The blog for Mets fans
who like to read


Greg Prince and Jason Fry
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.

Got something to say? Leave a comment, or email us at (Sorry, but we have no interest in ads, sponsored content or guest posts.)

Need our RSS feed? It's here.

Visit our Facebook page, or drop by the personal pages for Greg and Jason.

Or follow us on Twitter: Here's Greg, and here's Jason.

Casey Stengel Scouts a Maternity Ward

The following scene occurred at Caledonian Hospital in Flatbush on this very afternoon in 1962. Or so I’ve decided 59 years after the fact.

I know ya might be in th’ mood t’ wail yer lungs out, young feller, what seein’ ya just got yerself born, but no need t’ be spooked. It’s just yer ol’ friend on a scoutin’ trip. Well, we ain’t ol’ friends yet, but we’re gonna be. It’s never too early t’ start gettin’ t’ know one another, I figger.

It’s all frank an’ earnest. I got in here with one of them keys t’ th’ city, so I’m legitimate. This key is what ya get if ya live long enough an’ maybe stay in one place without being removed from yer place of high-profile employment, which I was a couple of years ago, but not until after I won that other team a whole bundle of flags an’ titles. They showed their gratitude by dismissin’ me when I won one but not th’ other. That taught me t’ start turnin’ seventy. Keep it in mind fer when ya start gettin’ old.

This feller could talk a newborn’s ear off.

I don’t mean t’ disturb yer sleep. Yer gonna need it after gettin’ born in th’ dead of winter, which is what a lotta men my age are at th’ present time, but commencin’ livin’ now is a good plan ’cuz ya get yer nappin’ in an’ not on th’ bench because we’re gonna need ya t’ start makin’ noise in April when we commence our second season. It’s gonna be yer first, which is why I come all th’ way t’ Brooklyn t’ have a chat with ya.

Ya don’t know me yet, but I wanna get t’ know ya an’ yer little chums. I guess ya don’t have any yet, but ya will. Ya need t’ come out t’ th’ Polo Grounds an’ help us as soon as ya can. I don’t think yer ready t’ take grounders, but maybe ya can get in th’ grandstand an’ start shoutin’ encouragements at my players. Between you an’ me, kid, they could use th’ help.

Here’s th’ truth, pal. We weren’t very good last year. Have they shown ya a sports page yet? We finished at th’ bottom of th’ league an’ even though th’ season ended three months ago, they’re still talkin’ about my Amazin’, Amazin’ Mets. I’ll let ya in on a secret, kid. I made up that “Amazin’” bit t’ keep th’ press’s an’ th’ public’s eyes from watchin’ my ballplayers too close. It caught on all ironical like.

Yer chart here says ya won’t be stickin’ around Brooklyn fer long. I got relocated from here myself an’ went t’ manage up in Boston. That didn’t work so good neither. Them Braves was so bad, they changed their name t’ th’ Bees. Losses found us irregardleess of identity. I didn’t get t’ be a genius until they got me some players. Life is like that, kid. Maybe ya should start writin’ this stuff down, as soon as ya can pick up a pencil.

Says on th’ chart yer gonna be takin’ up residence in Long Island. Oh, excuse me, on Long Island. Never met an infant that corrected my usage my burping at me. Well, yer in luck, pal, because we’re buildin’ a bee-YOO-tiful new ballpark out there near where yer gonna live. Ya can take one of Mr. Moses’s bright an’ shiny freeways, or maybe use th’ locomotive.

My players ain’t gonna be much better this year than last year. We’re gonna have some new players. Got this boy Hunt from Milwaukee, which used t’ be Boston. I’m gonna give him a shot when we get t’ camp. An’ this Bright feller…a very Burright feller, he’s comin’ over from th’ Los Angeleses with Darkness. Or Harkness. I can’t keep ’em straight. That’s why I didn’t want any more Bob Millers or Nelsons or whatever their name was. Th’ point is, son, my Amazin’ Mets won’t be Amazin’ fer th’ wrong reason f’rever. Mrs. Payson, th’ nice lady who owns all those horses an’ paintin’s an’ us, is preparin’ t’ fund a very generous payroll, my old friend George Weiss is hirin’ some first-class scouts an’ we’ve got that ballpark that’s gonna have escalators an’ clean restrooms when it opens an’ no pillars or posts. I’m hopin’ t’ not have t’ watch from a box seat just yet.

I used my key t’ th’ city t’ enter this here maternity ward t’ tell ya how Amazin’ it’s all gonna be an’ if yer lookin’ fer a ballclub t’ call yer own as soon as ya can talk an’ buy a ticket, ya oughta consider my Amazin’ Mets an’ make ’em yer Amazin’ Mets. I got this idea that we’re gonna be th’ Youth of America on th’ field an’ have th’ Youth of America pullin’ fer us in the new stadium, because even though we’re not world-beaters by any means yet, we’re gonna give everybody a chance, like that young Kranepool feller who ain’t as young as you but ain’t much older, an’, by th’ by, if yer thinkin’ of any other teams on th’ local baseball scene, yer not gonna be as comfortable as ya are in that blanket if ya go in another direction. That other team looks good now, but I know their farm system from th’ inside. It’s about run dry.

Look, I know ya prob’ly got a big night ahead a’ ya, bein’ born on New Year’s Eve an’ all. Fer me, every night is New Year’s Eve, except I don’t need t’ see a big droppin’ of th’ ball because my first baseman last year Mr. Throneberry dropped enough balls an’ when it came time fer a birthday party in our clubhouse, I preferred we didn’t give him no cake because he was prob’ly gonna drop that, too.

Hey, is that a smile on yer face? Look at that, yer a born Mets fan. I oughta be goin’. Just do me one favor, kid. Make yer first word “mama” or “papa”. Th’ parents in this here city are givin’ me grief how all th’ toddlers are goin’ around sayin’ “Metsie, Metsie” instead of “mama” or “papa”. They say “Metsie, Metsie”.

There’ll be plenty of time fer that. I’ll see ya at that ballpark soon enough.

14 comments to Casey Stengel Scouts a Maternity Ward