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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: 1982

“Operator, please connect me with 1982,” Randy Travis yodeled on a country hit in 1986. “I need to make apologies for what I didn’t do.” I think it’s fair to say Randy Travis wasn’t a Mets fan, for in 1986, nobody wanted to make a call to the season that crumbled so definitively four years earlier.

But maybe Randy was just channeling the spirit of seasons gone by or believed the Mets — en route to 108 wins and then some — might agree to make amends for wasting our time and sapping our goodwill in 1982 with a forlorn manager, a depleted slugger and a hopelessly downward trajectory. The 1982 Mets looked like comers for two months, cresting at 27-21 (second place, 3½ behind the Cardinals), and then fell with velocity that would have made Pete Falcone envious, all way to 65-97 (sixth place, 27 games behind the Cardinals).

Let’s hope that when SNY debuts Mets Yearbook: 1982 Thursday night at 7:30, we learn the propagandists of 28 years ago were positively Travisesque in conjuring instant nostalgia for what I recall as one of the five most depressing Met seasons through which I’ve ever persevered. 1982 was the year I finally understood that the rebuilding program on which I pinned my hopes from 1977 through 1981 was at best unsuccessful and at worst a fraud. George Bamberger didn’t help. George Foster didn’t help. George Washington couldn’t have helped.

I cannot tell a lie: By George, we sucked.

Operator, I might have implored the cosmic baseball switchboard had I reached out to it in 1982, can you at least connect me with 1984? I’ve been trying to dial a winning season forever, and I just keep getting put on hold.

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

14 comments to Mets Yearbook: 1982

  • John Strubel

    Now Greg, you know that yearbook cover only brings up bitter memories, why would you publish such a thing!? What’s next Joel Youngblood, Dan Norman, Pete Falcone (or as Murph would call him, ‘Brooklyn’s own Pete Falcone’) … hope you are well … John

  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by You Gotta Believe!, Greg Prince. Greg Prince said: #Mets Yearbook 1982, on #SNY, Thu. night, 7:30. If they can make me nostalgic for that disaster, they're magicians. http://wp.me/pKvXu-1Wu [...]

  • Bambi was a pitcher’s manager — touted as a genius working with pitchers, especially at fixing control problems. But none of the Mets pitchers could throw the ball over the plate.

  • InsidePitcher

    DVR set – thanks for letting us know!

  • Joe D.

    Hi Greg,

    We thought we had enough hitting to compensate for our weak pitching staff and actually have a good season. We started off well and were still at .500 toward the end of June. But with all that potential run production available, we wound up tenth in the league in scording. Who would have predicted our one-two punch of Foster and Kingman would hit .247 and .204 (un)respectively with the former Red knocking just 13 over the fence? The loss of John Stearns mid-way through the season?

    But doubt that more run production would have helped the cause – finishing eleventh in team batting,ERA and fielding didn’t help. But again, our run production was better – that was only ranked tenth.

  • 1982 – very memorable for me. I remember telling my dad who was incapacitated by a stroke that we just got George Foster. Boy, what a disappointment. I tried out for the Mets that year (they held open tryouts in those days – not sure if they still do). I must’ve been pretty bad to not make that team. I will definitely catch this episode.

  • InsidePitcher

    You know it can’t be a good season when the year end film features 1) prolonged discussion of the 1962 lineup for the Mets home opener; and 2) some family arriving at Shea, keeping score, etc.

    In a good season, you don’t need to desperately hunt for filler like that.

    • InsidePitcher

      Diamond Vision – the Rookie of the Year….

      • DiamondVision got TWO segments…TWO!

        The Maza family, or whoever they were…good lord. I felt as if I’d been in the car, stuck on the Grand Central with them for 45 minutes. I did like that as part of their Great and Typical Day at the Ballpark we saw Dad tipping the usher. Just like you fans at home should when you come on out!

        As Michael Jackson might have said in 1982, this, indeed, was Filler!

  • InsidePitcher

    OK – the footage of Seaver talking about returning to the team in 1983 was pretty cool.

    • Saving grace, to be sure. At least it justified the “…just like Kenny Boswell!” comparisons, as if the narrative was all leading to Tom Terrific coming home.

      Steve Lamar…you are not missed.

  • Guy Kipp

    I recall as one of the five most depressing Met seasons through which I’ve ever persevered.

    Whatever could be the other four?

    2009
    2002
    1993
    1979
    1977

    Oh, that’s five right there.

    • 1977, 1979 and 1993 cannot be stopped. Everything else is a matter of connoiseurship. But I’d put ’82 in there ahead of the other two…and ’03, which I found chock full of more despair than ’02 (which was more embarrassing than depressing, a la 1992).

      Dear 2009: Don’t think any of that is a compliment. It just means you failed at depressing me, too.