I started watching the New York Mets in 1968. I became a Mets fan because I loved baseball, 68 was the year we got cable TV and our cable provider gave us WWOR at that time the home of the Mets. The 68 Mets weren’t that good. They would only win 73 games but they had potential. They had these three pitchers named Seaver, Koosman and Ryan. They also had a great broadcasting team of Ralph Kiner, Bob Murphy and Lindsey Nelson. They were fun to watch.
Then in 1969, the leagues broke up into divisions. The Mets would now compete against five teams to make the playoffs instead of nine. That was a magical year, the loveable loser Mets came from 9 games back in August to win the division, the play offs and then the World Series. That World Series featured catches by Tommy Agree and Ron Swoboda that I still see in my minds eye today. Wow. Then a mere four years later the Mets take a team that was 82 and 79 to the World Series. They lose that series in seven games to the A’s but it was still a great memory. I remember fondly running home from school to watch the playoff games. In those days it wasn’t so important to have games in prime time. I was happy the Mets had been in existence for a little over 10 years and had been to two World Series.
Little did I know that over the next 38 years (heck we might as well make it 40 now) the Mets would only reach the World Series two more times. They traded Tom Seaver and fell on hard times, until 1986. 1986 was truly another magical year for the Mets. After ten seasons of being very bad and two of being very close the Mets lead by Gary Carter and Keith Hernandez put it all together winning 108 games. By far the best Mets season ever. They went on to the win a super exciting World Series against the Red Sox, coming from behind in a nail biting game six.
After 86, the Mets once again came close for a few years, then stunk big time for many more years. The 1993 Mets lost 103 games. But you know what I stuck with them because they were my team. Then in 1999 and 2000 the Alfonzo and Piazza lead Mets made the playoff as the wild card team (and I immediately became pro wild card.) The Mets made it back to the series in 2000 but lost to the Yankees in five. It hurt but at least the loss came to another New York team, I could live with that. Plus this Mets team was young and talented (Reyes and Wright) we would go far. It never happened. The Mets came close again in 2006 but lost a heart breaker to the Cardinals in seven. Endy Chavez made what I thought would be a game saving catch robbing a homerun to keep the Mets in the game in game seven. But the Mets never came back. They lost that series.
Since that faithful loss to the Cardinals the Mets have gone from close to terrible. They have slipped back into this pattern they have of being good for a couple of years then bad for more years. We are in a bad cycle now, it’s sad because this is a big market team now forced to play like a small market. But I am Mets fan I will stick with them.