New York Mets

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Template:MLB infobox Mets

The New York Mets are a Major League Baseball team based in Flushing, Queens, New York City, New York. They are in the Eastern Division of the National League. The Mets are one of two major league franchises to operate in the City of New York; the other team is the New York Yankees of the American League.

Contents

Franchise History

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Origins

In 1957, the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants abandoned New York for California, leaving the largest city in the United States without a National League franchise. Two years later, on July 27, 1959, attorney William Shea announced the formation of a third major baseball league, the Continental League. After a contentious year, in 1960, Shea and the other Continental League organizers reached a deal with the established major leagues. In exchange for abandoning the new league, four new expansion franchises would be created — two in each league. New York City would receive one of the National League teams with Joan Whitney Payson and her husband Charles Shipman Payson, former minority owners of the Giants, as the principal owners. Former Giants director M. Donald Grant, the only member of the board to oppose the Giants' move West, became chairman of the board.

The new team required a new name and many were suggested. Among the finalists were "Bees", "Burros", "Continentals", "Skyscrapers", "Jets", as well as the eventual runner-up, "Skyliners". Although Payson had admitted a preference for "Meadowlarks," the owners ultimately selected "Metropolitan Baseball Club of New York," or Mets in part because it was closely related to the club's already-existing corporate name "New York Metropolitan Baseball Club, Inc.", in part because it harkened back to "Metropolitans", a historically significant name used by an earlier New York team in the American Association from 1883 to 1887, and in part because its brevity would naturally fit in newspaper headlines. The name was met with broad approval among fans and press.

1962-1968

In October, 1961, the National League held an expansion draft to stock the rosters of the Mets and the Houston Colt .45s with players from other clubs. 22 players were selected by the Mets, including some with notable previous success such as Roger Craig, Al Jackson, Frank Thomas and Richie Ashburn. But rather than select talented young players with future potential, Mets management prefered to sign washed-up former stars of the Dodgers, Giants and Yankees to appeal to fans' nostalgia. Legendary Yankees manager Casey Stengel was hired out of retirement to lead the team, but his managerial acumen wasn't enough to overcome the severe deficiency of talent among the players. The Mets began their on-field play in 1962, losing their first nine games en route to a 40-120 record. Their .250 winning percentage was the third worst by any team since the beginning of the 20th Century. Throughout major league history only the 1899 Cleveland Spiders (20-134) lost more games in a single season than the 1962 Mets.

Beloved by New York fans despite their losing ways — or even because of them — the Mets of the early 1960s became famous for their ineptitude. Journeyman players like the ironically nicknamed "Marvelous Marv" Throneberry became icons of athletic incompetence. Ex-Dodger and Giant pitcher Billy Loes, who was selected by the Mets in the 1961 expansion draft, was credited with this ungrammatical quotation: "The Mets is a good thing. They give everybody jobs. Just like the WPA." Even the Mets proved to have standards, however. In 1962, Cleveland Indians catcher Harry Chiti was purchased, then the Mets shipped him to the Indians for a player to be named later in the season. That "player to be named later" ended up being Harry Chiti.

In 1964 the Mets, who played their first two seasons in the old Polo Grounds, the former home of the Giants, moved to the new Shea Stadium, a 55,300-seat multipurpose facility built in the Flushing neighborhood of the borough of Queens, adjacent to the site of the 1939 and 1964 New York World's Fairs. One high point of Shea Stadium's first season came on Father's Day, when Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Jim Bunning threw a perfect game against the Mets, the first in the National League since 1880. For perhaps the only time in the stadium's history, the Shea faithful found themselves rooting for the visitors, caught up in the rare achievement, and roaring for Bunning on every pitch in the ninth inning. His strikeout of John Stephenson capped the performance. Another high point was Shea Stadium's hosting of the 1964 All-Star Game.

The Mets' image as lovable losers was wearing thin as the decade progressed, but things began to change in the late '60s. The Mets acquired top pitching prospect Tom Seaver in a lottery and he became the league's Rookie of the Year in 1967, even though the team finished last again. He and two other young players, catcher Jerry Grote and shortstop Bud Harrelson, formed a new clubhouse nucleus that had no interest in losing, lovably or otherwise. Pitcher Jerry Koosman joined the staff and had a spectacular rookie season in 1968, winning 19 games. Leftfielder Cleon Jones developed as a batter and exciting centerfielder Tommy Agee came over in a trade. But although much improved, the 1968 team still finished the season in 9th place.

