If the Super Bowl is over and it is February and there is 12 inches of snow on the ground, to me that means baseball season is just around the corner!
I’ve been a New York Mets fan right since the beginning in 1962. I was 11 years old, and I have a very strong, and good, memory of going to the Polo Grounds in upper Manhattan with my father and brother during that first season. We bought tickets at the park and got seats about 10 rows behind the Mets dugout! I got the autograph of one of the Mets coaches, Cookie Lavagetto, and I never saw such a bright blue as the color of his hat along with the brilliant white of his uniform.
And my father got an autograph of Lindsey Nelson, one of the Mets original broadcasters. Bob Murphy, Ralph Kiner, and Nelson were the only three Mets broadcasters for many years, I think until the mid-1970s. They were great. Only Ralph Kiner is still alive.
Sometimes we Mets fans are full of self-pity because we have gone through long stretches of losing. Of course, part of the self-pity is generated by the success of that team that plays in the Bronx which has the knack of winning a lot.
But I always say at least we won the World Series in 1969 and 1986, and got to the World Series in 1973 and 2000, and have been to post season play a few other times. Not as many as some teams, but more than a lot!
I heard an amazing statistic two years ago. The Mets at that time had played more games at Shea Stadium than the Brooklyn Dodgers played at Ebbets Field! That makes me feel old, somehow.
One thing I have to admit that I don’t do, is to read a lot of books about the Mets or sports in general. I guess I feel that since I spend a lot of time watching the Mets on TV, I would rather spend my reading time on other subjects. However, here are a few recent books that I would like to read, and maybe I will (all available at various NYPL branches):
Brand, Dana. Mets Fan. 2007.
Feinstein, John. Living on the Black: Two pitchers, Two Teams, One Season to Remember. 2008.
Golenbock, Peter. Amazin’:The Miraculous History of New York’s Most Beloved Baseball Team. 2002.
Green, Dave. 101 Reasons to Love the Mets. 2008
Ross, Alan. Mets Pride. 2007.
Silverman, Matthew. 100 Things Mets Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die. 2008.