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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.

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Mets Yearbook: 1983

Tonight at 7, prior to the pregame show, SNY takes us back to the bridge linking the fetid past with the promising future via Mets Yearbook: 1983. The campaign in question yielded the Mets’ seventh consecutive terrible record (68-94) but ended on a reasonably high note (31-29). More foretelling, the season marked the Met debuts of Darryl Strawberry and Keith Hernandez along with the continued establishment of Mookie Wilson and Hubie Brooks. Mix in George Foster’s return to competence, Jesse Orosco’s emergence as relief ace and the late-year glimpses of rookie pitchers Ron Darling and Walt Terrell, and suddenly it didn’t seem so crazy that 1984 might not be as bad as everything that had immediately preceded it.

But that was for another year. For tonight, enjoy the hint of things to come.

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

25 comments to Mets Yearbook: 1983

  • InsidePitcher

    DVR set – thanks Greg!

  • Sam B

    I’ll never forget how excited I was when Mookie scored from second on a groundout to win a game against the Pirates.

    That did happen, right?

  • Patrick O'Hern

    If I recall correctly it happened twice in one week. (Maybe not against Pirates both times.)

    • Practice made perfect.

      Mookie, in the meantime, establishes a signature play. He will actually replicate it three days later, scoring from second under eerily similar circumstances (one out, grounder, same cast of supporting batters, same winning pitcher). His recognition as one of the sport’s true generators of excitement grows.

  • Joe D.

    Greg,

    Thanks for reminding me for I thought it was one of the episodes already aired. Will add it to my Met video collection which already has all the past Yearbook selections.

    This one will appear alongside the Mets all time team and 50 greatest players specials.

    Joe

    • Dak442

      I know it’s a little after the fact, but I only just got around to watching the 50 Greatest Players special. Is Mike Piazza for real? He couldn’t spare a day or two out of his busy schedule of charity golf and not much else to make an appearance? Geez, Tom Seaver is twice his age and flew out from California! He couldn’t even be bothered to make a 30-second video!

      I love Mike. He was an all-time Met, and provided a great many thrills. But this really struck me as lame. I hope he had a legitimate reason to blow this off, like he was out of the country or something, but he could have made a better effort.

  • Dave

    Funny how they kind of glossed over Seaver…my Dad’s theory was that the Mets losing him in that free agent compensation pool draft was no accident. Johnson wanted young players who would see him as the boss, not a living legend who might have been a self-appointed alternate pitching coach. Writing him out of the year’s highlights would be consistent with that.

    • Steve D

      Glossed over? Not mentioning that Seaver pitched opening day would have made Stalin proud.

    • Looked like a late edit that 29 years later fooled nobody. Also, as with the 1985 edition, SNY’s refusal to pay for music rights rendered the narrative limp. Instead of snappy storytelling montages, you just had free-form highlights set to cheap production music, thereby sucking all the life from each sequence. As was the case with ’85, very disappointing.

  • Lou

    Frankly I am a little tired at looking back at past futility with this organization. Historically there have been far too many periods of rebuilding. The 1983 year book will remind us of good things to come. Well those things came and went. Why the Mets failed to sustain the greatness they achieved in the mid to late 80s’and let the city slip away to the Yankees simply illustrates the ineptitude of management. I do feel good in regards to the “current” future but just as long as the Wilpons sign the checks and keep their hands out of baseball decisions.

    • It took 23 editions of Mets Yearbook for somebody to find one of the recurring themes (the Mets sucked a lot and tried to sell it as something not so bad) less than charming. No wonder Never Forget 83 is still available as a url.

      Granted, the future was then and much blue and orange water has passed under the Whitestone, but I have to say I loved that for once in these things, the stuff about the kids who are coming any minute — Gooden and Darling in particular — actually panned out.

      I can live with the past futility. I look forward to limiting the next wave of it, however, starting this afternoon.

  • Guy Kipp

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    Piazza’s absence seemed curious, to say the least. And Seaver’s participation certainly seemed more engaged and heartfelt than some of his prior publicity appearances for similar honors/events/promotions.
    The fact that, in his 1992 induction speech in Cooperstown, Seaver never bothered to mention the fans still sticks in my craw.

    • Will in Central NJ

      If I’m not mistaken, Seaver never completed his HOF acceptance speech because he was overcome with emotion upon reaching the part where he was going to thank his recently-passed mother. If so, he certainly might be forgiven for never getting to thank the fans from the dais. Does anyone else recall this?

      • I remember the breaking down, but the text seemed to be at its end. Or maybe it was just so dramatic that it felt that way.

        I don’t remember Seaver overlooking the likes of us but it sounds more or less like what he’d do. I did like the bow from the pitcher’s mound when his number went up on the wall. (Wonder what Piazza will do on that occasion.)

      • Steve D

        Seaver fancied himself as a professional whose job it was to go to the mound…he also saw pitching as his personal art form. Add in a healthy ego and that is what made him great. He wasn’t doing it necessarily for the fans, but for his own satisfaction. That’s fine with me. He didn’t totally neglect the fans…when he was traded, he broke down on the famous quote “as far as the fans go…I’ve given them a great number of thrills…and they’ve been equally returned…and that ovation I got the other night…” A reporter then asked “you going to miss them Tom?”…he nodded his head…couldn’t even speak…then uttered the famous line to himself “c’mon George.”

        • And that reporter? Former WFAN host (then future WFAN host) Spencer Ross.

          • Steve D

            Gotta be honest Greg…just re-listened to that…does not sound like Spencer Ross at all. He has a very distinctive voice…I’m going to need further proof.

          • Spencer Ross mentioned it on the FAN once. Perhaps this Sunday at 4 PM when he hosts one of the anniversary shows he’ll mention it again.

          • Steve D

            Looked at the footage yet again…I do see Spencer Ross sitting right next to Seaver, now that you mention it. However when the words “you going to miss them Tom?” are uttered, his lips are not moving. Therefore, he did not ask that question. If he says he did, his memory is faulty, or he is a great ventriloquist.

          • Typical self-aggrandizing Ross…or maybe I mistakenly recast his role. He was on the brain from FANniversary fever, apparently.

          • OK, it’s all slowly coming back to me, with help from Jack Lang’s 25th anniversary book:

            “As far as the fans go, I’ve given them a great number of thrills and they’ve been equally returned. The ovation I got the other–”

            Seaver’s voice broke off and he began to sob. He tried to continue but could not. His head bowed again, he asked for a reporter’s notebook and scribbled a few words. He asked the reporter to read it and sat and listened quietly to what he had written: “And the ovation I got the other night after passing Sandy Koufax, that will be one of the most memorable and warmest moments in my life.”

            The reporter who read his statement? That, I’m 99.9% sure, was Spencer Ross.

          • Steve D

            That makes sense…the highlight I am watching stops before then, but I vauguely remember that he did write it for a reporter…Ross was next to him…put it in the books.

  • Inside Pitcher

    How do they talk about Opening Day 1983 without mentioning Seaver?

  • Nick

    They were probably embarrassed as to how they lost Seaver in the compesation pool in the off-season so they didnt mention him at all, very lame. No mention of Kingman either, though you see him in various highlights in this film.