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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.

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Let Me Whisper in Your Ear

If you’re up on your Met lore, you know that you could just as easily be up on your Meadowlark lore had Joan Payson foisted her first choice for a team name on the new National League ballclub she was bankrolling. Mrs. Payson liked Meadowlarks and who are we who are native to the Flushing Meadows region to say we wouldn’t have enjoyed the avian identity? When baby names were being weighed sixty-one years ago — time, like the meadowlark itself, really tends to fly —The Sporting News reasoned one prism through which to view Mrs. Payson’s pet pick was that “everything’s a lark” for “New York men-about-town,” a.k.a. presumed ticket-buyers prowling the Metropolitan Area.

Whatever the team was about to be called (and the media fix was pretty much in for Mets, Mrs. Payson’s personal preferences notwithstanding), all concerned understood the town in question was a National League town. There wouldn’t have been much ado about naming an expansion team had there not been a need to expand. And, oh, was there a need to expand. New York went from two National League teams to none in a veritable blink. For four seasons, former fans of the Giants and former fans of the Dodgers were left to make like ex-Giant and future Met hitting coach Rogers Hornsby: stare out the window and wait for spring. Except in this case, spring was metaphorical. It had been endless winter since the fall of 1957. Baseball needed to come back to town in National League form. No substitutes, no matter how conventionally successful they appeared from a distance, were to be accepted.

You know the basics of the rest. The National League expanded into New York, a town it never should have departed; the Mets took the field as the Mets in 1962; and, save for the occasional management lockout of players/middle finger to fans, we’ve been entranced by the Mets ever since.

A lark for those native to the Flushing Meadows region.

All of which is my way inviting you to have a listen to a new Mets podcast I’m a part of called National League Town, a celebration of Mets Fandom, Mets History, Mets Life. Mets podcasting, richly populated by talented talkers as it is, may not have needed an expansion franchise, but my friend and fellow Mets devotee Jeff Hysen and I created one anyway. Well, he created it. Jeff also produces it; edits it; engineers it, emcees it; and puts it where people can hear it. I named it — and I think out loud about the Mets into the general vicinity of a microphone until Jeff presses pause on his end.

We’re still tweaking the format.

It’s a lark of sorts for this New York man-about-blog. Hopefully, as we go along, you’ll feel like you’ve grabbed a seat next to Jeff and me in Promenade some sunny Saturday afternoon as we go on about that season or that game or that moment that has suddenly leapt to mind. We’re in the midst of a several-part series on who we’d add to the Mets Hall of Fame. The short answer is basically everybody, but perhaps you’ll enjoy listening in on the details. We’ll probably veer into the present-day Mets once there are present-day Mets. Honestly, it’s the tangents you’ll want to stay tuned for.

Episodes of National League Town, with Long Island’s Own Greg Prince and Jeff Hysen, is searchable on all your favorite podcast platforms and accessible via this link.

5 comments to Let Me Whisper in Your Ear

  • Seth

    Sounds great, I’ll give the podcast a listen.

    My favorite alternate history rewrite is that we never should have had the Mets. One or both of those 2 NL team teams should have stayed, been given a new stadium in Flushing, and California could have waited for the expansion. They would have had their teams soon enough anyway, and millions of hearts wouldn’t have been broken.

  • Kevin from Flushing

    L’chaim and L’gm!

  • eric1973

    The way this franchise has played over much of its history, ‘The New York Meds’ may just have been wholly appropriate!

  • Disco Ball

    Dude–use a larger font.

  • open the gates

    More Mets is good. More Greg Prince Mets is even better. Can’t wait to hear you, and I hope you guys are on Spotify.