1969: The Miracle Mets

The Mets began the 1969 season with a mediocre start, going 21-23 through the end of May. By mid-August, the favored Chicago Cubs seemed safely on their way to winning the pennant in the newly-formed National League East Division while the Mets sat in third place, ten games behind. But the Cubs began to collapse and the Mets, with outstanding pitching from their young staff, piled up victory after victory, winning 38 of their last 49 games and finishing in first place with a 100-62 record for the season, thier first winning year ever.

The "Amazin' Mets" or "Miracle Mets", as they became known, went on to win a three-game sweep of the powerful Atlanta Braves, led by legend Henry Aaron, in the divisional playoffs.

The Mets were given little chance in the World Series, facing a Baltimore Orioles team that went 109-53 in the regular season and included future Hall of Famers Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson and Jim Palmer. Before the series began, pundits predicted Tom Seaver might win the opening game, but the Mets would have trouble winning again in the World Series. Just the opposite occurred; Seaver was roughed up in the opener, which he lost -- but the Mets rallied to take the next four games, winning the series 4 games to 1.

This rags-to-riches story was regarded as one of baseball history's great turnarounds, giving hope to underdogs, also-rans and lost causes everywhere. Soon after the season ended, Tom Seaver lent his name to a commercial saying "If the Mets can win the World Series, America can get out of Vietnam."

1970s: "Ya Gotta Believe!" and the Midnight Massacre

The Miracle Mets magic wore off as the 1970s began. In subsequent years, Mets pitchers generally excelled but received lackluster support from the hitters with mediocre finishes the result. Efforts to improve the offense backfired with blunders such as trading young pitcher Nolan Ryan for infielder Jim Fregosi after the 1971 season. Ryan became one of the best pitchers in history, spending 22 more years in the majors and entering the Hall of Fame in 1999. Fregosi battled injuries and played just 146 games for the Mets over a season and a half.

The team was shocked when Manager Gil Hodges, who led the team to victory in 1969, suffered a heart attack at the end of Spring Training in 1972 and suddenly died. Coach Yogi Berra succeeded Hodges.

Berra's Mets found themselves in last place with a 61-71 record at the end of August, 1973. But competition in the division was weak, and the Mets, led by relief pitcher Tug McGraw and his "Ya gotta believe!" rallying cry, were able to rise to the top by winning 21 of their last 29 games, finishing with an 82-79 record. They then beat the heavily-favored Cincinnati Reds "Big Red Machine" in the NLCS, becoming the team with the worst regular-season winning percentage ever to play in the World Series. The Mets managed to push the eventual champion Oakland A's to a seventh game, but lost in the final contest.

As the 1975 season ended, owner Joan Whitney Payson died. Her husband Charles delegated ownership authority to his daughters, while board chairman M. Donald Grant managed the baseball operations. Payson had been the driving force behind the Mets and her survivors did not share her enthusiasm for investing in the future of the team. Contract disputes with star pitcher Tom Seaver and slugger Dave Kingman erupted in 1977. Both players were traded on June 15, the trading deadline, in what New York tabloids dubbed "The Midnight Massacre." The Mets received six players in the two deals, but none had any significant lasting impact. Attendance fell, the team finished in last place and Grant was relieved of his duties in 1978. The Mets did not become a competitive franchise again until well into the 1980s.

1980-85

In 1980 the Mets were bought by publisher Nelson Doubleday Jr. representing Doubleday and real estate magnate and former Sandy Koufax teammate Fred Wilpon, and Frank Cashen were brought in to run baseball operations. Improvement was not immediate, but in a few years the Mets were rebuilt.

