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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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More Than Half a Lifetime

The 8,702nd day of my life was October 27, 1986. You will almost definitely recognize that date as the last time the Mets won a World Series — and perhaps as Jon Niese’s birthday. Back then, in the aftermath of that blessed event of which I was cognizant, I figured the next episode of the Mets winning a World Series would come in 1987 or 1988 or soon enough. That would make it roughly 365 days until another Mets world championship was secured. Or approximately 730 days if it wasn’t done at the next available juncture. Whatever it would be, it surely wouldn’t be long.

Miscalculation on my part. The days that would pass would, by July 23, 1989, reach four digits — a thousand days. Another thousand days would go by as of April 18, 1992. And so the thousands would come and the thousands would go.

The bottom line is the next Mets world championship has yet to arrive. What’s come since October 27, 1986, instead, is, as of today, July 25, 2010, 8,703 days. That equals literally more than half of my life waiting for another Mets championship.

Though the mathematics are mine, this is not a solely personal lament. If we’re at least as old as Jon Niese, we’ve all waited 8,703 days for another title. If we’re no older than Josh Thole — born October 28, 1986, the day of the ticker-tape parade that followed the World Series — we’re waiting for just one. This is 8,703 days on the debit side of every Mets fan’s ledger.

Tomorrow will be 8,704 days. Tuesday will be 8,705 days. That’s partly a function of the baseball calendar; you can’t win a World Series in July. But we’re going to get to late October, early November, whenever it is this year and, the way things are going, we’ll be pushing 8,800 or so days since the last time the Mets won a World Series. Mets fans a little bit older than me will, by then, be able to say what I’m reluctantly able to say today:

More than half a lifetime has passed since my team reached the pinnacle for which I hold out hope daily — every day as long as I live — that I will get to see them reach again.

Other teams’ fans have waited nearly as long or even longer, but that’s for abstract consideration. In tangible terms, we don’t care about those other teams’ fans. We care about us.

And we’d sure like us to get another sooner than later.

For the record, the Mets won their first World Series on the 2,482nd day of my life, better known to you as October 16, 1969. Seeing as how I’d only found out about the Mets in earnest no more than 60 to 75 days earlier, I can’t legitimately say I was actively waiting all that long. Yet even if I am to consider myself a born Mets fan who was, on some innate level, yearning for that first World Series from the word Go (along with the words Let’s and Mets), 2,482 days is cake compared to 8,703. The personal wait for me to get to miraculous Championship No. 1 was 28.52% as long as the wait has been for hypothetical Championship No. 3.

Fast-forwarding from October 16, 1969, I’d be at 2,483 days and counting on August 3, 1976 — marking my first experience with having gone more than half a lifetime waiting for the Mets to win another World Series. From there, it would take more than a decade to luxuriate in the Promised Land. In all, it would take 6,220 days for the Mets to get from their first world championship on 10/16/1969 to their second world championship on 10/27/1986. The wait for resounding Championship No. 2 was 71.47% as long as the wait has been for unattained Championship No. 3.

The Mets equaled the wait between their first and second titles when they arrived at November 7, 2003 sans a third ring. The wait since then has piled an additional 2,483 days of yearning onto the tab. That’s one more day than I waited from birth (muttering not “papa,” not “mama,” but “Metsie! Metsie! Metsie!”) to land wide-eyed upon the wonders of October 16, 1969….which was the day I unknowingly signed a waiver declaring I was willing to be put on hold indefinitely where the Mets would be concerned.

Anyway, it’s been a while for all of us and the way things have been going lately, it figures to take a while longer. Although our hairtrigger reactions to various and sundry setbacks may indicate otherwise, I would say anybody who’s given thousands of days over to waiting for another Mets championship demonstrates a remarkably patient soul. Nevertheless, I would beseech the Mets to bestow upon us that third world title they’ve been hiding from us as soon as possible. Cats and reincarnationists notwithstanding, we each have no more than one lifetime to spend waiting for them.

Seriously, that’s it. I’m not doing this again in the next lifetime.

7 comments to More Than Half a Lifetime

  • Jim

    The diffference between 1969 and 1986 for me is I was 3 in 1969 and had no clue and when I became a fan 1969 always and still does seem to have a real life fairy tale to it. 1986 On the other hand I lived through (and I agree with you that you really can’t appeciate 86 unless you lived through 77-83) I was 20 years old. 1986 Means I have one in the books and I will always appreciate 1986 because of that but on the other hand it’s been way to long and we need another one….SOON, The hated Yankees may win in quantity but our Amazins win in QUALITY!!!

  • Alan

    At age 53, I’ve been fortunate to have seen two world’s championships. But if the team remains in the control of the Wilpon family, I truly believe that I may have seen my last championship, even if I live to be 90.

  • nestornajwa

    Yeah, this is the kind of stuff you dwell on when the team is going through the absolute worst road trip in its history. And it is that, right? Assuming they come home with just one win, they will have left Flushing as contenders with a few issues; they return more or less out of contention (the ESPN graph that shows wild card contenders probably doesn’t reach down far enough to include the Mets), the manager and GM on death watch (right?), and systemic flaws so deep that it’s hard to imagine scoring more than 2 runs in a 24 hour period, let alone returning to contention. As Jim Mora would say: “Playoffs? PLAYOFFS??!” Has any Met team ever collapsed so completely so quickly? No, wait, don’t answer that. But 2007 didn’t happen in a single road trip.

    Speaking of football, the math exercise you just did gets a lot more depressing if you’re also a Jet and Islander fan, a profile that probably encompasses 1/3 to 1/2 of the Met fan base. No, I’m not going to figure out the total number of days each of those teams has struggled without a championship. If I did that, I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed to go to work tomorrow.

    This sucks. At least I can come here to commiserate. Thank you FAFIF.

    • nestornajwa

      My bad. They won 2 games. But still…

    • Yeah, this is the kind of stuff you dwell on when the team is going through the absolute worst road trip in its history. And it is that, right?

      Actually, I was dwelling on it during the winter when we were 0-0 and did the math then. Funny how it came back to top of mind just in time for the actual date in question.

  • Joe D.

    Hi Greg,

    Don’t worry about winning a championship – at this point I’d just settle for them scoring a run.

  • Jim

    Yes,our Mets have just had a putrid rpad trip and what’s worse is that they wasted some fine pitching performances. However do not lose faith, Our championship hopes for 2010,while I admit they do not look good but they are still very much alive. During a baseball season, There are good and bad stretches. Our Mets are just going through a bad stretch….(Okay a REALLY bad stretch) but just as our Amazins have shown an ability this season to wipe out all the good work they have done very quickly,they have also shown the ability to rise from the ashes and they will do it again. You cannot win the World Series in July and yes your dream can die but Our Mets won’t die now. The Mets will bounce back from this and get back into playoff contention (Division or wildcard) IT IS WAY TO EARLY TO CALL IN THE FAT LADY!!. Remember, Tug did not ask us to Believe, he told us that.”YA GOTTA BELIEVE!!! …..and if I am wrong and the Mets dissapoint me, I as all true Met fan will deal with whatever emotions but when the next season comes, WE WILL BELIEVE!!!