Fifty-five years ago, before their inaugural season, the Mets commissioned musician Ruth Roberts to write them a fight song. Working with collaborator Bill Katz, Roberts produced one of the most recognizable jingles in all of sports: "Meet the Mets."
The song has survived the test of time. Not only does it remain a staple of Mets fandom, but it’s also garnered several references in popular culture. Below is the original fight song, plus fifteen variations on it appearing everywhere from Seinfeld to C-SPAN.
Here’s the classic version, recorded in 1963, that includes the underrated second verse about the butcher, the baker, and the people on the streets. I’ve never understood why the Mets don’t make this their eight-inning sing-along at home games. Two minutes in length, catchy, and eminently singable, it seems perfectly suited to be the Mets’ answer to Boston’s "Sweet Caroline."
The bad ’70s version
Same chorus, same tune, but with some serious ’70s flair.
The really bad ’80s version
In 1984, the Mets decided to rewrite their classic fight song. The new version included completely different lyrics ("hot dogs, green grass all out at Shea") set to the tune of some very bad ’80s music. Mets fans will hear this version pop up from time to time, but the team has largely—and thankfully—gone back to using the original Roberts/Katz rendition.
The instrumental version
Mets fans will know this as the version they hear playing over the loudspeakers outside of Citi Field—and Shea Stadium before that—as they head into the ballpark.
The ’70s instrumental version
You can almost picture a ’70s-era broadcast winding down with game highlights flashing across the screen, credits rolling, and this song playing in the background.
The organ version
Jane Jarvis, Shea Stadium’s original organist, recorded this version of the fight song and played it before every home game during her 16-year tenure with the team.
The piano version
My personal favorite on the list, here’s an outstanding rendition of "Meet the Mets" performed by concert pianist Sara Davis Buechner.
The big band version
Before Game 1 of last year’s World Series, Mr. Met led members of the Metropolitan Opera in a stirring rendition of the Mets’ classic fight song.
The Billy Joel version
Noted Mets fan Billy Joel performed his own version of "Meet the Mets" during his 22nd-consecutive sold-out show at Madison Square Garden last October. That night, the Mets completed their sweep of the Cubs to win the NLCS.
The Ray Barone version
Ray and Robert Barone are two of television’s most recognizable Mets fans. In this episode of Everybody Loves Raymond, the Barone brothers get shut out of a 1969 Mets autograph signing. On their drive home, the dejected Ray and Robert try to lift their spirits by singing a familiar tune.
The Don Draper version
An inebriated Don Draper of Mad Men fame feels like heading over to Shea for a day game. He invites old friend and former colleague Freddy Rumsen to his office, where Don implores Freddy to meet the Mets with him.
The George Costanza version
The Mets offer Seinfeld’s George Costanza, the Yankees' assistant to the traveling secretary, a job as their new scouting director. However, the Mets can’t make him a formal offer until the Yankees fire him, so George sets out to make that happen. George’s rendition of "Meet the Mets" starts at the 1:11 mark.
The Bob Costas version
Costas grew up in New York as a Yankees fan, then began rooting for the Cardinals after he moved to St. Louis. Still, the longtime broadcaster is familiar with the classic Mets fight song, and sang a verse of it on his old podcast.
The Mike and the Mad Dog version
In the midst of the Mets’ 2007 collapse, the legendary WFAN radio duo tried to cheer Mets fans’ spirits through song. The musical portion of the clip starts at the 2:03 mark.
The Yo La Tengo version
This rendition of "Meet the Mets" appears on the indie rock band’s aptly titled album, Yo La Tengo is Murdering the Classics.
The C-SPAN version
This is one of the best—and certainly the most musically challenged—rendition on the list, especially given the circumstances under which it was performed. Last fall, California Congressman Adam Schiff lost a bet to New York Congressman Steve Israel when the Mets beat the Dodgers in the NLDS. Congressman Schiff, gracious in defeat, took to the floor of the House and put on the following performance.
If you find yourself whistling "Meet the Mets" for the rest of the day, you can thank me later. In the meantime, let us know which rendition is your favorite!