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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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History Reminds Us These Things Happen

And you thought September 30, 2007 was unique. Apparently, the Mets collapsed on some other day in some other year, though I think if those who dreamed up the chapter titles for 1969′s The Year The Mets Lost Last Place knew what awaited this franchise almost four decades down the road, they wouldn’t have taken an 11-4 loss to the Expos so hard (nor might have the late Karl Ehrhardt, whose final sign raised that Friday evening read SAME OLD STORY).

History tells us this first so-called Mets collapse — they had only two days earlier risen high enough to perceptibly plummet — was quite ephemeral in nature. By October 16, 1969, whatever went wrong on July 11 was completely corrected. Likewise, maybe the most recent Met misstep, even if it was a stumble for the ages, will be swept into the dustbin of history soon enough. Given that Pitchers & Catchers report today, why the hell not?

5 comments to History Reminds Us These Things Happen

  • Anonymous

    If July 11, 1969 was considered the day the Mets collapsed, then what did the author call mid-August after the Mets were swept by Houston and fell 9 and 1/2 games behind the Cubs?

  • Anonymous

    Joe,
    The first edition of the book covered a nine-day period in July (Cubs and Expos at Shea, Mets at Wrigley), so we have to go to the paperback edition to see the first half of August referred to as when…
    “[T]heir situation appeared hopeless; they were too far behind with too little time to go. The realists feared that the Mets were charging toward fourth place, behind St. Louis and Pittsburgh. Then, suddenly, against all logic, the Mets caught fire.”
    And you better than anyone know the rest.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Greg,
    I remember a mid-season book came out which I thought was called “The Year The Mets Won The Pennant”; was this the actual title?
    True, after the Mets went down in Houston they actually fell to third behind St. Louis. Beginning with that loss to Montreal, they went 10-13, their worst stretch except when starting out the season at 9-14. After the series sweep in Houston most of us were down but didn't think they would dip to fourth nor did we give up on winning the division – there was still a little less than a third of the season to go (including five games with the Cubs), enough time to make up that 9-1/2 game deficit . None of us figured, however, they would make up so much ground in such little time, for after Houston they went on a 14-2 tear and jumped from 11 to 23 games over .500. It happened so quickly the City was more delerious than before since it was now closing in on September and not just mid-season.
    Was the best time to be a Met fan. And even with the Giants Super Bowl Win 39 years later, a poll of sports fans still ranked the '69 Mets as the greatest sporting event in New York City history (the '86 team was second).

  • Anonymous

    The very same book. Though it was published ahead of the final out of the World Series, I guess the presence of the Expos in the division guaranteed the title wouldn't be off, no matter what happened in mid-summer.

  • Anonymous

    Not on Opening Day, however…. Was the best time I ever had at a Met loss because most everyone in attendance found it hilarious that we were going to lose to an expansion team playing it's very first major league game (“geez, we can't even beat an expansion team” was heard throughout the stands).