Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
New York Mets
- Founded: 1962 (National League expansion)
- Home ballpark: Shea Stadium (1964-present)
- Former home ballpark: Polo Grounds (1962-1963)
- Uniform colors: Blue and Orange (the orange chosen to represent the New York Giants, the blue chosen to represent the Brooklyn Dodgers).
- Logo design: Intertwined 'N' and 'Y' in orange, on blue field (the NY logo is identical to that of the New York Giants, the blue field chosen because that was the color of the caps worn by the Brooklyn Dodgers).
- Teams in Division: Atlanta Braves, Florida Marlins, Philadelphia Phillies, Washington Nationals
- Wild Card titles won (2): 1999, 2000
- Division titles won (4): 1969, 1973, 1986, 1988
- National League pennants won (4): 1969, 1973, 1986, 2000
- World Series championships won (2): 1969, 1986
- Team theme song: "Meet the Mets" (1963), by Bill Katz and Ruth Roberts
- Official television stations: MSG, WPIX, and Fox Sports New York
- Official radio station: WFAN 660AM in New York
When a new team was proposed for New York after the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers left for California, a number of names were proposed. The name "Metropolitans" had the advantage of historical precedent, having been the name of an earlier baseball team in New York in 1883-1887.
The New York Metropolitan Baseball Club, Inc (nicknamed "Mets" almost from the start, as had been the earlier Metropolitans) began their existence posting a 40-120 record, the worst record for any team in the 20th century. (The all-time major-league record for losses in a season is 134, set by the 1899 Cleveland Spiders — the predecessors to today's Cleveland Indians. In 2003, the 43-119 Detroit Tigers came within one defeat of tying the '62 Mets' record.) The Mets ended the decade, though, as the 1969 "Miracle Mets", posting not only their first winning season, but their first NL pennant and World Series championship, upsetting the Baltimore Orioles 4 games to 1.
Beloved by New York fans despite their losing ways — or even because of them — the Mets of the early 1960s became famous for their ineptitude. Players like the ironically nicknamed "Marvelous Marv" Throneberry became watchwords for athletic incompetence. Thus, when the Mets stunned the sports world with their 1969 championship, the story was regarded as one of history's great turnarounds, giving hope to underdogs and also-rans everywhere.
The subsequent history of the franchise has been very checkered, with brief periods of success alternating with longer periods of struggle and mediocrity. In 1973, the Mets won an extremely weak NL East, finishing only three games above .500. Despite this, they beat the Cincinnati Reds in the NLCS to become the worst regular-season team, in terms of wins and losses, to ever play in the World Series. The Mets would then push the eventual champ Oakland A's to 7 games. During the mid to late 1980s, the Mets fielded one of the strongest teams in baseball, featuring fireballing right-handed pitcher Dwight Gooden, lanky power-hitting rightfielder Darryl Strawberry, Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter, and slick-fielding first baseman Keith Hernandez. Some predicted a new baseball dynasty in the making. However, that Mets team managed to capture only one world's championship (1986), defeating the Boston Red Sox in a seven-game World Series that featured one of the most remarkable comebacks in baseball history. The Mets came back from two runs down with two outs in the tenth inning of game 6 to defeat Boston 6-5, the last run scoring on the infamous ground ball off the bat of Mookie Wilson that trickled through the legs of Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner.
Since 1986, the Mets have managed to make the playoffs three times, including in 1988, 1999 and again in 2000 when they defeated the St. Louis Cardinals to win their fourth ever NL Championship. In the 2000 World Series they were defeated in the much-hyped "Subway Series" by their crosstown rivals, the New York Yankees. Even though they lost 4 games to 1, the total run difference was only 3. This was the first Subway Series since 1956, when the Yankees defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers in what would be the Dodgers' last appearance before moving to Los Angeles.
Since their appearance in the 2000 World Series the Mets have struggled significantly on the heels of several poor player acquisitions, including Mo Vaughn, Roberto Alomar, Roger Cedeño and Jeromy Burnitz. These acquisitions were made by then General Manager Steve Philips, who was fired after the 2003 season. Mr. Philips was credited with building the 2000 World Series team, but also blamed for the demise of the Mets' farm system and the poor play of the acquired players.
After the 2004 season, the Mets named former front office man Omar Minaya as their general manager. Since then, he has helped the Mets recruit stars such as Carlos Beltrán and Pedro Martínez. They would also hire former Mets and Yankees player and former Yankee 3rd base coach Willie Randolph as the new manager, making him the first black MLB manager in Mets history.
In addition to Queens, the Mets have a strong fan base in Brooklyn, Staten Island and the rest of Long Island, while the Yankees control the rest of the city, and the remaining parts of the metropolitan area (such as northern New Jersey, Westchester County, and southwest Connecticut). Notable Mets fans include celebrities Ray Romano, Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart, Tim Robbins, Bill O'Reilly and Kevin James (as well as his fictional character, Doug Heffernan).
Players of note
- Richie Ashburn (1962)
- Yogi Berra (player 1965, manager 1972-1975)
- Gary Carter (1985-1989)
- Willie Mays (1972-1973)
- Eddie Murray (1992-1993)
- Nolan Ryan (1966, 1968-1971)
- Tom Seaver (1967-1977, 1983)
- Duke Snider (1963)
- Warren Spahn (1965)
- Casey Stengel (manager 1962-1965)
Current roster (updated on April 19, 2005)
Not to be forgotten
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