It all began in the 1980 draft when the Mets selected outfielder Darryl Strawberry at number 1. In that season, Wally Backman as well as speedy outfielder Mookie Wilson made their Mets debuts. By 1983, former MVP's Keith Hernandez and George Foster joined the club. That season, Strawberry would bring the "Mets Magic" back as he won Rookie of the Year honors. Down in their minor league system, the Tidewater Mets, their AAA affiliate, won the Governors' cup. That ballclub featured Mets that would contribute to their success. In 1984, manager Davey Johnson took over. He wanted to bring young pitchers who helped the Tidewater Mets win that title. For example, he brought in Ron Darling and Rookie of the Year Dwight Gooden. In 1984, the Mets would win 90 games for the first time since 1969. But they would lose the division title to the Chicago Cubs, led by MVP Ryne Sandberg. The team, joined by All-Star catcher Gary Carter, did even better in 1985, with Gooden winning the Cy Young Award, but finished behind the division champion St. Louis Cardinals. The big highlight of that season was a 19-inning victory on July 4 against the Atlanta Braves in Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium.

1986

After losing the NL East twice, Davey Johnson made a prediction saying that the team would dominate. That meant the Mets would win the East by 20 games. That was exactly what happened. The Mets would win the East 21.5 games over the 2nd-place Phillies. In that season, several bench-clearing brawls would take place.

In the National League Championship Series, the Mets met the Houston Astros. After winning game 2, leadoff hitter Lenny Dykstra hit a game-winning home run to win game 3. After losing game 4, Gary Carter would hit a double off reliever Charlie Kerfeld to give a 3-2 lead. Back in Houston, the Mets and Astros would battle it out for 16 innings, but the Mets prevailed as another challenge was awaiting.

In the World Series against the Boston Red Sox, the Mets would lose the first two in Queens. But in Boston, Dykstra did it again as he hit a homer in game 3. By the time game 6 rolled around, the Red Sox still led the series 3-2. If the Mets lost, the Red Sox would win their first World title since 1918. After Rich Gedman's passed ball allowed Kevin Mitchell to score, Mookie Wilson hit a grounder past Bill Buckner's legs allowing Ray Knight to score as the Mets won games 6 and 7 to win their 2nd World title.

While the teams around the 1986 championship were strong, they were also infamous for off-the-field controversy. Both Strawberry and Gooden were young kids who both wound up burning out long before observers figured because of various substance abuse and personal problems. Both of their off-the-field problems started before age 25 and have continued through the present (2005). Hernandez's cocaine use was the subject of persistent rumors even before he joined the Mets, although Hernandez publicly acknowledged his addiction in 1985 and made a successful recovery. Lenny Dykstra's playing intensity was recently tainted by allegations of steroid and gambling problems. [1] Instead of putting together a dynasty, the Mets soon fell apart. [2]

Despite Darryl Strawberry's numerous off-the-field mishaps, he remains the Mets' all-time leader in home runs and runs batted in. In fact, with Mike Piazza's time with the Mets at an end, Strawberry is likely to hold those team marks for at least the next decade.

1987-1990

After winning the World Series in 1986, the Mets' ace Dwight Gooden was admitted to a drug clinic. It was the biggest shock since the Midnight Massacre of 1977. But Dr. K was back, and so were the Mets. They would surge to battle St. Louis for the division title. But on September 11 in a game against the Cards, St. Louis 3rd baseman and future MVP Terry Pendleton hit a homer to give the Cardinals a lead and eventually the NL East.

After missing the playoffs in 1987, the 1988 Mets again won the division. Spearheaded by great starting pitching and a lethal middle of the lineup, the Mets coasted to their second 100-win season in three years. The goliath Mets played the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS in a season where they beat them 10 out of 11 times but the Dodgers continued their cinderella story season by beating the Mets in seven games.

The Mets (as well as the Montreal Expos) would battle the Cubs for the division title in 1989, but Chicago would prevail once again. The next season, the Mets would surge to battle the Pittsburgh Pirates, but Pittsburgh's "BB Guns" (Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonilla, Wally Backman, Jay Bell) led Pittsburgh to their first NLCS since 1979.

