New York has the global city status, world financial markets, the United Nations, and Queens groceries; does it really need the cosmopolitan boasting of an Olympics? On this date, 1977, Olympic commissioners decided no, it didn't, and awarded the 1984 Summer Games to the polluted hamlet of Los Angeles.
What would a Big Apple Games have meant? For one, Shea would have seen its upper deck wrapped 360 degrees around to accommodate 90,000 fans in the Olympic Shea Stadium. During construction, the Mets would have played at Yankee Stadium -- where the Yankees play. The Games' partisans blamed Mets chairman M. Donald Grant for tossing wrenches in the works and scuttling the city's chances. Then again, Grant had just traded away Tom Seaver and could be blamed for that, foul weather, and underdone chicken.
Maybe he had a point. In '77, the Mets averaged
90,000 13,504 fans per game.
- Of the Mets' three "Kings" -- Jose, Jo-Jo, and Argenis Reyes -- Jose brought the gold, the other two brought that other weird stuff... frankenstein or whatever. Argenis (turns 30) played a little second base for the '08 and '09 clubs, spelling Luis Castillo. In 58 games he OPS'd .475. His Met career ended with a (non-metaphorical) line drive to the testicles.
- David Weathers (turns 43) was born in the Tennessee town where Davy Crockett set up his powder mill. Instead of killing me a bear when he was only three, Weathers pitched 33 innings for the 2004 Mets.
- Bill Hepler (turns 67) pitched in one and only one major league season, so at least it was with the '66 Mets. He worked 69 innings, walked 51, and escaped with a 3.52 ERA.
Game of Note
Before the 1973 Mets beat the Expos on this date, the Shea faithful took to their feet and cheered Willie Mays. The legend had announced his retirement. His victory lap, happily, lasted into the 7th game of the World Series. When the roars died down, Jerry Koosman and Tug McGraw combined for nine strong innings without an earned run between them, while Felix Millan sac'd Bud Harrelson home and Cleon Jones homered for the go-ahead run. The Mets won for Willie, 2-1.
Amazin'-ly Tenuous Connection
On this date, 1789, the U.S. Congress passed 12 amendments to the Constitution, including 10 known for all time as the Bill of Rights. No politics, but what sort of a second-rate nation can behold this shining example yet continue to table the Bill of Wrongz?