Thursday, August 10, 2006

step right up and greet the Mets

The Mets have always been my favorite baseball team. My father had adopted them as his team after the New York Baseball Giants deserted him. He would bring me to Shea Stadium at least once a year when I was in grammar school. Now that I think about it, we would often go to a game when the team that had jilted him was visiting from San Francisco. I consider myself a true Mets fan because I liked them when they were still the worst team in baseball. My loyalties were cemented when they won the World Series. My father gave me record album with Lindsey Nelson's play by play highlights of their "amazin'" season. Only after moving here did I learn that Lindsey Nelson is a UT alumnus and that while he worked for the Mets, he lived in the same neighborhood as my family. Much like the way I knew the names of all the Apollo astronauts, I also knew the names of all the New York Mets. When you say shortstop, I think Bud Harrelson. Number 21? Cleon Jones. My favorite player? Ron Swoboda. I interviewed him a couple of years ago during a "Where Are They Wednesday" segment.

Today I went online and bought tickets to see the Mets play the Nationals at RFK Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The last time I went to a baseball game was about a year and a half ago. I saw the Mets and the Nationals play a spring training game in Florida. My interest in baseball was badly damaged by a strike several years ago. I still watch a couple of games on TV at the start of the season but not that many during the summer. I would wait to see which teams were going to make the playoffs before deciding how much of the postseason to watch.

Perry Simon wrote an interesting piece about baseball cards last week. Because my mother and grandmother didn't throw them away, I still have my collection of cards from the year after the Mets first won the World Series. Like Perry, I bought my cards in wax paper packages that came with a flat piece of gum. I traded my duplicates with classmates to get the cards I was missing. I don't have a complete set but I have enough to bring back plenty of memories. My cards are stored in a red plastic case, organized by team. Some of the teams have long since moved and changed names. The cards serve as a reminder of the Seattle Pilots, Washington Senators and Montreal Expos. Technically the California Angels have changed names a couple of times too.

The News Sentinel Extra is a free supplement that gets delivered to our house once a week. The top story this week is about Major League Baseball players who have retired to East Tennessee because they love the area. The biggest name in the article is former Yankee Graig Nettles. My baseball cards are so old that he's in my collection as a Cleveland Indian.
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Anonymous Becki said...

Is that some kind of Peep machine? Hum....

Blogger Frank Strovel III said...

I saw the Mets in 1992 when they played the Orioles in an exhibition game the day before Opening Day. It was the first game ever at Camden Yards.

I remember Vince Coleman, Bobby Bonilla, Dwight Gooden and a young David Cone.

O's won.

Blogger Frank Murphy said...

I remember going to an exhibition game at RFK stadium in the late '80s or early '90s. I think it was also the Mets vs. the Orioles. I remember the snow flurries more than I remember the game.

Blogger Frank Murphy said...

Becki, you have a good eye. I received the Peeps maker as a gift and I display it proudly on my office shelves.

Anonymous Pam Mc said...

Great collection Frank.


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