As Mets fans, we have had a lot to be thankful for over the years. First and foremost, we have a team we care about deeply. They give us a release from our daily trials and pressures.
If you’re a shut-in, they give you entertainment and a sense of belonging to a greater entity. They make your day.
They are our team, unlike any other, and we are thankful for the passion in our hearts whenever we find our seat at Citi Field or turn on the television. For the next three hours, they entertain and sometimes frustrate us. But, we’ll always watch.
I don’t believe in the term “die hard Mets fan,’’ because dying means you eventually turn away from them. If you’re a fan, you always stay. Once you give your heart to them, you don’t take it back.
I also don’t believe in “long suffering Mets fan.” They might frustrate us, but we don’t watch to suffer. We watch in hope.
It’s why, on the day after Thanksgiving, you’re reading Mets blogs, you’re waiting for the Winter Meetings and the hope they’ll do something big, and you’re waiting for spring training.
Quite frankly, the Wilpons and GM Sandy Alderson, from their lofty perches, don’t understand what we do about the team they run.
It’s the holiday season and the order is Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and Opening Day. Aren’t they the ones that really matter?
As a Mets fan, what are you most thankful for?
How about William Shea, who when the Dodgers and Giants left the city, fought to bring National League baseball back to New York?
You’re thankful for:
Catcher Hobie Landrith, the first player taken by the Mets in the 1961 expansion draft.
Casey Stengel, the Old Professor was the Mets’ first manager. His words made us dizzy as we watched that 120-loss team in 1962.
Don Zimmer, a Brooklyn Dodger who became an original Met.
We’re thankful for the legends of Marvelous Marv Throneberry; Choo Choo Coleman; Al Jackson; Roger Craig; Jim Hickman; Roy McMillan and his specs; Jay Hook, the winning pitcher in the club’s first victory.
We’re thankful the Mets let us watch baseball once again in the Polo Grounds. And, we’re thankful for Shea Stadium, that when it opened in 1964 brought a bright and shiny toy for our team to play in.
Once state-of-the-art, even when Shea Stadium became cold, drafty and leaky, we’re thankful because it was our home.
We’re thankful for Hodges’ steadying hand that brought us the Miracle Mets of 1969, with the celebration at Shea Stadium. We’re thankful the Mets became baseball’s best “worst-to-first story.’’
We’re thankful for 1969, and the brilliance that was Tom Seaver, a future Hall of Famer and the franchise’s greatest player.
We’re thankful that season also showcased Jerry Koosman’s guile; Jerry Grote’s toughness; Bud Harrelson’s steadiness at shortstop; Ed Kranepool, who struggled through the hard times to taste champagne; for Tommie Agee’s glove and power; for the addition of Donn Clendenon; and for the steady bat of Cleon Jones.
We’re thankful Hodges had the backbone to publicly discipline Jones, a turning point to that season.
We’re thankful we got to see Nolan Ryan in his Hall of Fame infancy that year.
We’re thankful for organist Jane Jarvis, sign-man Karl Ehrhardt, Banner Day, and the guy we sit next to for nine innings and talk Mets.
We’re also thankful for the second championship season, 1986, when victory was expected and featured one of the game’s greatest comebacks.
We’re thankful the immense talent that wooed us that summer: the brashness of manager Davey Johnson who predicted domination; Keith Hernandez’s leadership, a nifty glove and timely bat; the captaincy of Gary Carter that put the team over the top; the grit and toughness of Len Dykstra, Wally Backman and Ray Knight; the prodigious power of Darryl Strawberry; and, of course, Mookie Wilson.
We’re thankful for Dwight Gooden’s mastery and the K Corner; Sid Fernandez’s overpowering stuff; and the calmness of Ron Darling and Bob Ojeda. We’re thankful for the deepest rotation in franchise history.
We’re thankful the “ball got through Buckner.”
Although they didn’t win, we’re thankful for the World Series runs in 1973, 2000 and 2015. Because, even in defeat, those teams brought thrills, joy and pride.
We’re thankful for so many more stars thrilled us, even if it was for a brief time: Lee Mazzilli and Rusty Staub; Jon Matlack and Al Leiter; John Milner and Carlos Delgado; Roger McDowell and Jesse Orosco; John Stearns and Felix Millan; Tug McGraw and David Cone; Howard Johnson and Edgardo Alfonzo; Jose Reyes and Daniel Murphy; Hubie Brooks and Jon Olerud; Rey Ordonez and John Franco; Dave Kingman and Rickey Henderson.
There are so many. You think of one and another comes to mind.
We’re thankful we got to see Willie Mays one more time in a New York uniform. He wasn’t vintage, but the memories of him were.
We’re thankful Carlos Beltran always busted his butt for us, even playing with a fractured face.
We’re thankful for Johan Santana’s willingness to take the ball and the might he finally gave us a no-hitter.
We’re thankful to have a player who embodies the word “class,’’ and that is David Wright. We’re thankful we saw his development from prospect to All-Star. He means so much to us that we hurt when he hurts.
We’re thankful the game’s greatest hitting catcher, Mike Piazza, thought so much of his time here that he chose to wear a Mets’ cap into the Hall of Fame. There’s no greater honor a player can give to his city and fan base.
We’re thankful for Citi Field, one of baseball’s jewel stadiums. Hopefully, it will bring us the great moments Shea Stadium did.
We’re thankful for so many great plays, from Jones’ catch to end the `69 Series to the plays made by Agee and Swoboda that year. … For Staub playing with a busted shoulder in `73, and, Endy Chavez’s catch in the 2006 NLCS.
We’re thankful for the summer Yoenis Cespedes gave us in 2015 and wonder if he’ll be back for more.
We’re thankful for the enduring pictures and images spun by the words of Bob Murphy, Ralph Kiner and Lindsey Nelson. We’re thankful for Kiner’s stories and malapropos; Nelson’s sports coats and the soothing voice of Murph, especially after that win over the Phillies: “and the Mets win it … They win the damn thing.”
We’re thankful for that great broadcasting team, and the one we have now in Gary, Keith and Ron. We’re thankful Gary Cohen is staying.
We’re thankful for the voices when we’re in our cars or grilling on the deck: Howie Rose and Josh Lewin bring us to the game.
We’re thankful for so many memories and for the memories to come.
Yes, with Thanksgiving gone and Christmas approaching, the Mets give us so many reasons to be thankful. Not the least of which is hope for 2017.
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