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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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Mets Yearbook: 1965

Time moves glacially between the last game before the All-Star break and the first game after it (a West Coast game, at that), but to make it through the final hours of the void, there is, thankfully, a time machine: Mets Yearbook. SNY is sprinkling in several greatest hits in the course of Thursday…

• 1976: 1:00 PM
• 1978: 1:30 PM
• 1984: 6:30 PM
• 1971: 7:00 PM

…and, come 9 o’clock (just ahead of Pregame Live), the network of record is debuting the twelfth installment in this magnificent series, Mets Yearbook: 1965.

Spoiler alert: You will enjoy this one immensely.

It was originally produced under the charming title, Expressway to the Big Leagues, the implicit message being that when you have a team that’s going 50-112, you (if you’re a promising young ballplayer) have an excellent chance of getting a shot very soon.

The ’65 Mets were beginning to make good on that promise. Not every kid who comprised Casey Stengel’s final Youth of America class will ring recognizable to those who aren’t Tal-Metic scholars, but 1965 saw some serious seeds planted at Shea. Eddie Kranepool was the Mets’ All-Star representative. Ron Swoboda burst out of the gate with 19 home runs (16 of them by mid-July). Tug McGraw became the first Met pitcher to defeat Sandy Koufax. Cleon Jones and Bud Harrelson got their feet wet, too. The 1969 Mets and their twice as many wins could not have been envisioned four years in advance, yet a fifth of that world championship roster was, as of 1965, quietly settling into place.

That place may have been tenth, but  the Mets were, as the Expressway theme suggests, on their way.

This seems like a good opportunity to mention again that if you want to understand the genesis of the Mets from historic losers to miraculous winners, you should read The Amazin’ Mets, 1962-1969 by Bill Ryczek. I first wrote about it here and you can order it for yourself here. It’s an incredible work.

This is also a good time to go to the polls and consider the candidacy of Howard Megdal for Mets GM. When not watching Mets Yearbook on Thursday, you can come back to FAFIF and read our in-depth interview with the candidate.

Image courtesy of kcmets.com.

3 comments to Mets Yearbook: 1965

  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by You Gotta Believe!, Greg Prince. Greg Prince said: #Mets Yearbook: 1965 debuts Thursday 9 PM on SNY. The Youth of America begins to blossom. http://wp.me/pKvXu-1C5 [...]

  • Joe D.

    Hi Greg,

    There will be one incident that probably won’t be included in the film but I sure hope it is.

    It regards a play in the second game of a Sunday doubleheader against the Dodgers. L.A. had already taken the first three games of the four game set when the Mets were rallying to tie the score in the series finale. Johnny Lewis represented the tying run on base with two down. The next batter got a hit but Lewis was called out on an extremely close play at the plate. There was, of course, Casey, Yogi, Lewis and others putting up quite a tremendous argument but the real story was the reaction of the capacity crowd. Not only did they boo the umpire unmercifully but all of a sudden most everyone began waving their handkerchiefs in unison. It was a sight to see, the enitire stadium cluttered with hankies being waved in the air.

    Mind you, this simply didn’t end when the argument at home plate did. After the commercial break the cameras immediately scanned the stadium, showing the capacity crowd still waving those hankies and not letting up with it’s unrelentless chorus of boos. This continued even past the time when the first Dodger hitter had stepped into the batters box.
    Sometime during that half inning the crowd let up and as expected, we wound up losing the game by that one run.

    On Monday the back page of the Daily News printed a series of sequential photographs showing that Lewis appeared safe and therefore claimed the Mets had been robbed!

    I doubt today’s fans and newspapers would go to such extremes for a club on pace to lose 112 games. It could only have happened with the original new breeders.
    I’m just sorry that you and others missed being one since all the books, films and audio cuts in the world could never re-create the experience of what it was like being a Met fan during that wacky, wonderful era.