I was seven years old in 1962. That's the year the Mets were born as an expansion team. I don't know if big league ball was seeking to punish New York City for some reason, but the deck was quite stacked against the National League newcomer. The early Mets developed into a symbol of futility. At the same time, a certain charm came to be attached to them. Remember?
They had the eccentric (but smarter than he seemed, of course) Casey Stengel as manager, he of the quips and malaprops. "We have a kid here named Goossen, 20 years old, and in ten years he has a chance to be 30."
My parents bought me a plastic New York Mets helmet when we were out East attending the New York World's Fair in 1964. I remember we were at a subway station when a kid close to my age passed close to me and shouted "the Mets stink!" He was smiling.
There is within all of us a certain affinity with those on the treadmill of below-average performance. Maybe we consider it a starting point. Maybe we just realize that losers are inevitable in life.
I wrote an extensive essay on the 1962 New York Mets on my companion website, "Morris of Course." You'll find the link below, and thanks for reading. At present I have a poem to share about the early New York Mets. I invite you to read and to feel some nostalgia. Remember that by 1969, the Mets shed their image of mediocrity. They won the world championship with Jerry Koosman, West Central Minnesota native, playing a key role. My poem starts out with a reference to the Yankees as New York City's only team when the '60s began. The Giants and Dodgers had left for the West Coast.
The Mets' creation allowed fans in Gotham to finally see the National League again! I invite you to read my retrospective essay:
Where we hear the subways roar