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Jason Fry and Greg Prince
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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Oh Great, We're 'Beloved'

How far have your juggernaut, dynasty-in-the-making New York Mets fallen? So far that we can't even be patronized properly.

Last March, I shared with you a delightful piece of junk mail from the Danbury Mint, one that sucked us to up the way we should be sucked up to. It went like this:

When the greatest sports franchises are counted, the New York Mets are always at the top of the list.

Obviously, it would have to have been one of us doing the counting, but I liked the tone and the implication. The Mets were great, we were great, everything was great…buy an end table.

One historic collapse later, the newest pitch from Danbury indicates we are not great anymore. We are something else, according to the current come-on for the exact same pricey Sheacentric tchotchke:

The New York Mets are one of the most beloved franchises in all of sports.

We are beloved — not great, but beloved. We've also been downgraded from “one of the most successful teams in all of sports” to “one of the most storied teams in Major League Baseball history”…of course to properly express the most recent chapter of that story, you would be advised to place your hands over your children's ears.

As much as I love the New York Mets in the institutional sense, I don't want anybody to call us beloved. I want us to be feared, loathed, resented, envied. Call us Bad Guys if you must, as long as the Bad Guys Win again in my lifetime.

But no. We're beloved. We're chums. Or, to speak in homonym, we were chum to the Marlins. And chumps for the Phillies. And churned by the Nationals. We choked that lead of a quantity so familiar in a time frame so ingrained to memory that it's no longer necessary to specify either the quantity or the time frame. So if we want to be sold that end table that we still do not need (yet is still pretty sharp), we will not be romanced with word of how handsome and powerful we are; we are instead informed that we are the fans whose team other teams rub the heads of for luck.

The Mets are beloved? That strikes me as code for “the Mets are lovable losers,” which expired as an operative phrase around here by 1965 at the latest. Losing rarely makes you lovable, not when it is done frequently, not when it is committed at a crucial juncture, not as you were stashing your playoff tickets in your wallet.

The smoldering wreckage of September 2007 is still visible in my rearview mirror. There is nothing in particular to look forward to, save perhaps for engaging the services of Yorvit Torrealba. Thus, I have to ask the Danbury Mint:

What's to belove?

20 comments to Oh Great, We're 'Beloved'

  • Anonymous

    I'm of mixed emotions about this — including the end table…
    I'm with you, Greg, about being the Bad Guys: envied, loathed, annoying, whatever.
    But there is something to being “beloved.” It's even in the subtitle of Golenbock's (boo! hiss!) Amazin's, you will recall: “The Saga of New York's most beloved baseball team.”
    Most beloved. More beloved than the much-beloved Boys of Summer? Jeeze, the've been gone 50 years and people are still missing 'em. More beloved than the legendary Jints of Harlem? Say Hey!
    Until we're the Bad Guys again — hell, we may already be, if you ask the Marlins — I'll take being beloved.

  • Anonymous

    I'm sure it's been discussed here before, but Golenbock's book about the Mets was one of the most poorly-written books I've ever read.

  • Anonymous

    Especially when you consider he did hardly any “writing” for it. It's basically a cut-&-paste job…

  • Anonymous

    I just plain have trouble with the verbiage here. “Beloved”?
    Okay fine, deep down we all do love the Mets, but how would an outsider know that? I for one find myself saying “I FUCKING HATE THIS TEAM” far, far more often than the moments when I proclaim my love for them–and I know I'm not alone.
    Ugh… sorry Greg, I guess I'm not completely over 2007 yet either, but I'm taking it day by day.

  • Anonymous

    I don't mind being beloved. I think that's true of the Mets. We love those bastards.
    If anyone buys me that coffee table I'll smash it over their head in a Batman fight.

  • Anonymous

    No need to apologize, Kevin. It flares up without warning over here, too.

  • Anonymous

    The subtitle was the highlight of Golenbock's book.
    Nothing wrong with being beloved per se. But in the context of the copy in question, I believe Danbury is giving us the blind-date equivalent of “what do the Mets look like? Why, they've got a great personality!” Then again, as we were reminded by way of the “I just don't dig on swine” conversation in Pulp Fiction, personality goes a long way.
    Or maybe they have a warehouse of these things left over from when we were being counted among the greatest franchises in sport.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, “beloved” is to teams as “nice” is to dates. Stupid Danbury Mint.

  • Anonymous

    who are we kidding? we're NEVER getting over it.

  • Anonymous

    Beloved as one would be if born four years after the death of one's parents ?

  • Anonymous

    A highly specific form of Tourette Syndrome.

  • Anonymous

    Well now I just feel sad…

  • Anonymous

    This reminds me of a joke my father used to tell: A guy with a broken watch walks into a store with lots of watches in the window. He says to the guy behind the counter: “Watchmaker! Fix my watch!” The guy behind the counter says, “I'm not a watchmaker.” The guy with the watch says: “You're not a watchmaker? What are you?” “I'm a mohel (a ritual circumcizer).” “A mohel! Why do you have all those watches in the window?!” “What do you want I should put in the window?!!!!!!!”
    Greg, what do you want them to call the Mets? The Mets aren't great. They aren't feared, loathed, or anything like that. Their main claim to fame is that they have managed to keep the loyalties of morons like me and you for decades. Their main claim to fame is that in spite of everything, they are beloved.
    Beloved. Beloved. Beloved. Get used to it.

  • Anonymous

    Anybody here ever seen Oprah Winfrey's movie “Beloved?” It's currently on the hook as the worst movie I have ever seen.

  • Anonymous

    My vote goes to The Blue Lagoon

  • Anonymous

    Beloved… reviled… I just wish the Mets hadn't played like a bunch of broken watches (or whatever they should put in the window) down the stretch.

  • Anonymous

    Greg -
    I received the 1954 WS newsreels on dvd from raresportsfilms yesterday. Worth the price of admission. A World Series preview film. Plays of significance for the 4 games – with phony crowd noise. A different view of a couple games and a Marty Glickman interview with Larry Doby including footage of the 48 WS between Cleveland and the Boston Braves. The interview appears to be on a Polo Grounds bullpen.

  • Anonymous

    Hmmm… so this is different from the “official” film put out by MLB on DVD last year? I have another video, on VHS, from the '54 WS that I haven't watched in a long time. I think it's more similar to the DVD I have than what you describe, which is terribly intriguing. Glad you're enjoying. May add it to my wish list.

  • Anonymous

    Wasn't aware of the MLB DVD. I'll look into it. These are the kind of newsreels that were regular fare between movie features well into the 60s.

  • Anonymous

    Dude, I'd kill for that thing.
    They just sent me another mailing for it (after I resisted it last year) and I can't bring myself to throw it away.