A member of the SABR once said, “There are 499 ballplayers. And then there’s Willie Mays.” It was way back in the summer of 1973. Camera Day. I was a few months shy of turning 8 years old. My dad nudged me closer to the railing along the third base line so no grown-ups would block my view. Mets players walked around the warning track, stopping every few feet to smile for the cameras. My [...]
As we all know, the Mets were created fill the gap left after the departure of the Giants and the Dodgers from the city of New York following the 1957 season. In the four year period before the advent of the Amazin’s, Gotham’s National League fans were left to follow their teams as best they could from afar (remember, no cable TV at this time nor webcasts, and radio coverage was spotty at best if [...]
I will remember it as if I saw it yesterday for the first time. A sheet of notebook paper, with the words, “Know your place, Rook … signed, your teammates,” was taped over Lastings Milledge’s locker in the Mets’ clubhouse in old RFK Stadium. This, in the late summer in 2006. The Mets were en route to the playoffs and a veteran laden team was rubbed the wrong way by Milledge’s brashness and arrogance. Then-manager [...]
MAYS: ENDURING IMAGE OF A FORGOTTEN TEAM The Mets have made four World Series appearances, with each of those seasons and Octobers giving us cherished memories. But, only one – the nearly forgotten 1973 team, with the still memorable rallying cry of “Ya Gotta Believe,’’ – identifies with the tumultuous ride this franchise has been on since its birth as the replacement child for the kids New York really loved – the Dodgers and Giants. [...]
I was very glad to see Chipper Jones reject the Yankees’ overtures for a comeback. It’s not that I wouldn’t want to see Jones have a change of heart, but not with the Yankees … not with anybody else but the Braves. I’ve always admired players to begin and end it with the same team. That‘s what I want to see for David Wright. It’s one of the things I liked about Cal Ripken, Don Mattingly and Derek Jeter. It’s rare these [...]
Throughout the 150+ year history of Baseball there are only a few truly iconic images burned into our psyche: A solemn Lou Gehrig standing at a microphone. Babe Ruth pointing his bat towards the outfield ‘calling his shot.’ Jackie Robinson running onto the field in 1947 and changing not only the game but America. Bob Gibson, cap low over his head, staring in for the sign. Hank Aaron, a black man in the deep south, [...]
Duke Snider passed away earlier today in Escondido, CA. The former Brooklyn Dodger great was 84. He was Brooklyn’s CFer during what has been called ‘The Golden Era of Baseball in New York.’ And Golden it was. While Duke played CF for Brooklyn, Willie Mays covered CF for the New York Giants and Mickey Mantle played for the Yankees. Three of the greatest Center Fielders in history, all playing at the same time. And in [...]
When one thinks of storied franchises in Baseball the Yankees immediately come to mind, thanks to Ruth, Gehrig, Mantle and 27 titles. One can even think of the Dodgers. It was in Brooklyn where the color barrier was broken and in Los Angeles where for a 5 year period a LHP pitcher dominated the game like no other. However, the very fabric of our National Pastime is sewn with the Giants. Starting back in 1883 [...]
Lets be honest. We all could have been Yankee fans. We could be wearing Derek Jeter jerseys, praying every night to our God Mickey Mantle and ending all debates with the robotic illogical response, “27 Championships.” But we’re not. We’re Mets fans. And like a marriage, we’re in this for better or worse. Lately, however, it’s becoming hard to remain faithful and to love, honor and cherish this team. Why exactly did we become fans [...]
New York Mets acquire OF/1B Willie Mays for P Charlie Williams I was just a lil’ boy when the New York Mets acquired Willie Mays from the San Francisco Giants to bring him back to New York for the end of his majestic, Hall of Fame career. “Willie Mays was the best all around center fielder I ever saw play the game. Period. End of story.” That’s what my 73 year old father told me recently as [...]
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