1993: "Hardball Is Back" and The Worst Team Money Could Buy

With all of the personal problems swirling around the Mets after the 1986 championship, the Mets tried to rebuild using experienced superstars. They picked up the aging eventual Hall of Famer Eddie Murray for over $3 million, the younger but troubled Pittsburgh Pirates slugger Bobby Bonilla for over $6 million, one-time record-setting base stealer Vince Coleman for over $2 million, one-time World Series hero Bret Saberhagen for $3 million and veteran pitcher Frank Tanana for $1.5 million. The rebuilding was supported by the slogan, "Hardball Is Back" [3]. The experiment of building a team via free agency quickly flopped as Saberhagen and Coleman were soon injured and spent more time on the disabled list than on the field. The lowest point of the experiment was the 1993 season when the Mets lost 103 games. In April of that year, Gooden was injured when Coleman accidentally hit Gooden's shoulder with a golf club while practicing his swing. In July, Saberhagen threw a firecracker under a table near reporters. Their young pitching prospect Anthony Young started the '93 season at 0-13 and his overall streak of 27 straight losses over two years set a new record. After Young's record-setting loss, Coleman threw a firecracker out of the team bus window and injured three people resulting in felony charges and the effective end of his Mets career. Only a few days later, Saberhagen was in trouble again, this time for spraying bleach at three reporters. The meltdown season resulted in the worst record for a Mets team in the last 40 years (since 1965). Their descent was chronicled by the book, The Worst Team Money Could Buy: The Collapse Of The New York Mets (ISBN 0803278225).

The Piazza era

While the 1990s started horribly for the Mets, things started looking up in 1997. While they missed the playoffs by only four games, they improved by 17 games over 1996. Their switch hitting catcher, Todd Hundley, who had broken several records the year before, was having another great season. However, he went down late in 1997 with a devastating elbow injury and needed Tommy John surgery. For a time, it looked like the Los Angeles Dodgers were going to be shopping their superstar catcher, Mike Piazza, in a trade rather than pay the exorbitant salary that 1997's MVP runner-up was going to demand at the end of the 1998 season. In a puzzling move, on May 14, 1998, the Dodgers sent Piazza to the Florida Marlins who were purging themselves of every high salary they could to alleviate their claimed financial problems. The Marlins' move made more sense when, just a week later, they re-traded Piazza to the Mets for Preston Wilson and two prospects. The Dodgers had no free agency problem, the Marlins had young players with small salaries and the Mets had their new lineup-anchoring catcher.

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1998

After the 1998 trade, the Mets played well but missed the 1998 postseason by only one game. With only 5 games left in that 1998 season, the Mets could not win a single game against both the Montreal Expos at home and the Atlanta Braves on the road, the Mets could have forced a 3-way wild card tie by winning their last game. Although it seemed like a terrible ending to a good season, Met fans felt confident that the team was moving in the right direction. After signing Mike Piazza to a seven-year contract, the Mets acquired Armando Benítez from the Baltimore Orioles, and signed Robin Ventura, Rickey Henderson, Bobby Bonilla and Roger Cedeño to fill out the needs for the start of the 1999 season. John Olerud anchored the heart of the Mets' order.

1999

1999 started well for the Mets but Bobby Bonilla turned out not to be the player the Mets had hoped he would be and the Mets played well to begin the season. When June came around, the Mets started to fall. On June 6, after losing two games to the New York Yankees, the Mets started taking action by firing their coaching staff except for their manager, Bobby Valentine. On that day, the Mets, in front of a national audience on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball, beat New York Yankees 7-2 and they never looked back. Both Mike Piazza and Robin Ventura started to have MVP type seasons and Benny Agbayani began to have an important role on the team. Also this was the breakout year for Mets second baseman Edgardo Alfonzo, as he had 100 rbi's, and Roger Cedeño, who broke the single season steals record for the Mets. At the very end of the season, the Mets had to play a one game playoff against the Cincinnati Reds to see which team would advance to the playoffs. In that game, Met ace Al Leiter pitched the best game of his Met career as he led the team to a 5-0 victory to advance to the playoffs. In those playoffs, they defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks to advance to their first NLCS since 1988, only to lose to the Atlanta Braves in six exciting games which included the famous "grand slam single" by Robin Ventura to win game 5 for the Mets.

