J-E-T-S Mets Mets Mets!
Gang Green played its first game at Shea Stadium on this date in 1964, pulverizing the Denver Broncos before 52,663 fans. I personally like to believe 6-year-old Gary Cohen was among them, citing precedents.
The 30-6 rout was a record margin of victory in the four-year-old AFL, which would merge with the NFL only after Joe Namath and the Jets shocked the world in Super Bowl III. 1969: a good year for Shea Stadium.
In 1984, the Jets moved out the burbs.
- Luis Castillo turns 37 -- no, not 55! A Met in the glory years of 2007-2010, the second baseman hit a little (.277), got on base (.366), but could never reach the outfield in under two bounces (.324 SLG). Perhaps it was because he never swung with a 0-0, 0-1, 1-0, 2-0, 2-1, 3-0, or 3-1 count. Speaking of birthdays, he dropped the ball literally on mine (A-Rod's). I liked Castillo more than most fans, though, because he was an island of competency in 2009.
- Mickey Lolich (turns 71) beat Bob Gibson in Game 7 of the '68 World Series, which takes doing. His long-time team, the Tigers, traded him to the Mets in '76, where he struggled and retired. Back in Detroit, he opened a doughnut shop.
- Mario Ramirez (turns 54) played 18 games at shortstop in 1980. The Padres nabbed him in the Rule 5 draft. Tito Navarro (turns 32) went one for 17 in his only major league season, 1993. He played short, too. Keith Hughes (turns 34), an outfielder, played three games with the 1990 club.
Games of Note
Two games, two teams, two total runs -- both struck home by Met pitchers. On this date, 1969, in Pittsburgh, Jerry Koosman pitched a three-hit shutout in the afternoon, and singled in the fifth for the game's only run. In the second game, the RBI hit came from Don Cardwell with two outs in the second and Bud Harrelson coming around to score.Cardwell pitched eight scoreless innings. Tug McGraw made the close.
Amazin'-ly Tenuous Connection
The Athenians held off the Persians at the Battle of Marathon on September 12, 490 B.C. "Marathon" is an overused term in sports -- excepting in the context of 26.2 mile footraces, where it's excused -- so I've looked for a yet more tenuous connection than the 20-inning "marathon" game of 2010. Greek success depended on the inexorable forward movement of heavily-armed, closely-knit grunt troops forming a "hoplite phalanx." In this scheme, a dashing individual exploit was, if I may, a rally killer. Achilles was dead and gone; this was the democratic age, an age of solid OBP and plenty of bench depth. #MoneyballAthenians. #SmallMarketCallimachus.