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Nine Hours, Eighteen Yearbooks

DVR or just plain old viewing alert: Friday, starting at 1:30, SNY is airing 18 of the 20 cherished Mets Yearbooks for nine consecutive chronological hours, starting with 1963 [1] and running through 1988. The only ones being skipped, for whatever reason, are 1965 [2] (Expressway to the Big Leagues) and 1978 [3] (Turning It Over). Both are classics of the positivity-accentuating genre, but then again, all are classics of the positivity-accentuating genre — even the mesmerizingly highlight-free 1982 highlight film [4], in which DiamondVision clearly has a better first season in New York than George Foster.

While SNY remains eternally appreciated for having unearthed the old Mets movies from the vault, I have to confess I’m getting antsy wondering if they’re ever going to complete their stated mission [5] of showing every Mets highlight film from 1962 to 1988, which was supposed to have happened by now. The last “new” one, from 1981 [6], debuted in August.

Thus, we are still waiting for ’62, ’64, ’74, ’83, ’85, ’86 and ’87. I’m guessing No Surrender (1985) and A Year to Remember (1986) are editing nightmares as they include glorious MTV-era musical montages for which presumably the network isn’t about to pay the rights to rebroadcast, given that they used, shall we say, “real” songs and not generic production music. And 1986, with its pesky postseason chapters may be too darn expensive altogether. If you’ve seen the hacked-up (though still valued) versions of the 1969 [7] and 1973 [8] films SNY shows — as well as the 1988 edition [9] in which there isn’t even a little NLCS glimpse — you can tell costs are a concern.

Good thing postseason footage isn’t really an issue in most of these otherwise winning productions.

As long as we’re on the SNY offseason subject, a few more Mets Classics wouldn’t hurt, either, no matter how delightful Endy’s drag bunt, Benny’s Tokyo grand slam and Mike’s arrival from LaGuardia will always be.