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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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Day of Our Lives

I looked at Jon Matlack from a Promenade’s distance on Saturday and thought of the Jon Matlack game I inevitably think of when I think of Jon Matlack: the 1-0 loss to Chicago on the final Sunday in 1973, emblematic of tough luck among very good Mets pitchers and a reminder that a 1-0 loss, even in the heat (or dampness, as was the case at Wrigley Field that September 30) of a pennant race, doesn’t necessarily indicate somebody hasn’t done his job.

Max Scherzer did his job Sunday. He held the Colorado Rockies to one run over seven innings, the 2022 equivalent of Jon Matlack holding the Cubs to one run over eight innings nearly fifty years ago. Matlack and the Mets survived then — they’d win the nightcap of their doubleheader, then the game that clinched the East on Monday afternoon — and the Mets will survive now. Give us seven innings of Max Scherzer striking out eleven, walking one and allowing only four hits every time, and we’ll take our chances that the Mets will score two or more runs to make Max’s effort as worthwhile as possible.

On Sunday, they scored no runs. German Marquez and two relievers held the Mets in check, resulting in that timeless neo-classic, the 1-0 defeat. We’ve grown to almost expect such a score when Jacob deGrom is dealing. Now he has a comrade in unrequited excellence. Yet deGrom keeps bringing it, Scherzer keeps bringing it and the Mets, we can rightly believe, will keep bringing it, whether it’s against the mighty Dodgers in the three games ahead or all those teams that aren’t the Dodgers in the weeks to follow.

And we’ll keep looking at old Mets and thinking of old games and drawing parallels and conclusions and memories from them. That is why, or is one of the umpteen reasons why, Old Timers Day was such a blowout victory for this organization.

More to come.

As noted in the space allotted mainly to celebrating the Mets’ retirement of No. 24 for Willie Mays (I can’t repeat enough that such a thing actually happened), I attended Old Timers Day this year. I hadn’t attended an Old Timers Day since 1994. No Mets fan had, at least not the Mets kind. Before Saturday, I had been to seven Mets Old Timers Days. The figure hadn’t budged in 28 years. I never expected it to budge. We all had experience at shouting into a veritable void that Old Timers Day should make a comeback, that Mets fans would cherish the opportunity to toast our own history, that there was Mets history to gulp by the gallon. Jason can confirm that we brought it up, face-to-face, to former Mets decisionmakers. The former Mets decisionmakers said, in so many words, tish-tosh and poppycock to the concept of Mets Old Timers Day.

Aren’t you glad those are former Mets decisionmakers?

Before we immerse ourselves anew in battling potential playoff opponents and, for that matter, securing playoff participation, I just have to express once more how absolutely frigging awesome it was to have Old Timers Day back on Saturday. Mays and 24 you know about and hopefully read about. But all the stuff before and after Willie was so fun and so joyous and so moving, too.

Such as? Such as…

• John Stearns making it in from Colorado in not the best of health, but try keeping Bad Dude from throwing himself into the middle of the action.

Long Island’s Own Steve Dillon (LIOSD) not only pitching at age 79, but backing up home plate on a run-scoring single because he’s a pitcher, never mind that he’s 79.

• Endy Chavez apparently still active, based on the way he chased down fly balls and snagged line drives.

• The enmeshing of family members of Mets who couldn’t be on hand with the Mets who could use an escort to the foul line, and everybody being a part of the Met family.

• The guts, the gauntness, the gaits, the gray…listen, we all age, yet all Mets stay Mets.

More to come.

• A handful of 1962 Mets, which is pretty good considering how long ago 1962 was.

• A handful of 1969 Mets, which seems pretty light until you consider how long ago 1969 was.

• Another handful of Mets from 1973, including the aforementioned Mr. Matlack (who won the start after losing 1-0 by prevailing 5-0 and throwing an NLCS two-hitter in the process).

• Ed Kranepool, common denominator of the 1962, 1969 and 1973 Mets, still with us and still standing with the aid of a cane festooned by curly orange NYs.

• Shea Stadium’s Queen of Melody Jane Jarvis, albeit recorded, with the national anthem on the Thomas Organ.



• PEDRO!!! (Pedro Martinez’s calling card may not be his Met years, but geez, when he shows up, he’s gonna make sure you think of him as yours and only yours.)

• DOC!!!



• The 1986 gang getting to wear the de facto Met uniform of record and at first looking a little underdressed, then looking just right in button-down home pinstripes.

• First-pitch honors for Jay Hook, who pitched the first game the Mets ever won, on April 23, 1962, never mind how many losses were incurred before that W went up on the board, but let’s just say the Mets had been trying to win one since April 11, 1962.

• My exaggerated applause for the likes of Mike Hampton, Doug Sisk, Steve Trachsel and Joe Torre to counteract any stray booer incapable of setting one’s memory to “selective” for a love-in like it oughta be.

• All the sometimes Yankees who in at least a little piece or perhaps a larger portion of their hearts will always or sometimes be Mets — I particularly found myself modestly sentimental for 1969 Mets fan, 1992 Mets second baseman and 2006 Mets division champion manager Willie Randolph, conveniently remembering only the biographical notes that enabled the warmest of welcomes.

• A sudden bout of amnesia regarding which players played with which players when, because on Saturday, I swear Daniel Murphy must have been on the same team with Benny Agbayani, and Kevin Elster surely played behind Turk Wendell, and Todd Hundley had to have caught Bartolo Colon, and didn’t Bobby Valentine manage both Rafael Santana and Jose Reyes?

• The fans, the fans, the fans — there were not only a ton of us, but we were so absolutely into it, from the massive lines to get into the park before the gates opened when they weren’t giving anything away to the veritable Museum Collection of fabrics and identities represented on so many backs.

More to come.

You could tell how happy the Mets from all eras were. You could tell how happy the Mets fans from all eras were. We came together in the present to honor the past and we’ll be talking about this day well into the future.

Amazin’ coordination, Jay Horwitz. Amazin’ stewardship, Steve Cohen. Amazin’ seeing you, everybody I saw on Saturday. Amazin’ day, eternally.

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