In the offseason after the 1999 NLCS defeat, the Mets traded Roger Cedeño and Octavio Dotel to the Houston Astros for Derek Bell and Mike Hampton. Also Todd Zeile was signed to play first base. The Mets were heading to the 2000 season as a powerhouse in the National League.

2000

2000 began well for the Mets as Derek Bell became the best hitter on the team for the first month. The Mets enjoyed good play the whole year. The highlight of the season came on June 30 when the Mets beat their rivals the Atlanta Braves in a memorable game. With the Mets losing 8-1 to begin the bottom of the 8th, the Mets rallied back to tie the game when Mike Piazza hit a three run home run to put the Mets up 11-8 to give them the lead and eventually the win. The home run was a line drive shot to left field and to this day is replayed in almost every Mike Piazza highlight reel. The Mets easily made the playoffs winning the National League wild card. In the playoffs, the Mets beat the San Francisco Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals to win their fourth ever N.L. Championship. Mike Hampton won the NLCS MVP for his great pitching performances during the series as the Mets headed to the 2000 World Series to face their cross town rivals, the New York Yankees. Unfortunally for the Mets, they were defeated in the much-hyped "Subway Series". Even though they lost 4 games to 1, they scored only three fewer runs than the Yankees. This was the first all-New York World Series since 1956, when the Yankees defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Subway Series

In the seasons following the 2000 World Series, the Mets struggled mightily as the result of several poor player acquisitions, including Mo Vaughn, Roberto Alomar, Roger Cedeño (again) and Jeromy Burnitz. These acquisitions were made by then General Manager Steve Phillips, who was fired during the 2003 season. Phillips was credited with building the 2000 World Series team, but also blamed for the demise of the Mets' farm system and the poor play of the acquired players. The Mets record in 2003 (66-95) was among the worst in baseball, and Piazza had missed two-thirds of the season with a torn groin muscle. His steady decline around that time mirrored the Mets' fortunes for the first half of the decade.

2004

In 2004, the Mets signed Japanese shortstop Kazuo Matsui. General Manager Jim Duquette brought in Kris Benson for Ty Wigginton at the trade deadline just before sending highly-touted pitching prospect Scott Kazmir to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for the disappointing Victor Zambrano. The Mets also developed two young infielders with bright futures; David Wright and Jose Reyes. The Mets finished 71-91 in 2004, and would let Mike Piazza's contract expire following the conclusion of the 2005 season. His contributions to the team as a hitter were unparalleled by anyone in the history of the Mets, and his talent and flair for the dramatic would often will the Mets to victory.

The Omar Minaya Era

After the 2004 season, the Mets named their former assistant general manager Omar Minaya as their general manager. Minaya had become a hot commodity after he brought the Montreal Expos to respectability prior to their move to Washington DC. Manager Art Howe was fired and replaced with New York Yankees bench coach Willie Randolph. Also during the off-season, the Mets signed pitcher Pedro Martinez and slugger Carlos Beltran.

2005

The Beltran and Martinez signings helped the Mets in pitching and offense, but the bullpen blew many games that led to losses. The bullpen's closer was Braden Looper, who blew eight saves and had a 3.94 ERA in the National League. The bullpen also had young and inexperienced pitchers. Barring this fact, the Mets showed improvement in 2005, with the high point of the season coming on June 11, 2005 (coincidentally, José Reyes's birthday), in a home game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. In one of the most dramatic regular-season games in recent memory, Marlon Anderson hit an inside-the-park homer in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game at 2. After the Angels scored a run in the top of the 10th, Cliff Floyd hit a walk-off, three-run homer in the bottom of the 10th to win it for the Mets, 5-3. However, despite the Mets' improvements over previous seasons, it was widely expected that at the conclusion of the 2005 season, the team would try to upgrade at catcher, first base, second base, and the bullpen. Minaya took advantage of the Florida Marlins payroll-reduction effort, making two separate trades with the team. All-Star first baseman Carlos Delgado and All-Star catcher Paul Lo Duca came to the Mets in exchange for prospects Mike Jacobs, Yusmeiro Petit, and Gaby Hernandez. The Delgado deal came despite shunning the Mets the previous offseason, saying he was offended by how Omar Minaya used their shared Latin American heritage as a reason to join the Mets. Delgado has announced that he will forego his political activism and stand during "God Bless America" at Shea Stadium so as not to disrupt the team chemistry.

