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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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A Holiday Classic/Retread

It may be Christmastime in Hell (seven circles down, two burning to go), but let's take a break from accentuating the negative for a couple of minutes at least.

On Xmas afternoon three years ago, I drifted off into a beautiful nap. When I awoke at 5 PM (I looked at the clock), CD 101.9 was playing a festive version of “My Favorite Things”. Inspirational lightning struck inside my refreshed head, pushing me out of bed. I strode to the iMac and ripped off Rodgers and Hammerstein, among others.

Borrowed not just the melody to create a parody, but also ripped off the idea of parodying “My Favorite Things”; I'm certain I saw Rick Reilly or Steve Rushin do it in Sports Illustrated somewhere along the way. It's an old chestnut, and as Denis Leary said in The Job, there's a reason something becomes an old chestnut…because it works.

The lyrics created to fit the subject at hand reflect the history of our team as well as the state of the Mets, particularly my perception of them as they stood on December 25, 2002. I was going to update them to incorporate the past three seasons, but I'm too lazy. And, besides, I think I have a topical hook.

You'll see an early and bitter reference to two events that took place that month, the Mets' classless failure to re-sign Edgardo Alfonzo and their baffling decision to hire Tom Glavine. At the time, I was devastated by both, especially — as I've mentioned previously — the dismissal of Fonzie. This week, the No. 9 Greatest Met of the First Forty Years was on the move, traded by the Giants to the Angels for Steve Finley. My first thought was LAA is on Kaz's list of approved teams for a trade, let's get going. My second thought was, wow, it sure was a long time ago that Edgardo Alfonzo seemed the difference between past Met success and imminent Met debacle. (Glavine, as noted repeatedly down the stretch, belatedly proved himself a keeper.)

I'd still like Fonzie back. I envision him in some vague elder statesman/backup IF/2B tutor capacity. I can't picture him in the American League. I can picture him coming home and fulfilling the Mazz '86 role…though I can also see a Cedeño '02 thing. Probably isn't gonna happen either way, but it's nice to think about.

As for what follows, a tiny handful of readers may recognize it. After I wrote it, I sent it to my beloved e-mail group, among whom it was remarked upon favorably for a couple of days, which warmed me no end. Now I'd like to share it with any of the Faithful and Fearful who are yearning for a stockingful of baseball references, obvious and obscure, two nights before Christmas.

Hum the whole thing, taking the time to get the cadences just right, and Santa will be here before you know it. I believe in length.

Merrys and Happys all around.

