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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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Horizontal Bop

A pretty darn good pitcher? Yes!

Horizontal cards are weird because approximately 98.8% of their peers are vertical, but they can be beauties, too. In honor of the release of this year’s The Holy Books collection, I present, as captured on the cordoned-off walls of the Empire level at Citi Field last August, what I believe is my partner’s favorite card of all time, the 1974 Jon Matlack. I asked him once and I think this was the answer…and if it wasn’t, there are worse things to look at in the middle of November.

Jon Matlack was a great pitcher, not incidentally. I’m so Jonned up over him, in fact, I think I’ll reprint what I wrote about when I declared him the No. 39 Greatest Met of the First Forty Years:

Mystery guest, please sign in.

OK, let’s get started.

Is your middle name Trumpbour?

Yes.

Were you the second Met to win Rookie of the Year?

Yes.

Were you named to the National League All-Star team thrice?

Yes.

Did you get the win in one of those games?

Yes.

In your first five full seasons, did your record 75 victories?

Yes.

Was that the most any Met not named Seaver or Gooden ever totaled in his first five seasons?

Yes.

Was your ERA for those five years a mere 2.84?

Yes.

With the Mets trying to win a division in a five-team scramble on what was supposed to be the final day of the regular season, did you strike out nine Cubs in eight innings?

Yes.

Did you wind up losing that game 1-0 on a run scratched out in the eighth?

Yes.

Was this kind of run-support typical of what you received while you were a Met?

Yes.

Was the only game you pitched in a playoff series a two-hit shutout against one of the greatest-hitting teams of all time?

Yes.

Were those two hits collected by Andy Kosco?

Yes.

Not Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez or Johnny Bench, but Andy Kosco?

Yes.

Did you start three games in the ensuing World Series against another historically great team?

Yes.

Did you yield no earned runs in 14 innings over those first two starts?

Yes.

Did you pitch two more shutout innings in Game Seven before running out of gas in the third?

Yes.

Would have you avoided that situation had Yogi Berra pitched George Stone in Game Six, thereby saving Seaver for Game Seven?

Yes.

But you took the ball?

Yes.

And did you come that far in 1973 despite Marty Perez of the Braves whacking a liner off your head and fracturing your skull?

Yes.

Yet were you back pitching eleven days later?

Yes.

On June 29, 1974, did you pitch a one-hitter against the Cardinals at Shea Stadium?

Yes.

Was it the first win ever witnessed in person by at least one eleven-year-old Mets fan?

Yes.

Shouldn’t you be mentioned more often as one of the best pitchers the Mets ever had?

You tell me.

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