Thursday, April 19, 2007

History of the NY Mets pt. II

1969: "The Miracle Mets"
The Mets began the 1969 season in a mediocre way; an opening day loss of 11-10 to the expansion Expos was followed by a record of 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. On August 14, the Cubs led the Mets by 9 1/2 games. But Chicago went 8-17 in September, while 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, their first winning year ever, a full eight games over the Cubs. The Mets finished with a team ERA of
2.99, and a league leading 28 shutouts thrown. Tom Seaver led the way with a 25-7
record, with lefty Jerry Koosman behind him at 17-9 record, while Cleon Jones finished with a .340 batting average. Seaver's best game occurred on July 9, at Shea Stadium, where he came within two outs of a perfect game, but gave up a one-out, ninth-inning single to the Cubs' Jimmy Qualls for the only hit in the Mets' 4-0 victory.

The "Amazin' Mets" or "Miracle Mets", as they became known by the press, went on to win a three-game sweep of the strong Atlanta Braves, led by legend Henry "Hank" Aaron, in the very first National League Championship Series. The Mets were still considered underdogs in this series despite the fact that they had a better record than the Braves. The Mets were given very little chance in the 1969 World Series, facing a powerful Baltimore Orioles team that had gone 109-53 in the regular
season and included future Hall of Famers Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson and
Jim Palmer as well as future Mets manager Davey Johnson, who ironically would
make the final out of the Series. Before the series began, pundits predicted
Tom Seaver might win the opening game, but that the Mets would have trouble winning again in the World Series. As it turned out, just the opposite occurred; Seaver was roughed up, allowing four runs in the opener, which he lost -- but the Mets'pitching shut down the Orioles after that, holding them to just five runs over the next four games, to win the World Series of 1969 4 games to 1. Seaver got his revenge in game four, pitching all 10 innings of a 2-1 victory.

This rags-to-riches story is 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."

Part III this Saturday.



Anonymous said...

Those were the days I remember them fondly watching my Miracle Mets! Thank you Patriots for bringing back great memories!

Anonymous said...

Nobody responded do you think Mr Met has a bigger head then Mr. Holden

Anonymous said...

Hey Mr Met has a bigger head Mr. Holden has the bigger eog.

Anonymous said...

Hey leave Bob alone according to the papers he has never been on a Blog.... Maybe he gives his students credit for responding and commenting.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting how you cut and paste from other sources and don't cite where the info came from.

Patrick Henry said...

If you read Part I, we stated the site of origin. We will make sure that moving forward, we will "cite where the info came from" in each post. For our critics of course :)