Rod Kanehl, Second Baseman, 1962.
On August 29, 1962, twenty-six games remained, but the Mets had done it. The ballclub had lost its 100th game. In his classic telling of this first campaign, Can't Anyone Here Play This Game, Jimmy Breslin writes:
It was not rough. It was, instead, the finest thing to happen to the sport of baseball since Abe Attell helped save the game by deciding that, seeing as long as it made people so mad, he was not going to become involved with anyone who was trying to fix World Series games... [T]he New York Mets came to the rescue. Dressed in their striped uniforms, with blue lettering and orange piping, they put fun into life. It was hell to play for them, but for anybody who watched them it was great. This was what you wanted out of life. This was Bert Lahr in The Wizard of Oz or the Marx Brothers in Room Service. The Mets tried to play baseball, and the players trying to do it were serious. But the whole thing came out as great comedy, and it was the tonic the sport needed. People did not follow the Mets. They loved the Mets. Absolutely anything the Mets did last season, from a viewer's position, was great.
The Mets went 6-20 to close the season at a major league record 40-120.
- When Santana won his Cy Young in Minnesota, he threw no small credit to his fellow Venezuelan Henry Blanco (turns 41). Santana put in the phone call to bring "Hank White" to the Mets in 2010, where the catcher was all glove, no hit in 50 games.
- On the same day in 1960, two minor Mets came screaming into the world. For the '82 Mets, Rusty Tillman hit a single and a double and stole a base in 12 games. Continuing with the A's and Giants, he had a 38 game career. Bill Latham struck out 10 batters in 22 innings in 1985. He saw his last action, as a Twin, the following season.
Game of Note
On August 29, 2009, the Mets were down to their final strike before rallying to load the bases for Carlos Beltran, who belted it out of Dolphin Stadium. Ollie Perez, the starter, allowed early runs in a five-walk special before Dr. Socks and Joe Smith scorelessly calmed the waters. In the top of the ninth, it was 2-1 Marlins. Cancel and Reyes were retired; Castillo and Wright singled; Delgado was plunked; and the Beltran grand slam vaulted the Mets ahead by three. Luis Ayala gave two runs back in the bottom half, but was left just enough room to breathe.
Amazin'-ly Tenuous Connection
Today marks a dark anniversary: seven years since Hurricane Katrina battered the Gulf Coast and laid to waste sections of a great American city. 1986 Met Barry Lyons rode out the storm with his family in Biloxi, Miss., losing his home and his World Series ring to the winds and rain. But possessions were an afterthought as Lyons, his wife, daughter, and dog floated on mattresses yards above floor level in their home. After the storm, the former catcher joined the Salvation Army center in Biloxi as its athletic coordinator.