Last week the Mets released the full promotion schedule for the upcoming 2013 season. All the usual suspects were there: bobblehead giveaways tied into the All-Star Game; the rescheduled Banner Day; Fireworks Nights (2 this year!).
What I was looking for though was not there – some recognition of the 40th Anniversary of the 1973 team.
You remember that team, don’t you?
They won the National League East (1 of only 5 Mets teams to do so).
They won the NLCS by beating the Big Red Machine in 5 games (1 of only 4 Mets teams to win the NL ttitle).
They lost to the Oakland A’s in seven games.
How about this. They were the team that inspired the phrase Ya Gotta Believe!
Oh that you do remember.
As soon as I noticed the omission I tweeted it out (from @dtwohig), and it was retweeted by @metspolice. The response? One retweet and no comments. Makes me wonder if we’ve forgotten, or even care about the 73 team.
Look, it’s understandable. That 73 team was not the best team the Mets have ever had. They weren’t among the top 5 teams in Mets history. In fact, based on record, there were 20 seasons that ranked better than the 73 season. In 6 of them the team even finished 3rd
But the 73 team did something that only 3 others did – they won the National League and played in the World Series. If you are reading this, I’m assuming you are a Mets fan so you do know how rare that is.
Something else to think about. That 73 team had 3 Hall of Famers associated with it – Tom Seaver on the mound, Willie Mays in center, and Yogi Berra managing in the dugout. By contrast the 69 team only had 2 (Seaver and Nolan Ryan). And that 86 team? Just 1 (Gary Carter).
This franchise doesn’t have a lot of shining moments in the 51 seasons they have played ball. One member of that 73 season – the inspirational leader in many ways – has already passed away. (Of course I’m talking about Tug McGraw). If the Mets wait until 2023 for the 50th Anniversary of that team I fear others will be missing as well.
Don’t let this year pass without doing something to recognize that scrappy, over-achieving team.