On this first night of yet another World Series that does not include the Mets, let’s take a look back at the four Fall Classics in which the Mets did participate:
As a Mets fan I wish I had memories of that World Series. Of course, that would make me older than I already am, so no thank you. But what a magical time it must have been. The Mets were pretty much the worst franchise in baseball history when they came out of nowhere to win 100 games and beat a heavily-favored Orioles team that won a staggering 109 games. How good was that ? At the time, only four teams had ever won more than 109 games in a season.
The series produced so many “Amazin” moments that are part of baseball legend — the two catches by Tommie Agee that single-handedly saved five runs in a 5-0 Mets victory in Game 3, Ron Swoboda’s incredible diving catch to save Game 4, and of course the shoe polish incident.
This series will live on forever in baseball lore, not just in Mets history.
This is kind of the forgotten series, probably because the Mets lost. As a ten-year-old at the time, I only have vague memories of this series, but I do remember one thing — the reception for my brother’s Bar Mitzvah was unfortunately scheduled for the Sunday afternoon of Game 7. At one point I wandered into an office to check on the score, and the employees were watching a football game and had no interest in baseball! I got home in time to see the Mets lose.
People forget the Mets were up three games to two heading back to Oakland. Manager Yogi Berra made the fateful decision to start Tom Seaver in Game 6 on three days rest when he could have used a well-rested George Stone, who was 12-3 in the regular season. Seaver let up two early runs in a 3-1 loss. Jon Matlack, also on three days rest, started and lost Game 7. What if a well-rested Seaver had pitched a Game 7, if it were even necessary? We’ll never know.
What a crazy series that was! The Mets dropped the first two games at home, then came back to win the next two at Fenway. And then Game 6 — one of the greatest moments in baseball history.
I remember Game 7; the Mets fell behind early 3-0, but I was not even a bit worried — after the way they won Game 6, there was no possible way they were going to lose the series. And of course they didn’t, exploding for eight runs late in the game to finish off the Red Sox.
It was the Subway Series for which all Mets fans had been waiting all of our lives, and I scheduled a date for the night of Game 1. I was prepared to miss the game (ah, the things we do for love and other things) when the girl, who was not a sports fan, said everybody was talking about the series and she wanted to see it. So we went to a restaurant that had a TV.
We sat at the bar as Timo Perez didn’t run on what he thought was going to be a Todd Zeile homer in the sixth, getting thrown out at the plate for what would have been the first run of the game. We watched Armando Benitez blow the game in the bottom of the ninth, and I was back home (alone) when the Mets lost it in the 12th. If only Perez had run… If only the girl had come home with me…
That game set the tone for the entire series. I don’t think I was alone in thinking the Mets had no chance against that powerful Yankees team. It was a thrill just to be in the World Series; sure, I was upset when they lost, but I was not surprised.
By the way, I was not too upset when things didn’t work out with that girl. Sure, she wanted to watch the World Series, but she was crazy as a loon!