Almost 52 years since he made his debut with the 1962 Mets, Ed Kranepool still loves the team and follows them daily. Tim Rohan of the New York Times, spoke to Krane yesterday and the two of them discussed the current climate of the team and expectations.
Out on Long Island, Ed Kranepool, a Met for 18 seasons (1962-79), including the championship year of 1969, said he would not consider a late dash to third place this season as any sign of progress. It was more complicated than that, said Kranepool, who is usually invited back by the Mets a dozen or more times a seasons to entertain fans and tell stories about the old days.
It was a point of view echoed by one of Kranepool’s old Mets teammates — Ron Swoboda — who continues to follow the Mets from his home in New Orleans. Every day, he watches highlights and scans the box scores, checking the same young players Kranepool is monitoring. He, too, does not care where the Mets finish this season.
“That’s irrelevant to me!” he said, his voice rising. “Would it make any difference if they were second? It wouldn’t make any difference to me. The number that matters is: Are you in the playoffs?”
“I’m 69 years old,” he said, calming down. “I want to see them good again.” He let out a long, nervous laugh. “I don’t want to run out of time.”
For the moment, time is only running out on this season, one that might very well end with the Mets back where everybody knows where to find them — in fourth place, waiting for better digs.
I loved Kranepool as a kid. He may not have been as great as his contemporaries at first base during his time with the Mets, but that didn’t matter to me – he was great in my book.
Even in his latter years as his career was winding down, I loved standing up and cheering with everyone else at Big Shea and shouting “Eddie, Eddie, Eddie…” whenever he came out to pinch-hit.
I remember many a game where Kranepool had Shea rocking from the foundation all the way up to the rafters. Those were great times…