Memorable Moments of NY Mets Baseball

Founded in part to heal the pain of a city abandoned by the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers, the New York Mets have given fans plenty of thrilling moments since they first took the field in 1962. They include one of the biggest upsets in World Series history and a 1986 team that ranks among the game’s most famous.

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The Mets (short for Metropolitans) were founded in 1962 as a way to bring National League baseball back to New York City after the Dodgers left for Los Angeles and the Giants left for San Francisco. The team uniform combines the blue of the Dodgers with the orange of the Giants. The brainchild of attorney William Shea, the Mets were co-founded by Joan Whiney Payson, a New York City businesswoman, patron of the arts and art collector.

The team, which has two World Series titles, five National League pennants and six NL East titles, is the most successful expansion franchise in baseball history. The following looks at five of the most memorable moments of N.Y. Mets baseball.

1986 World Series Game 6

Most baseball games consider this game the highlight of one of the greatest World Series ever played. It’s a game Mets fans will never forget (and Boston Red Sox fans cannot forget). The Mookie Wilson “little roller up along first” that got through Bill Buckner’s legs is the most remembered moment, as it capped a 10th inning comeback by the Mets from a two-run deficit that started with two outs and nobody on base. It’s important to remember the context. The Red Sox came within one out of winning the team’s first championship since 1918. The Mets comeback ranks among the most memorable of all time – especially since they went on to win Game 7.

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1986 World Series Game 7

After the stunning events of Game 6, the Mets still had to win Game 7. The Red Sox took an early lead, scoring three runs off starter Ron Darling. However, the Mets came back yet again, tying the game in the 5th inning. In the 7th inning, the Mets scored three runs to take the lead, including a homer from Ray Knight and a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Keith Hernandez. They added two more in the 8th, including a solo shot by Daryl Strawberry. Jesse Orosco got the final three outs to give the Mets a second World Series title.

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1969 Championship

In the team’s first seven seasons from 1962-1968, the Mets never made the playoffs or won more than 73 games in a season. But in 1969, the team won 100 games, winning the NL East title by winning 37 of their last 48 games and overtaking the Chicago Cubs. They swept the Atlanta Braves to win the NL pennant, then upset the heavily favored Baltimore Orioles to win the World Series. No wonder fans remember them as the Miracle Mets. Pitcher Tom Seaver, who won 25 games and the Cy Young, led the team along with fellow starters Jerry Koosman and Gary Gentry. They also had a stellar bullpen, including Ron Taylor, Tug McGraw and Nolan Ryan. After losing the first game in the series, the Mets swept the next four, with Koosman winning two and Gentry and Seaver winning one each. Ryan got the save in Game 3, his only World Series appearance in his career.

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1973 NL Pennant

The Mets pulled off another amazing comeback in the 1973 season. After a good start to the season, the Mets dropped in the standings, reaching last place on Aug. 30. By Sept. 11, they were still five games under .500, but only three games out of first place in a mediocre NL East. Manager Yogi Berra had a pitching staff of Seaver, Koosman, Jon Matlock and George Stone, as well as an almost unhittable McGraw coming out of the bullpen. The boisterous McGraw came up with the team’s slogan that year – “Ya Gotta Believe!” The team clinched the division in a win at Wrigley Field on Oct. 1, then won the NL Championship Series over the mighty “Big Red Machine” Cincinnati Reds. The team lost the World Series against the Oakland Athletics, but pushed the heavily favored A’s to a Game 7.

1986 NLCS

Overshadowed by the events of the 1986 World Series, the Mets victory at the Astrodome against the Houston Astros in that year’s NLCS was a 16-inning dramatic affair that concluded with Orosco getting the final out, a curve ball strike out against Kevin Bass in the bottom of the 16th with two runners on and the Mets clinging to a one-run lead. It included a three-run comeback by the Mets in the top of the 9th to tie the game – the Mets first runs of the game. The game, considered one of the best ever, is another factor that makes the 1986 New York Mets one of the most famous teams in baseball history.

Other moments that are memorable include:

  • Johann Santana’s no-hitter on June 1, 2012, the first non-hitter in franchise history
  • Catcher Tod Pratt’s walk off, series-winning home run in Game 4 of the 1999 division series aghast the Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Bobby Jones’ complete game one-hitter in Game 4 of the 2000 divisional series against the San Francisco Giants, a victory that gave the Mets the series

These are some, but certainly not all, of the memorable moments in New York Mets history. For a team that did not start playing until 1962, they have given fans more thrills than teams that have been around much longer.

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