New York Mets
|Founded in 1962|
|2 World Championships (1969, 1986)|
|4 NL pennants|
After both the Dodgers and Giants left New York for California in 1957, former fans wanted a replacement team. They didn't feel right rooting for the hated Yankees, the only New York team left. So, in 1962, the expansion Mets were formed. Their colors represent the teams they replaced: blue for the Dodgers and orange for the Giants.
In their first season, the Mets were awful. They won only 40 games—that's third worst in the modern era and still the worst since the 1930s. Even though they were bad, their fans loved them. After seven years of stinkage (they finished ninth or tenth out of ten in the league from 1962–1968), the Mets all of a sudden became good in the middle of the 1969 season.
Behind the pitching of Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman, the “Amazin’” Mets rallied past the Cubs to win their division, beat the Braves in the NLCS, and defeated the Orioles for their first World Championship. A few years later, in 1973, manager Yogi Berra took the team back to the World Series.
Nothing else good happened to the Mets until 1986, when their team of crazy guys defeated the Red Sox in a famous World Series. In 1999 and 2000, the Mets made the playoffs but couldn't win a championship. Recently, the Mets have earned an unfortunate reputation, losing big leads in the standings in both 2007 and 2008. They moved to a new stadium in 2009 and spent a lot of money to bring in good pitchers in an unsuccessful attempt to return to the playoffs.
Words to Know
expansion team: Since 1962, the National League has added seven entirely new teams—not teams that moved from city to city or from league to league, but teams that were created from scratch. These teams are called “expansion” teams. They get their players by drafting from the existing teams. Expansion teams usually aren't very good for their first few years, but the Arizona Diamondbacks are a well-known exception.
Famous Mets: Tom Seaver, 1967–1986
When “Tom Terrific” came up with the New York Mets in 1967, the Mets were the worst team in the major leagues. By 1969, they shocked everyone and won 100 games, with Tom Seaver winning 25 of them on the way to a World Championship. Seaver won his first of three Cy Young Awards that year and became the heart and soul of the Mets. In 1973 he led the Mets back to the World Series, but this time they lost to the A's.
Much to the disappointment of Mets fans, he was traded away in 1977, returning only for a brief stint before his retirement in 1986. In his career, he won 20 or more games four times and led the league in strikeouts five times. Seaver retired as one of the 20 winningest pitchers of all time, and he sits sixth all-time in strikeouts. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1992 and even after that returned to the Mets one more time—only this time as an announcer.
A baseball player must be sure to follow the rules of the game, or he could get sent to the dugout! You must carefully follow the directions below to learn the words that finish the following popular saying: “Some people say that playing baseball is as American as eating _______________.”