By: Stuart Hack

Trying to Avoid the World Series Hangover


Prior to the 1969 expansion, it was a tradition that whoever was leading their division on July 4 would go on to win the pennant. These days with the advent of the Wild Card it kind of goes unnoticed. In 2015 three of the six division leaders on July 4 went on to win their division. Two other leaders, the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees made the playoffs as Wild Cards. The Washington Nationals were the only July 4 leader to miss the playoffs. As we head into this July 4, things are not looking great for the Mets. There were big expectations after last year’s World Series and so far Terry Collins crew has fallen short.

Prior to 2015 the Mets had appeared in the Fall Classic four times and in each case the following year missed the playoffs. Let’s take a look at those years:

1970 – The year after the Miracle Mets saw the Amazins in second place on July 4 just ½ game out of first. On July 4, 1970 the Mets beat the Phillies 7-2 behind Tom Seaver who won his 13th game and Donn Clendenon hitting his 10th Homerun. Unfortunately the Mets faltered after that finishing third place six games behind Pittsburgh. Seaver only won six more games the rest of that year.

1974 – The Year after Ya Gotta Believe (which was actually my quote under my High School Yearbook Picture) saw the Mets in last place on July 4. However being only 8.5 games out of first, many (especially 11 year old me) felt that another Division Title was a lock. On July 4, Ray Sadecki lost to the Phillies 6-2 despite three hits by Cleon Jones. Although the Mets managed to climb out of the cellar, they only made it up one spot to Fifth finishing 17 games out of first.

1987 – After 1986 many Met Fans felt that a World Series appearance would be a given. 1987 started with several injuries plus Doc Gooden missing two months with his first trip to rehab. On July 4, 1987 The Mets sat in third place, seven games out of first. That day they lost to Cincinnati 7-3. Their starting pitcher that day was John ‘Cy’ Mitchell which tells you all you need to know about their 1987 season. Howard Johnson did hit his 16th Homerun. HoJo was a full time starter for the first time replacing World Series MVP Ray Knight and was one of the team’s bright spots in 1987.

2001 – One year after the last Subway Series, Bobby Valentine’s Mets were 37-48 and 12 games out of first on July 4. On that day Glendon Rusch beat the Cubs 2-1 and even drove in a run. Although the Mets made a late run going 45-32 the rest of the way helping New Yorkers cope with the tragedy of September 11, they still finished 6 games out of first place.

So what will 2016 bring? Past History shows a team that will finish out of the Post Season. In fact the only time the Mets made the playoffs in two consecutive years was 1999 and 2000.

But let me finish on a High note. In all of their other World Series years, except for 1986, the Mets were out of first place on July 4. In fact in 1969 they were 7 games out and 1973 they were 12 out. So let’s hope for an Amazin finish and Ya Gotta Believe!

About Stuart A. Hack

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