2005-2006 Offseason

Minaya also made major changes to the pitching staff, signing star closer Billy Wagner and trading starters Kris Benson and Jae Weong Seo for hard throwing relievers Jorge Julio and Duaner Sanchez. The starting rotation of 2006 consists of Pedro Martinez, Tom Glavine, Steve Trachsel, Victor Zambrano, and Brian Bannister, a rookie.

Stadium plans

On June 12, 2005 a plan for a New Mets Stadium in Willets Point, Queens in the parking lot of Shea Stadium was announced. Construction of the new stadium is expected to be paid by the Mets, while "infrastructure improvement" costs at the site are to be paid by the city. The final mix of private and public funding has not been settled. As of 2005, Shea Stadium is the sixth oldest stadium among the 30 facilities in major league baseball. It is nearly as old as Ebbets Field was when the Dodgers abandoned it.

Interesting facts

  • Every time a Mets player hits a home run at Shea Stadium, a big red apple comes up from a giant top hat behind center right field and lights up.
  • The 1969 Mets recorded an album featuring them singing a variety of songs, including "You Got to Have Heart" from the musical Damn Yankees.
  • Only one home run so far has been hit to the small area of fair territory in the Upper Level of Shea Stadium. Tommie Agee's blast there on April 10th, 1969 has been marked with a sign.
  • Nolan Ryan started his career with the Mets, helping them to win the 1969 World Series against the Baltimore Orioles, albeit in a reliever's role.
  • In 1966, the Mets had the first pick in the draft and chose catcher Steve Chilcott. Chilcott became the first #1 pick ever to retire without ever playing in the Major Leagues. To add insult to injury, the #2 pick behind Chilcott turned out to be Hall of Famer and Mr. October, Reggie Jackson. Jackson went on to lead the Oakland Athletics to three straight championships - including one over the Mets in 1973 - and then won two more with the New York Yankees. The only other player drafted with the first overall pick never to play in the major leagues was Brien Taylor, drafted by the Yankees in 1991, who broke his pitching arm in a bar fight.
  • The Mets are the oldest Major League franchise without a no-hitter (more than seven thousand games). Several notable Mets players did pitch no-hitters with other teams, including Nolan Ryan (7 career no-hitters), Tom Seaver, Dwight Gooden, Al Leiter, and David Cone (a perfect game). On July 9, 1969 at Shea Stadium, Seaver came within two outs of a perfect game, but gave up a one-out, ninth-inning single to the Chicago Cubs' Jimmy Qualls for the only hit in the Mets' 4-0 victory. The latest "near-no-hitter" occurred on August 14, 2005, when Pedro Martinez was within five outs of pitching a hitless game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He ultimately gave up a triple and a home run in the eighth inning, however, and wound up losing the game, 2-1. The Mets have been no-hit six times: Sandy Koufax (1962), Jim Bunning (1964), Bob Moose (1969), Bill Stoneman (1972), Ed Halicki (1975), and Darryl Kile (1993).
  • The Mets are also tied with the Houston Astros as the oldest franchises without a player winning an individual batting title. In 1998, first baseman John Olerud posted the best single-season batting average in Mets history but finished second in the league, 11 points behind the Colorado Rockies' Larry Walker. Another first baseman, Dave Magadan, finished just seven points off the pace in 1990.
  • On June 16, 1997, during the first year of interleague play, the Mets defeated the New York Yankees, 6-0, in the first ever regular-season game played between the crosstown rivals, thanks to a masterful performance from pitcher Dave Mlicki. However, the Yankees won the next two games, including the finale in ten innings, to "win" the series. The following year, the first interleague series at Shea Stadium took place, with the Yankees winning the first two games before the Mets won the last. The two teams have played three games in each team's park every year since.
  • The first major sports event to take place in New York City after the events of September 11 was played in Shea Stadium on September 21, 2001 when the Mets hosted the Atlanta Braves. It was made even more memorable courtesy of a home run in the eighth inning by Mike Piazza, to put the Mets ahead in the game. It was all the more exciting because the Mets were chasing the Braves for first place in the NL East. The game was attended by then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a devout fan of the rival New York Yankees. In spite of this, he was cheered by the crowd for his leadership in the preceding ten days.
  • George Herbert Walker, Jr., uncle of President George H. W. Bush, was a member of the original ownership group when the franchise was created. He served as vice president and treasurer until 1977. [4]
  • The "Amazin' Mets" and the 1969 World Series were featured in the movie Frequency starring Dennis Quaid and James Caviezel.
  • The two pitchers on the mound at Shea Stadium to record the final out of each of their two World Championships - Jerry Koosman (1969) and Jesse Orosco (1986) - were traded for one another. Koosman was dealt to the Minnesota Twins after the 1978 season for minor leaguer Greg Field and a player to be named later – who turned out to be Orosco.

