Schechter: The miraculous comeback of the 1969 Mets

From SABR member Gabriel Schechter at The National Pastime Museum on September 8, 2017:

As fans of the original 1962 New York Mets, my parents and I quickly learned to redefine the word “miracle.” On April 27, my mother and I attended a thrilling game that dropped our fledgling heroes’ record to 1–12. Trailing the Phillies, 11–1, in the sixth inning, the Mets rallied to make it 11–9 in the bottom of the ninth and brought the tying run to the plate. Don Zimmer took a called third strike, and home we went.

All three of us were at the Polo Grounds on June 17, when Marvin Eugene Throneberry—an early fan favorite because of his initials and his emblematic ineptitude—was robbed of a triple when the umpires noticed that he had missed both first and second base. The Mets had already endured a 17-game losing streak, and it only got worse. Their record in July was a woeful 6–23, and August brought a 13-game skid.

By then, any victory seemed like a miracle, and my father advocated letting the Mets start every inning with a runner on second base, to give them a fighting chance. But no. There was no mercy for the 1962 Mets, who lost seven games by at least 10 runs. Their dismal 40–120 debut has not been matched for futility for more than half a century. For the rest of the 1960s, so tumultuous for American society, one thing remained certain: the Mets were going nowhere.

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Originally published: September 8, 2017. Last Updated: September 8, 2017.