In yet another dreary Mets season, Matt Harvey did give fans a number of thrills, such as throwing two scoreless innings as the starting pitcher in the 2013 All-Star Game played at Citi Field this past July. You would have to go back nearly 30 years to Dwight Gooden’s heyday to find a Mets pitcher who could dominate opposing hitters at will.
Harvey was such a big story that Jimmy Fallon used him for a hilarious “man in the street” bit to see how many New Yorkers could recognize him. ESPN Magazine put him on the cover in the buff for its July “body issue” while Men’s Journal ran a feature on him that made it clear he was thoroughly enjoying the trappings of being a handsome, young New York celebrity.
It took a little over 49 years but the Midsummer Classic, the Major League Baseball All-Star Game has returned to Queens.
Unlike 1964, when Phillies outfielder Johnny Callison hit a dramatic three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning at Shea Stadium to win the game for the National League, the All-Star Game is literally more than just a game.
It took a little over 49 years but the Midsummer Classic, the Major League Baseball All-Star Game returned to Queens.
Mets pitching legend Dwight (Doc) Gooden signed autographs for fans on April 6 at the Grand Avenue branch of Ridgewood Savings Bank in Elmhurst.
The 1984 National League Rookie of the Year and 1985 Cy Young Award Winner signed a shirt for Tracy Lisl of Middle Village, left, a Mets fan since age 8.
New York Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey capped off his improbable season last Wednesday when he was named winner of the National League’s 2012 Cy Young award.
Now the question is will the 38-year-old righthander be around at Citi Field down the road, or even this coming year.
New York Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey capped off his improbable season on Wednesday when he was named winner of the National League’s 2012 Cy Young Award.
The Mets teams of 1969 and 1986 were especially Amazin’, of course, but what if you could create a club combining the best players from each era? Or from any era? Here are my picks for an all-time Mets dream team, to wrap up my 15-part anniversary tribute to Queens’ hometown heroes. Miss any entries? Just hit the Mets link on qchron.com, and you can catch them all, tracing the team’s history from its genesis in the mind of Bill Shea through the end of last season. Now on to October!
Since 1999 the Mets and the Yankees have played two three-game weekend series at each other’s parks. There are rumblings that starting next year, the teams will play each other four times instead of six because the Houston Astros will switch from the National to the American League so that each league will have 15 clubs.
While Mets and Yankees managers over the years have fretted that six games is too many to play against a team in another division, most New York baseball fans (even Mets fans who see their team lose more often than not) enjoy the excitement the games bring. While Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey claims that he prepares for the Yankees the same way he does the Pirates or the Padres, first baseman Ike Davis echoed the sentiments of most Mets and Yankees players when he told me prior to Friday night’s game, “We feed off of the energy of the crowd.”
The early to mid-nineties were not good years for the Mets, as they suffered six losing seasons in a row, including, in 1993, the loss of more than 100 games for the first time since the sixties. The decade would end much better than it began for the team, but it would take a lot of work to get there.
After the great comeback World Series win of 1986, the Mets stayed a strong team for years and broke new attendance records, but a dynasty was not to be. Injuries were to blame in 1987 — sound familiar? As the eighties turned into the nineties, some of the team’s biggest stars were traded, and Manager Davey Johnson, who couldn’t get them into the Big Show again, was fired.
This week in Part VIII of our ongoing series recalling the New York Mets’ 50-year history in detail, we celebrate one of the team’s two greatest years, 1986, with its stunning, come-from-behind World Series victory. But in a great coincidence, we’re also celebrating another fantastic triumph, one that’s given fans a new level of excitement for this season —Johan Santana’s Friday night no-hitter against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Thanks in large part to Santana’s dominance of opposing batters this year, the Mets are only a game and a half out of first place in the National League East. They briefly tied for the top spot a couple days ago, and could grab it again at any time.
