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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 [2]. I must have liked what I saw, ’cause I’m still here.

Image courtesy of kcmets.com [3].

And check out the story of Jeff Gerst [4], from the last time [5] we posted an advisory of a Mets Yearbook episode. It truly qualifies as Amazin’!