My Favorite Things, 1962-2002

Apples in top hats that rise to occasion

Fran Healy announcing a summer vacation

Steve Phillips' cell phone when it doesn't ring

These are a few of my favorite things

Extra Dry Rheingold and Carvel in helmets

Four-fifty pretzels and three-dollar peanuts

Durocher's black cat and the dogs we let out

These are the things that I sing about

Eleven-game win streaks and two ten-run innings

A happy recap born of humble beginnings

High fives and low fives and Steve Henderson

These are what bring me back time and again

When Fred Wilpon

Pays Tom Glavine

While Fonzie goes unsigned

I simply remember I root for the Mets

And it's much too late for me to resign

Field level boxes from corporate connections

Changing at Woodside and catching the Seven

Liza Minnelli and Jay Payton hug

These are the things that I dig and I've dug

Shipping Puleo and bringing back Seaver

Since Seventy-Three saying I'm a believer

Olerud's hard hat and Shinjo's wrist bands

These are some reasons I'm one of the fans

Serenading Chipper by given name Larry

Exchanging Harry Chiti for Chiti, yes, Harry

Takeoffs and landings o'er everyone's head

These must be why I'm loyal 'til I'm dead

When the GM

Gets Matt Lawton

And casts off Rick Reed

I simply remember the Mets are my team

That must be all I need

'Rock and Roll Part Two' as Mike circles bases

Shock and dismay on the Rocket's two faces

David Mlicki picking his spot

Makes me glad the Mets won and the Yankees did not

Len-ee! and Ben-ee! and that Theodore stork

The National League returns to New York

Alex Ochoa hits for the cycle

These are the things that still make me smile

Banners and placards and the original sign man

Agee making catches that nobody else can

Swoboda's dive…Cleon's shoe polish

Miracles Orioles had to acknowledge

When Ordoñez

Learns some English

And calls us all stupid

I simply remember I've been a Mets fan

Ever since I was a kid

Throneberry, Strawberry, Koosman comma Jerry

A Todd Worrell fastball for HoJo to bury

Corners of K's and Ojeda's dead fish

Make summer's arrival my next birthday wish

Davey's short in the outfield, so uses Orosco

Joe Orsulak's swing, which was sweeter than Bosco

Hernandez on bunts and Kranepool in a pinch

When it comes to the Mets, I won't give an inch

Not sitting in front of a loud, drunken yeller

Wes Westrum proclaiming another cliffdweller

Lindsey tells me Shamsky's around in right

These are what I recall by day and by night

When Grant Roberts

Is caught toking

In Newsday or the News

I simply remember that nobody's perfect

And don't let the Mets give me the blues

Ventura's grand, but Tank stops him from scoring

Bobby V wore disguises but never was boring

Mora crossed home on a pitch that was wild

Things that make me cry like some kind of child

Grote going back and grabbing a pop-up

Sisk coming in but, relax, just to mop up

Mookie Wilson's nubber trickling fair down the line

What happened next will always blow my mind

Not yet a no-hitter, but anticipation

Gregg Jefferies for five weeks a rookie sensation

Knight against Davis and Buddy v. Pete

These are the things, I admit, I find neat

When Armando

Blows his next save

As he inevitably will

I simply remember the leads he held onto

And then I don't feel so ill

Number twenty-four staying mostly retired

Thanking the Good Lord when Torborg got fired

Kingman's second stay when he handed out pens

Ralph breaking it down right after the end

'Lazy Mary' plays and we keep on stretching

Mel Rojas would pitch and he'd get us all kvetching

Mettle the Mule, DeRoulet, Richie Hebner

Seventy-Nine, I can't help but remember

Gary Carter's knees all wrapped up like a mummy

DiPoto made butterflies float in my tummy

Thinking we're set because we've got Mike Vail

Yet I stick with the Mets, succeed or fail

When Burnitz and

Alomar crash

When Cedeño and Mo go down

I simply remember they all had bad luck

And convince myself they'll turn it around

Calvin Schiraldi preceding Bob Stanley

A superstar catcher explains that he's manly

Franco plays Santa and Rusty serves ribs

The Mets speak to me my second language

M. Donald Grant burning in hell

Knowing AY can't be charged with an L

Clearing the clubhouse of sparklers and bleach

And knowing the Wild Card's still within reach

A general manager who knows what he's doing

Every position manned by McEwing

Best infield ever, or so said SI

They're all gone now, though I don't know why

When the Mets are

Labeled quitters

And demand apologies

I simply remember they're sensitive people

And then I don't go, 'oh geez'

Casey could choose from a pair of Bob Miller

Al Jackson, pre-Michael, the original Thriller

¡Yo la tengo!, Ashburn called out to Chacon

With the Mets on the West Coast, I don't sleep alone

Part of 'Men In Black' and a scene from 'Odd Couple'

