THE MIRACLE HAS LANDED: THE AMAZIN’ STORY OF HOW THE 1969 METS SHOCKED THE WORLD

Even me, the Mets fan Prince of Darkness, has to take a step back sometimes to remember when the Mets ruled the baseball roost in these parts and one way to put a smile on a Mets fan’ face is to say “1969”

Ahhhhhhh yes, The Amazin’ Mets of 1969. Last summer the lone bright spot at $iti Field was the celebration of the World Champion Mets of that year and just to see all those players back together again was thrilling and exhilarating, but as I looked around at the faces of some of the fans in attendance that night, I saw a lot Mets fans who really have no connection to this team because (gasp!!!) they were to young to witness this great accomplishment.

There were 30 year old Mets fans with their children there who like their kids,  had no real attachment to this team. They never saw the black cat run by the Cubs dugout and look right at Leo Durcocher as if to say, “it’s all over Leo, surrender is near”, or cried themselves to sleep after watching Tom Seaver lose his Perfect game to a Jimmy Qualis single in the 9th inning. No cable TV, no 24-HR sports talk radio just the Daily News, NY Post (the essential newspaper for the West Cost scores as the Post was an afternoon paper in those days) and of course WOR  to find all our Mets information.

When I’m asked about that ’69 season I remember those events I’ve mentioned plus things like Opening Day, a game that featured the Mets against the brand spanking new Montreal Expos team staring Mack Jones, Adolfo Philips and a young Le Grande Orange and the Mets losing 11-10, a  9th inning rally falling short.

Now I know there are some of you who also remember that year as vividly as I do and would love to relive that season and then there are a good number of you who wish you could find out more of what it was like that season. That’s why the book The Miracle Has Landed is an essential book to add to your Mets and baseball book collection.

Matthew Silverman and Ken Samelson have done a fabulous job of getting a collection of writers together to compile essay’s on the players of the ’69 Mets, the front office, the broadcasters, the owner (bow your heads)  Mrs. Joan Payson and Manager Gil Hodges and his coaching staff (Where have you gone Rube Walker ? Mets pitchers turn their lonely pitching arms to you) and my favorite chapter on Mets scout Red Murff, who should be in the Mets Hall of Fame (if they ever build one)  Murff was the scout who signed Jerry Koosman, Jerry Grote, Ken Boswell and a kid out of Alvin Texas named Nolan Ryan (to name a few)

Do yourself a favor, don’t wait for someone to get you this book for Hanukah, Christmas, Festivus or whatever holiday you celebrate buy this for yourself as a Mets fan you will cherish this book and read it from cover to cover and in these dire uninspiring times as a Mets fans, The Miracle Has Landed will make you proud to be a Mets fan again.

The Miracle Has Landed is published by Maple Street Press in conjunction with The Society of American Baseball Research

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THE REVOLUTION WILL BE TELEVISED ON YOU TUBE OF COURSE

I love the internet. I love that I can read about any subject I want just by going to a search engine and type it in a little box and have a screen tell me there are 1,345, 756 results of my search. As a kid whenever I went into Manhattan my favorite destination was the out of town newsstand on 42 St. My father went there to get “news from home” in the form of the Sligo Champion and all I wanted was the Boston Globe especially the Sunday Globe which was better than any sports related publication on the planet back in the day.

 

My summer nights centered around waiting the delivery of the Night Owl edition of the NY Daily News that got to the candy store we hung out in around 8PM and everyone lined up to get the “Brooklyn number “-the last three digits of the Aqueduct or Belmont Park handle-and to sip a Manhattan Special and read the sports news of the day.

 

My source for breaking news was the afternoon NY Post. Yes, the Post used to be an afternoon paper and I loved it because it had West Coast boxscores which were like the holy grail of baseball stories. “How did Seaver do last night in LA”? “How many hits did Milner get “? “ Torre hit into two DP’s again, he sucks” all this went on 12 hours or so after the action took place.

 

Where am I going with this? The big media news today is The Rocky Mountain will fold today as soon as it gets its editions on the street and I’m sad that the paper is folding and people are losing their jobs but still I’m awed by the technological revolution that is progressing before our eyes. Now most of this astonishment is due to my age (Fitty going on Fitty One ) and also that my soon to be 96 year old mother shops online and checks out my Facebook page (she doesn’t like my profile pic of me and Madonna’ Madam Tuesaue wax figure) and chats with relatives in Ireland (she has checked out this blog put doesn’t care much for my colorful language and has made it known I’m not so grown that she can’t discipline me to which I told here we could make a big splash on the 6 O’clock News as 50 year old reports mom to Child Services)

 

I love this post by Joe Posanaski who conveys my sentiments of newspapers much better than I ever could. I still buy the Daily News and Post at the ferry terminal while on the way to work out of habit and I get the NY Times and Staten Island Advance delivered to my house which seems now like getting an ice or coal delivery, but I barely read the hard copy papers. As soon as I get to work I sign on my computer and go to my Google Reader for my news of the day and my Daily News becomes a placemat for my cereal bowl and coffee cup.

 

Sure it’s sad when a paper goes under because it’s another part of life’s little pleasures that’s gone but then again when I can sit on my patio on a beautiful summer morning and through the technology of my FiOS router read baseball boxscores from the West Coast on my laptop without my fingers getting news print on them, then that’s what I call progress.          

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