotten me to thinking about the “old” days, and old times. Most of you will probably remember the things I’ll be mentioning below (and please feel free to add on), while some of “you kids at home” may be learning something new.
We all know the Mets began playing baseball in 1962. The brain trust of those early Mets were so smart they built the new franchise based upon New York National League baseball history. The Mets became the offspring of the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants. Ownership was so committed to this idea that the Mets blue was taken from the Dodgers, and the orange came from the Giants. Even the interlocking “NY” on the Mets cap, almost mimics the “NY’ found on those old Giants caps.
Prior the their first game at Shea Stadium, the ballpark was christened with water from the Harlem River and the Gowanus Canal. Ownership could have taken another direction by creating a ball club with it’s own identity. Instead they chose to salute NY baseball history, one of many moves that made them loved from the very start.
Casey Stengel, who did a pretty good job of managing the Yankees was hired to manage the Mets. Ownership brought back as many old New York favorite players as they possibly could. All this was done to create a distraction, while new young talent and a great farm system was developed. In only seven short years the Mets became World Champs.
Once upon a time pitchers were driven from the bullpen to the infield. Remember those cool bullpens cars the Mets had with the baseball caps on them?
Remember when they had a mule for a mascot?
Have you ever marched in a Banner Day celebration? How about Casey calling the banners placards?
Remember Casey & Mrs. Payson at old-timers games?
How about Lindsay Nelson’s technicolor sports jackets? Legend has it, since the games were broadcast in color, Lindsay wanted to wear the loud sports jackets so people could enjoy them on the TV.
Remember Kiner’s Korner?
Before Howie “put it the books”, we had Murph with the “happy recap”.
How about Howie as host of Mets Extra on WFAN, and Gary doing radio with Murph? Just for fun we’ll say Fran Healy on Sports Channel.
Did Mike & the Mad Dog really have an impact on Mike Piazza coming here?
The return of baseball after the 911 attack.
We have the greatest mascot and team song.
We have each other, just walk around town wearing a Mets shirt, somebody will come up to you and talk Mets baseball with you (at least in my part of Long Island).
Baseball is cancelled for a few days, but the Mets are always on my mind.
About the Author: Gregg Hopps
Gregg lives on Long Island, and has been a Mets fan since Bud Harrelson and Pete Rose slugged it out in the 1973 playoffs. "Keith Hernandez is the best defensive first baseman to ever have played baseball."
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