Scrappy platoons like Backman and Teufel

Staiger, Mankowski, a parade of third basemen

When the Cubs finished sixth, we stayed out of the basement

Shea in the daytime, enjoying it all

Gil Hodges eventually making the Hall

Clendenon and Brogna and even Todd Zeile

Glad tidings to Mets is the feeling I feel

When Steve Trachsel's

Paid by the hour

Or works as if that's his deal

I simply remember his good Earned Run Average

And he's practically a steal

Al Leiter's cutter and buddy Mike Bloomberg

A mayor to whom our team is more than a rumor

Dave Magadan speeds to a deliberate crawl

Gosh I hope that the Mets are around in the fall

Prospects from Norfolk and before that Visalia

Jane Jarvis's organ would never assail ya

Chief Noc-A-Homa taking knocks from The Dude

If only Mets ushers weren't nearly as rude

Old Timers Day inspiring Terry Cashman

A less uptight version of bowtied Frank Cashen

Pretending Nolan Ryan had stayed his career

Wishing Sojo had been kicked in the rear

When the Mets win

None in August

And I'm there for every loss

I simply remember things can only get better

And then my cookies don't go for a toss

Brent as in Mayne, not the Maine of Ed Muskie

Schofield who's skinny and Butch who is Huskey

Piling on Rocker a surfeit of malice

Sunny Frank Howard, the tart tongue of Dallas

Dependable backstops, the Gonders, the Dyers

The weight-lifting antics of Randall K. Myers

'Bring on Ron Gaspar,' a gaffe of F. Robby

Waiting for Reyes becoming a hobby

Clipping coupons from a Dairylea carton

The serendipitous wrist of the great J.C. Martin

McCarver says triples are better than sex

Just call Five Oh Seven T-I-X-X

When team meetings

Are more frequent

Than team victories

I simply remember when they'd shut up and play

And then I don't feel unease

Bring your kids to see our kids, said with a straight face

Beating the Expos and entering first place

It not being over when it hadn't expired

Trading Bonilla when his act grew tired

McReynolds bolting to beat city traffic

Rickey drawing walks and then wreaking havoc

Debating Gerry Moses's lifetime Met status

Responding when Bill Hands was throwing right at us

Don Bosch and Don Hahn and good old Don Cardwell

Suddenly recalling the right fielder's Gus Bell

Topps, Upper Deck…Pinnacle, Fleer

Each pack should include at least two Bruce Boisclair

When one player

Accosts another

About his rookie card

I simply remember we're talking grown men here

And then I don't take it nearly as hard

Revising the yearbook to include Lenny Randle

A roller toward Schmidt and Schmidt losing the handle

Removing the tarp to scattered applause

A call to the bullpen, back after this pause

Hypothetical swaps causing Howie to go nuts

A roster of players, not twenty-five robots

The grass all torn up, irritating Pete Flynn

Who cares if he's angry, so long as we win?

A fortunate bounce from a top-of-the-fence shot

Overcoming the scuffwork of devious Mike Scott

Dave Liddell disappearing after one plate appearance

Not losing an out on lame interference

When Tarasco

And Mark Corey

Are found dabbling in drugs

I simply decide that it's none of my business

And then I don't blame those lugs

Carl Everett's slam off of Uggie Urbina

Tomatoes by Piggy and not Contadina

An unlikely dinger by speedy Esix

Shortstops like Elster not committing e-six

Darryl Hamilton is served his release

Rich Rodriguez packs his valise

Counting on phenoms like Pulse and Tim Leary

Forgiving Hank Webb, he must've been weary

Happy birthday to dads, Kiner's Father's Day greeting

The occasional smart move at some winter meeting

Nineteen-inning games won by dawn's early light

Followed by fireworks, oh what a sight!

