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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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Here Comes 1969 Again

Back when the strongest substance in any major league clubhouse was brine (so as to toughen Nolan Ryan's finger against blisters), the New York Mets became champions of the baseball world. Presumably because it's the 40th anniversary of the 1969 triumph of triumphs, SNY is bringing back from Mets Classics mothballs World Series Games Two through Five every night this week at 7:30, starting tonight. They make for fairly fascinating viewing simply for television's sake. Throw in the Mets becoming champions of the baseball world, and ya think there's something better on?

Also this week, the Mets will win the 2006 National League East (Tuesday, 2 PM); beat the Giants on two balks and a blast (Wednesday, 1 PM); and ride two Robin Ventura grand slams to a doubleheader sweep over the Brewers (Thursday, 1:30 PM). Not that Mets Classics trend toward the predictable or anything.

12 comments to Here Comes 1969 Again

  • Anonymous

    “Back when the strongest substance in any major league clubhouse was brine (so as to toughen Nolan Ryan's finger against blisters), the New York Mets became champions of the baseball world.”
    Hi Greg,
    Back in 1967, Maury Allen in the POST (when it was still a respectable newspaper) wrote an article (accompanied by photographs taken at Shea) demonstrating how further the ball traveled if kept refrigerated. I don't recall if he was trying to hint that MLB was purposely “juicing” the balls to beef up home run production but it has been done before. As we know, the “lively” ball was used in 1930 but hitting skyrocketed so out of proportion (Hack Wilson's 190 RBIs, the last place Phillies hitting over .300 as a team, etc). that use of the less tightly wound ball was restored the following season. Before that there was the dead ball era.
    But in 1969 the Mets showed the great, young pitching staff developed the year before was not a fluke due to the year of the pitcher – despite a smaller strike zone and lowering the mound by six inches, the Mets had the best pitching staff in the league, trailing in team ERA only to the Orioles.

  • Anonymous

    Do they think somehow we can't handle watching the loss in Game 1?
    Look, I don't need to ever see the Scioscia Game, or the last game of '06 ever again, but I think I can hack this one.

  • Anonymous

    If I'm not mistaken, there's a story there. As in, it doesn't exist on film anywhere. Something along those lines.
    Greg?

  • Anonymous

    Game 1 does exist. It's a B/W kinescope like Game 2.

  • Anonymous

    Also that game two in Baltimore is on film in black and white while the three at Shea are in color and video tape.

  • Anonymous

    I'll take Anon's word for it. I was beginning to think it doesn't exist, but that could be the first Super Bowl I'm thinking of.
    Neil Best has been on a mini-crusade for a couple of years to get Game One shown. I think it should be shown. On MASN. I've had the 1986 World Series on DVD for almost three years and I've never brought myself to watch Games One, Two or Five. I went against Kingman's instincts and watched Game Seven '06 on MLBN and can't say I enjoyed it a bit. Well, maybe the bit where Endy does that leap and greatest catch ever, but not a whole lot otherwise.
    OK, show it on SNY a few times for history's sake and so I can complain that Curt Gowdy is biased. But then take Game One out of rotation before it becomes the new Two Balks and a Blast. We see enough Mets losses on that channel already.

  • Anonymous

    That's because everything before Shea Stadium was humdrum and everything at Shea was glorious and dazzling.

  • Anonymous

    I'm relatively certain you are correct about the first Super Bowl. I still recall reading that there was something unusual about the film for Game one of the 1969 World Series. Maybe I read Neil Best as well and am misremembering (hiya, Roger!) what he wrote.

  • Anonymous

    I love Baseball in B/W!

  • Anonymous

    “watched Game Seven '06 on MLBN”
    Having attended Game 7 in '06, I had never seen the broadcast so I watched it on MLBN also. Ugh, what a mistake, I was depressed all weekend.

  • Anonymous

    Sounds like great TV. Unfortunately, as a Mets-fan-in-exile (DC chapter), I can't watch Mets Classics. I have Directv and the Extra Innings package, but, strangely, they won't let me see the old stuff. I can watch SNY's other programming. I've never heard a decent explanation why this is so. Of course, I've never seen a “Yank-meography” either, so it balances out.

  • Anonymous

    There were also more celebrities at Shea.
    Don't know why it wasn't on tape. Game 7 of the 1968 world series was also a black and white kinescope, however, I have the next to last game of the AL 1967 between Minnesota and Boston at Fenway and that was in color on tape (it was, however, not the network but local broadcast which meant NBC waived it's rights of exclusitivity for the Boston area).
    Have seen game 7 of the '65 classic on both tape and kinescope.