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The Mets, a team starved for outfielders who can hit, selected Brandon Nimmo, an 18-year-old from Cheyenne, Wyo., with their first pick in the 2011 Major League Baseball amateur draft.
Mets fans may be disappointed that Nimmo has not followed in the superstar footsteps of phenoms Bryce Harper and Mike Trout, who are more or less the same age as he is but have already been making their presence felt in the big leagues. Both of them were in the starting lineup at the recent All-Star Game at Citi Field. Nimmo was also at the ballpark for the All-Star festivities, but he was there for the Futures Game, which spotlights minor leaguers who are expected to be the major-league stars of tomorrow.
David Wright’s productive season was a rare bright spot for Mets fans in 2012. With one year remaining in his contract, David picked a good time to finally feel at home at Citi Field, a place where he had struggled for the first three years of its existence.
Mets owner Fred Wilpon was quoted in New York magazine as saying that Wright, while a good player, was not a superstar. Wilpon may have been right, but the reality is that his woebegone organization had no choice but to re-sign Wright to the most lucrative contract in Mets history. Had the Mets traded him, Citi Field would have resembled the ghost town that Shea Stadium was in the late 1970s following Tom Seaver’s departure.
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.
Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan entered St. John's University sans the pomp and austere entrance one would expect to follow one of the nation’s most powerful judges.
Over the course of an hour-long question-and-answer discussion with students at the university’s law school, Kagan showcased an engaging, intellectually curious and humble personaltiy. There may be good reason for it: turns out she’s a diehard Mets fan.
Tom Seaver, left, is without a doubt the Mets’ greatest right-handed pitcher ever, while Keith Hernandez is just as obviously the most Amazin’ first baseman in team history. Above are the two stars’ banners at old Shea Stadium, shot in April 2007.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Despite some fine individual performances from the likes of Tom Seaver and Dave Kingman, the mid- and late-1970s were not glory days for the Mets.
After the ever-so-close 1973 World Series, the Mets took a dive into fifth place in ’74. Although they improved a bit in the next two seasons, and individual players posted some records, the mid- and late-’70s were not kind to the Mets. One low point was June 15, 1977, when they traded away two of their best stars in what became known as the Midnight Massacre.
After the miracle of 1969, the Mets stayed strong but were knocked out of playoff contention by untimely slumps in 1970 and ’71, and injuries in 1972. The next year they roared back into the World Series, but lost in seven games to the Oakland A’s.
The eighth season changed it all. After averaging 105 losses in each of their first seven years, the New York Mets jumped from the bottom to the top of the baseball world in 1969, proving that every underdog has his day. Although there were some hints of the magic to come in the prior two years — namely the pitching of Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman and the batting of Cleon Jones and Jerry Grote — the team’s 1969 explosion and World Series win in five games seemed to come out of nowhere.
Jose Reyes’ much ballyhooed return to Citi Field as the Miami Marlins’ new shortstop was a dud all the way around. Reyes went a paltry 1 for 12 with no stolen bases as the Mets swept his new team in three straight.
What was really surprising about Jose’s first visit to Citi Field since leaving the Amazin’s was that it was far more a media event than a fan attraction. An announced crowd of barely more than 20,000 came out for his first game back on a fairly pleasant April evening.
As the late Tug McGraw said, ya gotta believe. Yes, if you are a Mets fan ya gotta believe that in 2012, the Mets will celebrate their 50th anniversary as members of the National League, and the first of their next 50 years right here in Queens.
This is a team that has made its indelible mark on our national pastime. It is a team that came into existence only because Walter O’Malley, the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers, and Horace Stoneham, the owner of the New York Giants, decided that there was more money to be made out in California
than in New York. It is a team that was created to fill the void left by the sudden and shocking departure of New York’s two National League teams. They were the brainchild of Bill Shea, the prominent New York attorney who spearheaded the committee created by Mayor Robert Wagner to bring a National League team back to New York. At the same time, they were owned at first by Joan Whitney Payson, a multi-millionaire who had been a part owner of the Giants and who had been the only board member to vote against the move to San Francisco.
Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver, considered by many the greatest Met ever, at Shea Stadium in 1974, left. His team logo, right.
Former New York Met Bud Harrelson was recalling on Friday a tour he took with the USO during the Vietnam War following the Miracle Mets victory in the 1969 World Series.
“I went with [Major League] pitchers Sam McDowell and Jim Rooker to the Philippines, Guam and Japan,” Harrelson said. “We walked into hospital wards with guys who had lost limbs. We walked into burn wards. We were there to cheer them up, and they wound up cheering us up.”
Hall of Famers Tom Seaver and Ralph Kiner, center, pose with Army Staff Sgt. Neil Percifull, left, and Lt. Col. Richard Davis, right at Citi Field on Friday. The Mets and Citicorp hosted a luncheon and question and answer session with 1969 Mets players and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.
Three years ago Yankees media relations director Jason Zillo created HOPE Week — Helping Others Persevere and Excel. Jason wanted to use the leverage of pro sports’ most iconic brand to recognize individuals and organizations who help others beyond the call of duty despite limited financial resources. The fine efforts of Zillo and the Yankees have not gone unnoticed as other baseball clubs have tried to follow suit. Earlier this season there was a “Mets in the Community Week.”
Last Wednesday the Yankees honored Queens Village’s Saints Joachim and Anne’s School, which has been educating a number of Haitian children who lost family members and arrived penniless in New York in the aftermath of the horrific Haitian earthquake in January 2010. The Yankees welcomed the students to last Wednesday’s matinee (alas, a dreary 9-2 loss to the Mariners) and then gave them a magical night in Manhattan, including a tour of St. Patrick’s Cathedral conducted by Archbishop Timothy Dolan and a bus tour during which Derek Jeter served them pizza.
In all likelihood the ranks of the unemployed in Queens will increase by one on Monday when the Mets will announce that Manager Jerry Manuel’s contract will not be renewed. While Manuel’s fate is pretty much sealed, the status of General Manager Omar Minaya is not as clear-cut.
For the first two months of this season Javier Vazquez was being treated by Yankees fans with the same antipathy that Mets fans were showing Ollie Perez. Vazquez started the year with a 1-4 record and was getting shelled by opposing hitters, but happily, things appear to be turning around for him. After tossing seven quality innings to beat the Astros last Saturday, Vazquez improved to 6-5.
As a young boy, musician and filmmaker Paul Crowder decided that playing a show at Shea Stadium in Flushing Meadows Park marked the pinnacle of musical achievement. Though he never got to have his own songs pumped through stadium amps, in 2008 he set out to make a film about the last person who did.