When our rivals

From across town

Win on our own field

I simply remember to turn off the TV

And then my venom might yield

Applauding old heroes when they first come back

A Baltimore fly ball that's caught at the track

Bobby Jones beats the Giants, a Fresno one-hitter

Making Baker and Jeff Kent both act kinda bitter

Rain delay anecdotes that never grow moldy

The Polo Grounds forever a goody if oldie

Greg Goossen projected to some day turn thirty

Finding no cork when Whitey played dirty

Game Three leadoff batters each hitting one out

Scoring twenty-three runs en route to a rout

Two-dozen straight games with hits by Hubie Brooks

The rosin was Wendell's, the tantrums were Cook's

When the playoffs

Elude the Mets

Thanks to five straight defeats

I simply remember to wait 'til next year

And then I go buy my seats

Bass and Barrett strike out, sending gloves in the air

Our new stadium outdraws the World's Fair

During those first years no hint of a rise

Then by Eckert's lot, we draw The Franchise

Simons and Walter and southpaws of woe

They didn't get saves but at least were let go

Payson seemed generous, Doubleday dotty

Mazzilli's a traitor but once was a hottie

Pitchers who'd battle throughout a run dearth

Decreeing D'Amico'd inherit the earth

Shawn Estes took aim, no way he could miss

All he hit was a homer, but that shot was bliss

When Mike Scioscia

Got to Gooden

And turned Game Four around

I simply remember results two years prior

And my mental state's more sound

Hampton before he worried 'bout schools

Escobar when the hype said that he had five tools

Dan Norman's aborted switch-hitting trial

After Montañez tailed off, he still had style

With nobody out, taking a pitch

Learning to spell Gary Rajsich

Rally caps topping noggins when contests get tight

That arm-twirling lady, her hex worked all right

Spahn and the Duke and surly Eddie Murray

Immortals perhaps, gone from here in a hurry

Four pennants waving from the outfield flag pole

Terry Leach coming through in almost any role

When Pendleton

Hit that home run

And stopped us in that race

I simply remember something else would've gone wrong

And then I don't feel disgrace

Promotional items handed to adults

Jumping on Nen and on Hoffman and Smoltz

Picking up the FAN in any location

Our runners not running from station to station

Gary and Murph broadcasting in sync

Sweeping the Pirates when pushed to the brink

Sasser's throw to the mound arrives on the fly

Twelve years of Ron Hodges, that seems rather high

A lineup that featured Youngblood and Taveras

Showing Oil Can Boyd that he didn't scare us

A new media guide, its cover so glossy

Ends with Don Zimmer, begins with Don Aase

When Atlanta

Beats the Mets out

Every time it counts

I simply ignore their stellar track record

And cheer for our boys in greater amounts

Sadecki, McAndrew and every fifth starter

Timo except when he could've run harder

Roger McDowell wearing mask after mask

The answer's the Mets, you don't have to ask

Salty and Cubbage and interim skippers

Todd Hundley's record for receiver round-trippers

Lance Johnson never getting thrown out at third

Never mind 'Grease,' the Mets are the word

Teddy Martinez waved home by Eddie Yost

St. Lucie datelines in the Times and the Post

The Magic Is Back, 'Ball Like It Oughta Be

Printing World Series tickets in Two Thousand Three

When they make bad trades

And guys lose their skills here

Amazing but it's true

I simply remember the phrase, 'Let's Go Mets!'

And there's not much more that I can tell you

7 comments to A Holiday Classic/Retread

  • Anonymous

    Wow! Have a Very Brady Christmas!

  • Anonymous

    You just can't ever beat a classic…
    Great job, Greg!

  • Anonymous

    Greg's smooth conceptions of Mets songs to sing…

  • Anonymous

    A-Rod's fourth finger still sporting no ring…

  • Anonymous

    Hoping Damon's decision leaves him a dope…

  • Anonymous

    And that everyone gets clean with Manor Hall Soap

  • Anonymous

    It's Christmastime, so of course I think about baseball, and all my favorite Met memories…
    The ORIGINAL “Meet The Mets” song (with the banjo's & accordians. Not the disco one from '78 )
    The Serval Zippers sign over the left field wall (now it's U-Haul)
    Karl Erhardt, the Sign Man
    The Baskin-Robbins stand behind home plate (NOT Dippin' Dots)
    Flipping on the game after dinner and seeing Tom Seaver start the first while it was still light out.
    Dirt on Seaver's knee at the end of the game.
    Listening to the game on the radio when the Blackout of '77 hit.
    Arguing with Yankee fans that Lee Mazzilli made a better poster boy than Bucky F. Dent
    Millan choking waaaaaaaaaaaaay up on the bat handle
    John Stearns breaking Dave Parker's face in a home plate collision in '79
    Lindsey Nelson
    Actually being happy with the Ellis Valentine trade.
    My beer is Rhinegold , the dry beer…