The Cubs imploded in the 9th inning tonight and so, as promised, here is a recap of the 1967 New York Mets. I will follow the same basic format for each entry, followed by a short narrative.
Expansion team: No
Overall record: 61-101
# of win streaks of 3 games or more: Four
Manager(s): Wes Westrum, Salty Parker
Hall of Famers on roster: Tom Seaver
100 loss seasons since: 1993
Pennant wins since: 1969 (World Series winner); 1973; 1986 (World Series winner); 2000
I wasn’t yet born in 1967, but I was conceived in that year. I like to think the Doors’ Light My Fire was playing in the background at the time, but I don’t really want to know for sure. The 1967 Mets didn’t light anybody’s fire, either. This was the fifth time in the team’s six-year history that it reached 100 losses. But, remarkably, the team managed to win the World Series just two years later. As their nickname will attest, that truly was an Amazin’ feat.
A couple of things about this team intrigued me. First, they had a coach who went by the name of Sheriff Robinson. Talk about a cool nickname. Baseball has lots of them over the years, but “Sheriff” will get anybody’s attention. The second is that the team’s first manager, Wes Westrum, resigned with 11 games left in the season. His replacement, Salty Parker (there’s another good nickname) took over a team that was 37 games under .500 and in tenth place. Divisional play came along in two years’ time, making it impossible for any team to finish in tenth place ever again. But really, did the players have any motivation to play for old Salty? Not really.
The turnaround for this team came quickly, and it gives me hope that it can be replicated with the Cubs. It had better be, because we’re all running out of years to see the Cubs finally break on through to the other side.