Even with such luminaries as Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Dwight Gooden, David Cone and Frank Viola having stood atop the mound in Flushing over the years, the Mets had never seen one of their pitchers throw a no-hitter, one of baseball’s most special accomplishments.
Until last Friday.
The Mets celebrated their 25th season with their second world championship, coming from behind to beat the Boston Red Sox in seven games. The most unforgettable highlight was the two-strike, two-out, bottom of the 10th inning moment in Game 6 when announcer Vin Scully of NBC called out, “It gets through Buckner!” as a Mookie Wilson roller got past the Boston first basemen, Bill Buckner, scoring Ray Knight to win the game and setting up Game 7.
Even with such luminaries as Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Dwight Gooden, David Cone and Frank Viola having stood atop the mound in Flushing over the years, the Mets had never seen one of their pitchers throw a no-hitter, one of baseball’s very special accomplishments.
It’s the Big Eighties. Ronald Reagan’s in the White House, fans are flocking to see the third Star Wars movie, “Return of the Jedi,” Cabbage Patch dolls are flying off the store shelves — and the Mets are building what will become their best team since the Miracle squad of 1969.
I can’t figure out Jets General Manager Mike Tannenbaum. He spends $3.1 million on Plaxico Burress when he could have re-signed Braylon Edwards for roughly the same money. Burress served his prison sentence and deserves a chance to earn a living, but he’s 34 and has been away from the gridiron for two years. Who knows whether Plax is still capable of handling the rigors of an NFL season?
If that weren’t strange enough, the Jets jettison talented receiver and all-around great guy Jerricho Cotchery in favor of 37-year-old Derrick Mason, who played for the Ravens when Rex Ryan was their assistant coach.
It’s been 40 years since the most storied football coach in NFL history, Vince Lombardi, passed away. That milestone is being noted in a myriad of ways. With the backing of the NFL, “Lombardi” is a Broadway play with Dan Lauria in the title role. On Dec. 11, HBO Sports will present a documentary on his life. Finally, former CBS and Fox sportscaster Pat Summerall has written a book, “Giants: What I Learned from Vince Lombardi and Tom Landry” (Wiley Publishing), in which he recalls his days playing for the Giants when Lombardi and Landry were assistant coaches.
Bernie Williams, Tino Martinez, Dwight Gooden, Mickey Rivers, John Starks and Astoria native and Hall of Famer Whitey Ford were some of the sports luminaries who trekked to Doulgaston last Wednesday night to celebrate the opening of Darryl Strawberry’s first restaurant, Strawberry’s Sports Grill.
I was saddened to learn of the passing of Jane Jarvis. For longtime Mets fans, particularly baby boomers, Jarvis was synonymous with a trip to Shea Stadium, as she was the Mets’ organist from 1964 through 1979.
In October, Russ Gompers, owner of a uniform and embroidery business in Whitestone — a store that just happens to be the official stitcher of the New York Mets’ uniforms — will celebrate 16 years in business.
Last week’s three-game series with the Braves was yet another one in which the Mets’ long-time nemesis got the better of them.
Finally our Mets have the biggest stage in sports all to themselves. On one spectacular Saturday last week, the Amazins’ faithful watched as their team clinched a Division Series sweep over the Los Angeles Dodgers. It was a glorious victory, made that much sweeter because the Detroit Tigers eliminated the overhyped Yankees earlier in the day.
There’s nothing like a sports team to bring people together, and through good years and bad, the Mets have done just that. When you root for the home team here, there’s no question that it’s the Mets.
When New York Mets pitcher Jesse Orosco struck out Boston’s Marty Barrett to win the 1986 World Series, he stretched deliriously into the air before falling back on the mound and heaving his baseball glove skyward. On television, fans saw the Mets pile onto Orosco, but the glove never landed.
“Was it or was it not intentional?” that was the question which New York baseball fans were all asking last Sunday regarding the beaning of Mike Piazza in the head from a fastball thrown by Roger Clemens.