(From the archives. Originally published 7/12/11)
Gil Hodges Dies: 4/2/72
People remember where they were on 9/11 or when JFK was assassinated, but I remember where I was when Hodges died. I was watching some kind of quiz show (it might have been a college bowl-type show) on the Mets flagship WOR when they “interrupted this broadcast for breaking news” that Hodges died. I still think of it whenever they break into a show. Hodges died just before the start of the 1972 season of a heart attack at age 47. Had he lived, I believe he would have been the manager for 20 years, providing the type of stability the team lacked during those awful years in the mid 1970s through the early 1980s.
Tom Seaver Traded: 6/15/77
Seaver wanted out following a feud with the Mets front office and sportswriter Dick Young. Even still, it was shocking to see the only superstar in team history at that point to be sent away for four decidedly non-superstars.
Lee Mazzilli Traded: 4/1/82
I thought it was an April Fools joke when my brother told me Mazzilli was traded. Mazzilli was the only player for whom to root in those awful days — a local boy made good who was a decent player. The trade ended up being a stroke of genius — the Mets got Ron Darling and Walt Terrell, who was later flipped for Howard Johnson. At the time, though, it was a huge disappointment to see Mazzilli go.
Mike Scoiscia Homers, Mets lose 1988 NLCS: 10/9/88
The Mets were on their way to taking a commanding 3-1 lead in the NLCS against the Dodgers when Scoiscia hit a shocking two-run home run off Dwight Gooden in the ninth to tie the game. The Dodgers would win in 12 innings and go on to win the series four games to three. All hopes of a dynasty ended there with just the 1986 World Series championship to show for it.
Dwight Gooden Tests Positive for Drugs: 6/28/94
Gooden tested positive for cocaine prior to the 1987 season and missed the first two months. But the big disappointment came in 1994 when he tested positive again. A youthful indiscretion was one thing; continuing to use drugs was something else entirely. He would continue to test positive and be banned for the 1995 season. By that time, though, we already knew his promising Mets career was over.
Kenny Rogers Walks in Run, Lose 1999 NLDS: 10/19/99
Game 6 against the Braves was a 12-inning thriller — down three games to two, the Mets overcome a 5-0 first inning deficit and the game was tied at nine after nine innings. The Mets scored in the tenth, but Armando Benitez allowed the Braves to tie it. With no relievers left, Bobby Valentine brought in Rogers. A hit and two walks later the bases were loaded. Rogers proceeded to walk in the winning run. We all knew he was going to do it, yet we couldn’t stop it. Season over.
Yadier Molina Homers, Carlos Beltran Strikes Out, Lose 2006 NLCS: 10/19/06
The Mets were supposed to win this game following Endy Chavez’s catch. Instead, Molina slammed a two-run home run in the ninth that was like a punch in the face. With the Mets down 3-1, they managed to load the bases in the bottom of the ninth, but the season ended with Carlos Beltran’s knees buckling on an Adam Wainwright curve ball. 2006 was the Mets year. We all felt it. In my opinion, the most disappointing on-field moment in Mets history.
Tom Glavine Finishes Mets 2007 Collapse: 9/30/07
The Mets were up by seven games with 17 left to play. There was no way they could lose, but they did. They went 5-12 the rest of the way, topping it off with Glavine allowing seven runs in just a third of an inning in Game 162.
Mets Close Shea with 2008 collapse: 9/28/08
The Mets were up by three and a half games with 17 to play. There was no way they could lose again, but they did. This time they went 7-10 the rest of the way. The Mets still had a chance for the Wild Card in the last game of the season, but they lost. To make matters worse, it was the final game at Shea, and some genius scheduled the closing ceremony after the game. Bad idea.
2009 Season: 4/6/09-10/4/09
There was so much promise going into 2009. After the disappointing ends to the previous three seasons, this was going to be the year. They were opening a new stadium, Sports Illustrated predicted they would win the World Series — this was it. Instead, everybody got injured and the Mets finished 70-92. Perhaps the most disappointing season in Mets history.
Mugshots Courtesy Ultimate Mets Database