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Greg Prince and Jason Fry
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: 1973

There are two relief pitchers we’ve written about quite a bit in 2010. One is the incumbent closer, whose recent actions have gotten everybody’s attention. It also appears to have gotten him a torn ligament. Francisco Rodriguez, anger management candidate and apparent genius, messed up his right thumb while (allegedly) messing up his girlfriend’s father’s face. Probably out for the year — not for disciplinary reasons but because he (allegedly) got into a one-sided fight.

Oh brother.

Turning to happier closer thoughts, you can watch Tug McGraw rise from star reliever to absolute icon when SNY airs Mets Yearbook: 1973 Tuesday night at 7. It ain’t just Tug, of course. It’s the whole team riding a late-season wave of crackling emotion, stellar starting pitching and incredibly timely hitting over a mediocrity-backed division until it qualifies for the postseason the day after the schedule was supposed to be at its end. Of course the Mets weren’t through then, either, as they slugged their way past Cincinnati (when we liked the idea of Mets fighting) and almost (sigh) past Oakland.

Much went on in that legendary 1973 stretch drive, but most resonant is the battle cry it left behind for the ages: YOU GOTTA BELIEVE! Tune into SNY at 7 PM tomorrow and find out why.

And as long as you’re considering the legacy of Tug McGraw, consider the efforts of FAFIF reader Sharon Chapman, who is running in this year’s New York City Marathon with Team McGraw to help raise funds for the Tug McGraw Foundation to help them in their ongoing fight against  brain tumors. You can contribute those Amazin’ly worthwhile efforts here.

Image courtesy of “Mario Mendoza…HOF lock” at Baseball-Fever.

Also, from 1973’s great nephew, 1999, Ted Berg visits with a latter-day Mets avatar of Belief, the all-too-soon departed Melvin Mora. Watch it here.

7 comments to Mets Yearbook: 1973

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by You Gotta Believe!, Greg Prince. Greg Prince said: What a #Mets relief: Forget Frankie Rodriguez & revisit the best of Tug McGraw, Tues @ 7 PM on #SNY. […]

  • Lenny65

    Oh I LOVED that yearbook cover when I was a kid, in fact I had two copies, one for saving & one to cut up to hang pics on my wall.

  • maryanne

    R.I.P Tug ….you ALWAYS fought the good fight.

  • Jim

    I was two years away from my baseball and Mets awakening during that 1973 season. All though I do remember my dad taking me to a game and talking about Willie Mays at some bar before the game. I probably did not appreciate it then but I do now. As for Tug! Well what can I say about Tug? I of course am sad that he is no longer with us and I am sad that in my life I only saw him as a Phillie player but once I found out that he was a Mets and thanks to his book “Screwball” what he led with his, “YA Gotta Believe in 1973” We Met fans have a perspective that other fans do not have. We tend to believe against all odds that we have hope and sometimes (I know I do as I have said previous times in the past) if not ignore reality but push it in the backburner, As a Mets fan we have a history of being Amazing……(Okay sometimes we can be amazingly bad too but I guess that’s part of the deal sometimes unfortunatly. I mean if you think about it the tilte of your book “Faith and Fear” really captures the Mets fan, Years like 1969,1973,1986,1999 all show us Mets fans that we Gotta Believe like Tug told us too but years like 1988,2007.2008 teach us that we can never count our chickens before they are hatched.Bye the way I remember my dad and others saying that George Stone should have pitched Game 6 (and Seaver for Game 7) I could see both sides of this, (Remember Jack Mckeon had the same dilemma in 2003 save Josh Beckett or slay the Yankees in Game 6 and as we all know Beckett won game 6 and won the series) I was listening to a radio broadcast of Game 7 and Jim Simpson was talking about (in the inning that Campaneris and Jackson homered to put the A’s on top for good, that Jon Matlack’s attitude about Game 7 was really not a good attitude and that he would do the best he could. I also personally feel that (and you can’t worry about that at the time the idea is to win the game) that knocking out Ken Holtzman in Game 4 actually hurt the Mets in Game 7 because he was that much more rested. One last thing, Jon Matlack was a key member of the Mets in the 1970’s and his won-lost record does not reflect how good a pitcher he was. I for one think that Jon Matlack is worthy of at the very least being very seriously considered for the Mets Hall of Fame…(If he is not so already)and maybe someday voted in.

    • Guy Kipp

      Matlack’s brilliant victory in Game 2 of the 1973 NLCS in Cincy to even that series, 1-1, remains his signature moment as a Met. In the pantheon of Mets’ pitchers, I’d put him in a class with Darling and Leiter. A borderline Met HOF candidate, but one conspicuously absent from the Shea Goodbye ceremonies in 2008.

  • insidepitcher

    That was a gem – thanks for all of the reminders!

  • Jim

    I was very dissapointed with the 1973 Yearbook, The one that I saw years ago and have on tape showed highlights of the NLCS gainst the Reds, The one they showed last night went straight from the East Clincher to the end of the NLCS. I love the fact that the Mets are bringing back these old films but leave it to our amazins to find a way to even screw that up. (I also noticed that the 1980 highlight film is missing a musical tribute to that great homestand (The one with Steve Henderson’s homer) that was on the original film)