Thursday, April 17, 2014

1969 Mets

 "There are only two seasons - winter and Baseball" - Bill Veeck  

It's odd, but the older I get, the more that I fall into that two season theory.  For me, during the season, even if I am not actively watching a game, it's always on in the background either on TV or the radio.  It's comforting and I suspect it draws me back to many nice memories from growing up.

It's hard to believe it was 45 years ago this month when my grandfather took me to Shea Stadium to see my first MLB game - NY Mets vs. Montreal Expos.  Little did we know that that year would be the year of the 1969 Miracle Mets.  You see, Grandpa was a Mets fan therefore I was a Mets fan - no questions asked, good enough for Grandpa, good enough for me.

I still recall the distinctive voices of the Met's announcers - Ralph Kiner, Lindsey Nelson - TV, radio, if it was summer time, their voices were coming through.  Great memories.  Awhile back I came across the 1969 NY Mets schedule and recently took a good look at it.

Quite a difference compared to baseball today:

- About half of the games, were day games!  Over 70 day games in the season.

- 14 scheduled doubleheaders, both daytime doubleheaders and twilight doubleheaders.  Nowadays true doubleheaders rarely occur and if a "doubleheader" does happen, it's most likely a rain make up and the stadium must empty between games.  No more two games for the price of one.

- 4 exhibition games during the season!

        May 8 vs. West Point Cadets
        May 19 vs. Memphis Blues (AA Minor League affiliate)
        July 7 vs NY Yankees ( Mayor's Trophy Game - way before interleague play)
        July 28 vs Tidewater Tides (AAA Minor League affiliate)

The game is still pretty much the same, 9 innings, 9 players on the field, 3 outs, 3 strikes, 4 balls, but a lot of the parameters have changed.  I'm still a fan and suspect I always will be, but I do miss the way the game used to be.


  1. Ah the 69 Mets. I am going into my senior year in highschool. Leo the Lip and the Cubs actually in first place, no playoffs just the world series. Listening to games on the radio at school. Being a Cub fan, started back in the 19th century with the grandfather. A magical summer, lunar walk, faded when the Cubs tired out. But the Mets had a superior pitching staff and baseball luck, even shoe polish on a baseball. "69" I still have it in memory. Baseball you can't beat it.

  2. Even tho' I am far from being any version of a sports fan, I love observing people emoting passionately about ANYthing, so goody for me to work with some opinionated baseball fans! In tangential relation to this post, a conversation segue last week enlightened me to a 1969 baseball change due to the inherent awesomeness of pitcher Bob Gibson: a 5" lowering of the pitcher's mound - to even the playing field, as it were. Impressive and inspiring even to non-sporty me. To quote writer Jon Acuff, "Awesome can't help itself." & "You should never chase awesome with someone else's definition."
    Thanks for the always-interesting sports tidbits you throw out, Scott!
    ( & Hope I didn't step into a rivalry issue by mentioning a Cardinals player...!)

    1. Bob Gibson - one of the greatest pitchers - EVER! Too bad he wasn't a Met :)

  3. Joe from the New York Public Library here. Thanks for posting this schedule! It's been real helpful for a project of mine here. is a big help, so is the New York Times Proquest database, but it's a little hard to determine sometimes what days were actually scheduled offdays, and what days had games that were rained out. This has been a real find and I appreciate you posting it on your blog Scott!