Pedro Martinez mowed down his opponent. Then the Dodgers picked apart Chase Utley and the Phillies' bullpen. There was the added bonus of learning Kobe Bryant grew up a Mets fan and seeing that somewhere in this world it's still summer. Game Two of the NLCS unfolded beautifully for my purposes, save for the gnawing realization that had Pedro been available to this then-employers three Octobers ago, I'd be less bitter every time I watch a playoff game. The thought process usually goes like this:
This is the postseason. The Mets are not in it. They were last in it in 2006, which gets further and further from the present. How did we not win that World Series? How did we not make that World Series? We might have made and won the World Series had Pedro Martinez and Orlando Hernandez pitched, but they were not able. And we did not hit. Yet we had the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth in Game Seven…
That's usually where I switch to VH1 Classic and let a Men at Work video distract me so I can temporarily forget all I remember.
I watched the Angels last night — Charlie's Angels, second season, disc five. Stephanie made it a Netflix pick because a longtime favorite soap actress had a bit part in one of the episodes. In an Archie comic strip circa 1977, Archie's mom told Archie's dad she could tell her little boy was growing up because he had replaced his California Angels poster with a poster featuring those other Angels.
Archie's dad then emitted sweat beads of shock.
I stopped watching Charlie's Angels after season one, after Farrah left. Cheryl Ladd could bring it, I suppose, but once you'd had Tom Seaver as your ace, who could take Pat Zachry seriously, y'know?
Franchises were getting away everywhere you looked in 1977. Archie, to my surprise, is still going strong, or at least still going (cue the sweat beads).
I didn't look in on the other Angels very much despite my affinity for them. I didn't care for the venue, the opposition, the score or the on-site audience. When Joe Buck is the least objectionable element of a baseball broadcast, then you're better off checking to see if Jaclyn Smith's acting lessons ever paid off.
It's now forty years and one day since the Mets won their first world championship. Several blolleagues joined us in commemorating the ruby anniversary with remembrances and reflections I was happy to read. You might enjoy them, too.
• Louie Maz gives this indelible slice of Mets history his customary fine “This Date In…” treatment.
• Steve Keane shouts out to Mrs. McGuire and P.S. 105's cutting-edge technology.
• Rob Kirkpatrick echoes Karl Ehrhardt, then manages to find some words anyway.
• Mark at Mets Walkoffs fills us in on all the minutiae we might have missed amid the revelry.
• Dave Murray visits a stadium where the Mets went 0-6 in '69 but he makes it an Amazin' trip per usual.
• Howie Rose, weighing in for mlb.com, still takes geometric inspiration from “the gift that keeps on giving”.
• Paul Vargas proves exceptional vis-à-vis my rule of thumb that one would have had to have been at least six years, nine months and sixteen days old at the moment a Mets world championship occurred to maintain a clear memory of it to this day. Paul's talking about 1986, but that was a good one, too.
Whether you were in first grade, in fifth grade, in college or not even close to in utero, if you're a Mets fan, you will want to secure your copy of The Miracle Has Landed, a gang-authored celebration of the 1969 Mets. This is, as one of the sponsors of that year's World Series highlight film put it, the real thing: bios of every player and significant Mets figure; chronicles of all the big moments; essays about everything connected to that year of years (including one by me regarding Shea Stadium); and from the secret archives of The Holy Books to you, images of every Topps 1969 Mets Baseball Card. If you're looking for the perfect Mets gift this holiday season (besides this baby here, I am compelled to mention), The Miracle Has Landed will, like the Mets rolling down Lower Broadway, receive a hero's welcome.
Finally, Happy Grand Slam Single Day. Is it ten years already? Seems like just four years ago that it was six.