From October 16th, 1969
NEW YORK-The Mets entered the promised land today after seven years of wandering through the wilderness of baseball. In a tumultuous game before a record crowd of 57,397 in Shea Stadium (which was more than their entire home attendance for the 1995 season), they defeated the Baltimore Orioles, 5-3, for their fourth straight victory of the 66th World Series and in five games captured the championship of a sport that had long ranked them as comical losers.
They did it with a full and final dose of the magic that had spiced their unthinkable climb from ninth place in the National League-100-to-1 shots who scraped and scrounged their way to the pinnacle as the waifs of the major leagues. At 3:17 o'clock on a cool and often sunny afternoon (wait, games actually ended at 3:17 PM?), their impossible dream came true when Cleon Jones caught a fly ball hit by Dave Johnson (you know him as "Davey") to left field. And they immediately touched off one of the great, riotous scenes in sports history, as thousands of persons swarmed from their seats and tore up the patch of ground where the Mets had made history (and no doubt smoked that patch of ground seeing as if it was 1969).
It was 10 days after they had won the National League pennant in a three-game sweep of the Atlanta Braves (the Mets last sweep against the Atlanta Braves...EVER!) It was 22 days after they had won the Eastern title of the league over the Chicago Cubs. It was eight years after they had started business under Casey Stengel as the lovable losers of all sports. They reached the top, moreover, in the best and most farfetched manner of Met baseball. They spotted the Orioles three runs in the third inning when Dave McNally and Frank Robinson hit home runs off Jerry Koosman. (Robinson was later quoted as saying that he hated Mike Scioscia, yet he didn't even know who Mike Scioscia was!) But then they stormed back with two runs in the sixth inning on a home run by Donn Clendenon, another in the seventh by Al Weis and two more in the eighth on two doubles and two errors.
The deciding run was batted home by Ron Swoboda, who joined the Met mystique in 1965 when the team was losing 112 games and was finishing last for the fourth straight time. But, like most of the Mets' victories in their year to remember, the decision was a collective achievement by the youngest team in baseball (the last time that "Mets" and "youngest team in baseball" would ever appear in the same story), under Manager Gil Hodges-who had suffered a heart attack a year ago after the Mets "surged" into ninth place.
With the kind of jubilation it reserves for its special heroes, New York went pleasantly mad when the Mets won. From the sleek skyscrapers of Wall Street, where a spontaneous tickertape blizzard greeted the victory (stock brokers with nothing to do but waste time? I don't believe it), to the undistinguished bars of a hundred neighborhoods, where the toasts were in draft beer, the shouted cry was: "We're No. 1!" (whereas the cry today would be "Yankees Suck!") Teachers suspended classes because their transistor- equipped students were not paying attention anyway; bosses closed offices early for the same reason, and even policemen shrugged happily as they despaired of keeping order in the streets.
"Some people still might not believe in us," said Jones, "but then, some people still think the world is flat" (Wait, the world isn't flat?)
Sunday, October 16, 2005
Happy anniversary folks!!! (That which is not in bold is from the New York Times):
Posted by Metstradamus at 12:37 AM