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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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The Rainbow Coalition

All hail the 1977 National League All-Star Team! Never mind that they beat the American League 7-5 at Yankee Stadium, for a) they were the most colorful bunch ever assembled on one team to judge by the Pantone rainbow formed by their road uniforms and b) they won despite the inability to look directly into a camera. Or perhaps whoever chose official photos was blinking when he picked this as the team picture. Maybe four guys in all are focused on the camera, though one of them, sort of, is honorary captain Willie Mays (a Met forever from then on out, you would have thought). No wonder Willie still wows ’em, even on the West Coast.

With next week’s All-Star Game taking place at the same facility as it did 31 years ago, the YES Network is showing the ’77 Starfest over and over (check local listings that you’d normally not be caught dead checking). The NBC telecast is a great time capsule, particularly given that in the introductions, the greatest applause goes to not Willie Mays, not honorary A.L. captain Joe DiMaggio, not to any of the multiple Yankees on the other side (Reggie Jackson actually gets booed), not even to ramrod-straight John Stearns or helper coach Denny Sommers, on loan from the Mets. No, the people in Yankee Stadium go absolutely nuts for Tom Seaver, five weeks removed from his dastardly trade to Cincinnati. In the above picture, he appears to be telling Willie Montañez, “…and then I’d string M. Donald Grant up the flagpole as high as I could.”

At one point in the game, Seaver is pitching (though not well) and he is supported in the field by four future Mets: Montañez, Ellis Valentine, Jerry Morales and Garry Templeton. That makes five future Mets at once because Seaver, he comes back to us eventually. Also on the team, if you’re not too blinded by the picture to examine it closely, are John Candelaria and George Foster, giving us seven Mets to be in one fell swoop. (Over on the American League page, you’d find 1992 Met second baseman Willie Randolph as well.)

See, that’s the problem. It’s fun to think of the N.L. All-Stars as a Mets farm club, but shouldn’t we be getting the talented guys as they’re becoming All-Stars, not incredibly long after the fact?

P.S. David Wright did not gain the Final Vote nod, so unless Clint Hurdle names him to replace somebody at the last minute, you are officially excused from watching the 2008 affair; if you’re thinking you should tune in out of habit or baseball fan obligation, this bizarre pinstriped wet dream of a column by Bob Klapisch should change your mind like a soft rain.

UPDATE: David’s a Star after all…named to replace the injured Alfonso Soriano.

And in all seriousness, our best to Bob Klapisch for a speedy recovery from a tough break.

9 comments to The Rainbow Coalition

  • Anonymous

    Hey Greg, where is that version of the NL ASG Team photo from?
    The one I posted a while ago in the 'Pool was from the 1977 WS program, taken moments before I'd assume and straight on instead of from below.

  • Anonymous

    Should have pointed out it's from the Mets' '78 yearbook. Maybe they got sloppy seconds from MLB.

  • Anonymous

    Oh right, now I remember! Yeah, for a good string of years they did that.
    Not sure why both of them (Mets and World Series Programs) stopped running them in the early 1980s. One of the best parts of the publications IMO.

  • Anonymous

    Indeed. Every year you'd get last year's All-Stars and last year's Old Timers. Now the only Old Timers we've got are on the active roster.

  • Anonymous

    Going row-by-row:
    Mike Schmidt looks like he just swallowed his chaw…
    Dave Parker either wants a cigarette or is performing an imaginary sex act…
    Winfield! Wake up!…
    Did Ken Griffey, Sr. ever have a hat that fit?

  • Anonymous

    Oh, and Rick Reuschel looks like he's trying to suppress a fairly substantial gastrointestinal issue…

  • Anonymous

    People that deride the 70s technicolor unis are bonkers. This is awesome! Most of today's “classic”-looking unis are dull as dishwater. Seriously, why would a team like Arizona, born in the 90s, need a retro-looking jersey? Why couldn't SD keep their distinctive brown and yellow color scheme?
    Bonus points to Pittsburgh for continuing to wear the bicentennial hats well after the actual Bicentennial.

  • Anonymous

    This doesn't even take into account the stylish tints sported by Baltimore, Cleveland, Texas and Oakland and the sharp red caps donned by the Red Sox and Twins, to say nothing of Richie Zisk and coach Bob Lemon black leotard covered by white CHICAGO blouse.
    As a final-season tribute to the House that John Lindsay rebuilt, both clubs should wear 1977 road uniforms. The reps from the post-'77 expansion teams should just wear powder blue pajamas. It's all good.

  • Anonymous

    Oakland's groovy duds made them my favorite AL team back then, despite handing us the loss in my first solid baseball memories.