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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: 1970

Imagine if there had been no 1969. Perish the thought, but stay with me for a second. Imagine we’d gone from 1968 and its encouraging leap from 61 to 73 wins to the next season taking the Mets from 73 to 83 wins. Tom Seaver would lead the league in strikeouts and ERA while winning 18 games. Tommie Agee would set a team stolen bases record and hit 24 home runs. Donn Clendenon would drive in nearly a hundred runs. And, best of all, the Mets would participate in their very first pennant race, a three-way battle with the Pirates and Cubs, holding a piece of the top spot in the National League East as late as the 148th game of the season. 

Looked at that way, 1970 would be a fantastic Met success. And, I’m guessing, if you told Mets fans at the end of 1968 to be patient, just wait, and in two years, you’ll have all that (after experiencing seven seasons when not losing 90 games was a stunning accomplishment), it would have been received gratefully.

But there was a 1969. It was real and it was spectacular. Thus, 1970, all of which occurred as described above, came off as little more than an Amazin’ letdown. We went from the Miracle Mets to merely mundane in the space of less than twelve months, proof that you can’t outdo a once-in-a-lifetime happening.

Mets highlight films, however, were never stopped from interpreting recent history in the best possible light. We’ll see how that propagandistic bent manifested itself when SNY debuts Mets Yearbook: 1970, 6:30 Wednesday evening, following the Mets-Rockies matinee.

As a personal aside, just as late summer 1969 was the ideal moment to discover the Mets, I have no problem with 1970 being my first full season as a fan. I must have liked what I saw, ’cause I’m still here.

Image courtesy of kcmets.com.

And check out the story of Jeff Gerst, from the last time we posted an advisory of a Mets Yearbook episode. It truly qualifies as Amazin’!

9 comments to Mets Yearbook: 1970

  • Inside Pitcher

    DVR set!

    Thanks for the heads up :)

  • Of course, you’re going to get hype from the yearbook, but the fact of the matter is that, as I remember it, this was an extremely exciting year. Nothing mundane about it at all. What you have to remember is that at the end of the 1969 season, we did not expect the Mets to win it again. We loved what we had, but most of us thought it was a fluke. Then, when it looked, throughout most of the season, that they just might do it again, we went wild. We would shout “Dynasty!” We also remembered the incredible August and September of 1969. If the Mets had just had an above average August and September in 1970, they would have won the division.

  • Joe D.

    Hi Greg,

    Granted, we weren’t as good a club in 1970 compared to the miracle team but was still in the thick of the division race until nearly the very end. We were tied for first as late as mid September and then took a nosedive. The falling 2-1/2 games behind Pittsburgh with less than two weeks to go, the Buccos took six out of seven – clinching the division by beating us in the last game we played against them in Pittsburgh.

  • I remember the Pirates eliminating the Mets. I accepted it with surprising grace for a seven-year-old but I also recognized that it was nothing like the way the year before ended.

    A 17-game falloff, Seaver proving fallible, the Mets trailing off into third place when all was said and done. Fun being the defending world champions, but far more indicative of the mundane years to come than reflective of what had happened immediately before.

    Beat the hell out of the way the decade would end, however.

    • Joe D.

      Hi Greg,

      Know I mentioned this once but the downer for me came a few days after Pittsburgh celebrated its clincher. Call it a delayed reaction. The Mets were playing a mid-week afternoon game at home. I Was a sophmore in college and after classes walked into the local Macy*s (impressed I used the asterisk and not an apostrophe?) and caught a few minutes of the game on a color TV. Only having a black and white set, I was thrilled seeing a game in color but after noticing the shades of fall covering a sparse crowd wearing coats. reality finally sunk in that the season was over and the grey of winter would soon to be approaching. I entered the store OK but left feeling depressed

  • Dave

    And as we saw through the rest of that decade, seasons could be far worse than they were in 1970. At the very least, we were settling in nicely as the by-far more important baseball team in town.

  • [...] Make sure your DVR is set for Mets Yearbook: 1970, 6:30 tonight on [...]

  • chriswilliams

    incorrect player movees were the mets problems between ’70 and ’71.
    they should have given young wayne garret the 3rd base job to lose instead of trading for joe foy and had more patientce with nolan ryan. platoon right field with art shamsky and future star amos otis.,platoon clendennon with future star ken singelton at first. young john milner with agee in the out field.
    OMG what a pitching staff with seaver,koosman ryan and matlack.

  • mike v

    met fans are really dedicated.we have seen nothing but failure after failure.
    69,70,73,86 were the best
    time for new management and bring bobby v back
    he knows baseball
    hang on met fans,i too was a kid who loved jerry grote and stuck it out.i cant anymore,im done