One of the very first expansion teams in baseball, the Mets have a good 50+ years of experience behind them, with countless great stories to tell along the way. In this article we’ll take a look at some Mets facts that you might not have heard before, all of which come courtesy of baseball betting site Best Betting Online and their baseball obsessed tipsters.
- Big Singer, Small Hitter
Pop and country superstar Garth Brooks once tried out for the Mets, although his baseball career was a little less illustrious than his singing career. Brooks launched a charity organization in 1998 along with MLB, who then gave him a shot at baseball superstardom. He trained with the Padres and was later offered a non-roster spot, only to decline it and then sign with the Mets the following season. He went zero-for-seventeen at bat and was promptly wiped from the memory of Mets players everywhere, save for a few bar-room chats that were no doubt followed up by calls of disbelief and frantic Googling.
- The Near-Death of a Legend
In 1997 Mr Met, the lovable Mets mascot, nearly met an untimely end at the barrel of a Secret Serviceman’s gun. Then president Bill Clinton was paying a visit to the stadium, during which a secret service agent warned him that if he ventured too close and pulled any of his antics near the president, they wouldn’t hesitate to put a bullet in his head. Or his baseball. Whatever he calls it.
- Mule Misadventures
Speaking of Mr Met, he is lucky to have made it this far as the Mets seriously considered an alternative mascot for many years. In 1979 they went with a mule, only to kick him to the curb the very next season. His name was Mettle and he took Mr Met’s place. Not only did the fans not respond to him, but his appearance was during one of their worst seasons of the decade.
- Like for Like
In 1962 the Mets picked up Harry Chiti from the Indians. They paid a lump sum and they also promised to give them a player in his place. The promise specifically stated “a player to be named later” which basically let them send the Indians whoever they wanted. As it happened, Chiti proved to be a bit of a flop, which allowed the Mets to fulfill their promise by giving him right back, effectively trading Chiti for Chiti.
- Running for Cover
Desperate to turn a poor run of form around, the Mets went the whole hog in 1965 by hiring professional sprinter Jesse Owens to coach their runners. It seemed like a smart idea, but it didn’t have any effect on the team and the next season they finished bottom, swiftly sending Owens on his way.
Okay, so you probably knew some of those already. Maybe we should have called those 5 Fun Facts instead of 5 Things You Didn’t Know, but hopefully you enjoyed them nonetheless.