Fan base

In 1998, the Independent Budget Office of the City of New York published a study on the economic impact of the city's two major league baseball teams. The study included an analysis of where the fans of both the Mets and the Yankees resided. The study found that 39% of Mets fans lived in one of the five boroughs of New York, 49% in the tri-state area outside the city and 12% elsewhere. Mets fans were likelier to be found in Long Island, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island whereas Manhattan, the Bronx, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Westchester and Rockland counties leaned more towards the Yankees.[5]

Notable Mets fans include celebrities Jerry Seinfeld (both in real life and on his TV show), Jon Stewart, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, John Leguizamo, Viggo Mortensen, Ray Romano, Glenn Close, Paul Auster, Bill O'Reilly, Michael Vartan, Joe Quesada, Peter David, Bob Wiltfong, rock group Belle and Sebastian and Kevin James (as well as his fictional character, Doug Heffernan). The late singer-actresses Pearl Bailey and Nell Carter were also Mets fans. Former president Richard Nixon was a Shea Stadium regular during the 1980s and '90s. Husband-and-wife actors Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker have often been seen together at interleague games between the Mets and Yankees, Broderick rooting for the Mets and Parker for the Yankees. Although actor Billy Crystal is a Yankees fan, in the film City Slickers, his baseball-obsessed character Mitch Robbins wore a Mets cap. Journalist Joe Klein claims that he and a friend hung the first Mets fan banner at the Polo Grounds in 1962. The late R&B singer Luther Vandross was also a Mets fan. Indie rock band Yo La Tengo are huge Mets fans, their name even coming from a Mets anecdote involving Richie Ashburn and Elio Chacón.

Quick facts

Current uniform colors: Blue, Orange, and Black (the orange chosen to represent the New York Giants, the blue chosen to represent the Brooklyn Dodgers). Blue and orange are also the colors of the flag of New York City.
Current logo design: Intertwined 'N' and 'Y' in orange, on blue field (the NY logo is identical to the cap logo last worn by the New York Giants, the blue field chosen because that was the color of the caps worn by the Brooklyn Dodgers). The Mets skyline logo was designed by cartoonist Ray Gatto. The shape of the insignia, with its orange stitching, represents a baseball, and the bridge in the foreground symbolizes that the Mets, in bringing back the National League to New York, represent all five boroughs.
Team theme songs: "Meet the Mets" (1963), by Bill Katz and Ruth Roberts; "Our Team, Our Time" (2006), by Thomas Scandaliato and Steve Brown
Current mascot: Mr. Met
Current Television outlets: Cable: SportsNet New York; Over the Air: WPIX-11
Current Radio outlet: 660 AM WFAN; Español: 1280 AM WADO

Postseason appearances

Year NLDS NLCS World Series
1969 Atlanta Braves W Baltimore Orioles W
1973 Cincinnati Reds W Oakland Athletics L
1986 Houston Astros W Boston Red Sox W
1988 Los Angeles Dodgers L
1999 Arizona Diamondbacks W Atlanta Braves L
2000 San Francisco Giants W St. Louis Cardinals W New York Yankees L

Baseball Hall of Famers

Of these, only Seaver and to some extent Stengel and Carter achieved their "Fame" with the Mets. Seaver is the only Hall member whose plaque includes a Mets cap.

Current roster

New York Mets roster

Minor league affiliations

See also

External links

Template:MLB Team New York Mets

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