Is Ted Williams right? Are the '69 Mets the start of a dynasty?
Now the Mets feel that they will be back, too, but search and you will not find a man in the entire organization who thought that 1969 would be a year in which the team would win its division championship, let alone a World Series. This was to be a season in which the club became respectable and might even finish as high as third in the East. Just the year before they had wound up 16 games below .500 and in ninth place, 24 games behind pennant-winning St. Louis.
It was absurd to think that New York could win 100 games. But the Mets did. It is equally absurd to believe that those 100 games were won with luck. If one holds to the baseball clichï¿½ that the breaks tend to equal out, then maybe the Mets were repaid all in one season for seven long years of bad breaks.
But, more important, the Mets were a hungry club and gave of themselves as teams do only in novels. Only four of them had been regulars for as long as three years. It was a smart team. Of the 27 men who contributed to New York's rise, 22 had been to collegeâ€”a remarkable percentage for a baseball club. And it was a team that was being prodded from underneath. This year the Met farm system produced four pennants in the minor leagues, twice as many as any other organization, which means that more good new Mets are on their way up.
Looking them over last week, Ted Williams said that he saw the possibility of the Mets becoming a dynasty, and it is pretty hard to doubt anything Teddy Ballgame says these days. Although dynasties have a way of lasting for about a year in the National League, the Mets, bless 'em, always seem to defy established principles. With their victory justly acclaimed as a triumph for baseball, it may be hoped that any residual tarnish from the hyperbole of Madison Avenue and New York politicians will soon wear off, leaving only the warm success that is likely to endure and honor the sport.
A seven-year joke and a fraying one at that: the Mets - 10.27.69 - SI Vault