My thoughts, observations, musings and tirades related to the Mets, Jets, Knicks and Hokies (and whatever other sports-related nerves are hit).

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Conference Round Up - Some Favorite Sentiments

Some of my favorite miscellaneous thoughts, sayings, stories, whatever, that don’t really fit into any of the forthcoming posts.

It had been said that baseball was a masculine right and rite.  John Thorn (the official MLB historian) said it was more a fertility right.

The golden age of baseball is when you were 12.  Or maybe when your dad was 12.  Or when your kid was 12.

Ralph Kiner said of Jane Jarvis (our favorite ball park organist): she was a “bonanza for the bartenders.” She would play “Mr. Wonderful” for Tom Seaver, and “When Irish Eyes are Smiling” for Tug McGraw - even after he went to Philly.  Tug would also go up to visit her during games.

I am going to post about partipant’s thoughts on Gil, but I must summarize by saying that more than one person said the Mets would have won more World Series rings post-69 if he had lived.  And, it all goes back to the clubhouse.  Comraderie and characters are essential to a successful ball club.

I shook Ed Kranepool’s and Bud Harrelson’s hands.  ::omg::

Regardless of all the changes, the salaries, the contracts - baseball is still the greatest game in the world.

Stay tuned for upcoming posts: Giants, Dodgers, Yanks and Us… Making the Summer of 69 (part 1: Gil Changes Everything; part 2: Kranepool, Buddy, and Shamsky)… Then and Now - thoughts, observations, and the missteps post-69 and 86…

Mets Conference Round Up Part 1- In the Beginning

Many of you know that I attended the Mets 50th Anniversary Conference at Hofstra the last week of April.  Amazin’ experience.  So, I am going to share some of the highlights of what was seen/heard/discussed, and this will be done in several parts.

First up: “Amazin’ Media, Broadcasters and Sportswriters”(SN: I almost spelled that “SportsWrighters” - you see where my head is)

The panel included those reporters who covered the Mets from the beginning (and often for nearly their entire 50 year existence), or those who came in later for some great memories.  Of course, always great stories about Casey Stengel, our first manager. Ed Ingles (Hofstra and WRHY) told how Casey referred to those first teams as “John Hopkins Players” (because they belonged in the hospital).  And, these guys were just plain fun.  Stan Isaacs and Steve Jacobson had some great stories covering the Mets starting in 1962 for Newsday. 

Mark Hermann, also from Newsday, spoke of the fan interaction with the 1962 team - at the first exhibition game it was overheard that the team was “the same old Mets.”  That also leads to the fun of Carl Erhart - the original banner guy.  Team ownership wasn’t a fan, and continually asked him to take down his banners, and ultimately ripped them down.  Newsday picked that up, ran a story… the ownership then wasn’t so adament about opposing our original banner guy.  It is also said in 1969, that Mayor Lindsey grabbed Carl and made sure he rode in the parade - the Mets didn’t do it, the Mayor did.

It cannot also be forgotten that 1962 was the first full integrated spring training season, particularly for housing.  Where the teams stayed was still segregated, so the black players decided to buy a cheap car to travel into another part of town to eat and socialize.  Once spring training ended - the players gave it to the dishwasher at the hotel.

Essentially, the team was fun - and they knew they were being laughed at.  So, they laughed at themselves.

Gil Hodges, Jr was there representing his family.  Many of you know, that I have a special affinity for Gil.  I don’t know why - there was just something about him.  When the Dodgers moved to LA, Gil wanted to follow; and he did. Coming back to NY in 1962 was amazing, Jr. shares.  While Gil may have been at the end of his career, he was happy to end it in NY, and Casey couldn’t wait to play him.  More on Gil the manager later.

Swept Under the Rug

So, here I am. My first post on my new blog devoted to my nerd-dom related to sports. And the Mets are swept by the Astros.  The bumbling, skidding, awful Houston Astros. It’s OK.  It had to happen sometime.  And we have 2 players dealing with the flu (excuse me, flu-like symptoms), a pitcher who is getting his second (and probably last for now) start in the Bigs, and a team that was supposed to be long term basement dwellers.

Basement dwellers may be the expectations, but I see hope.  They dressed as cowboys to head to Houston.  David is hot (I mean that in all senses of the word), Daniel is still finding his footing (again, all senses of the term), and Ike is creeping out. Dickey only gave up three - the key being a homerun, which has always been his kryptonite.

But, we were swept in three games.

Day off. Back to Citi for 3.  Lets do this boys.  Prove ‘em wrong.  Pretty please.

Back with more - including a series of summations of the amazingly fantastic Mets 50th Anniversary Conference at Hofstra last week.