February 21, 2012

AMAZIN' (via The Mother Judd):

Spring of '62: Revisiting the Dawn of the Mets (ROBERT LIPSYTE, 2/19/12, NY Times)

Among the Mets acquired in the expansion draft because they were considered past their prime or otherwise expendable were some star players, including Frank Thomas, a three-time All-Star slugger at Pittsburgh; Gus Bell, a four-time All-Star at Cincinnati; and the onetime Phillies Whiz Kid Richie Ashburn, a former batting champion with a .308 career average. Alas, there were more critical numbers -- the three made up an outfield with 19 children and a combined age of 102.

While most of the reporters, including me, saw this as further proof of the Mets' inevitable haplessness (why else would I have taken my glove?), my best friend on the team, Jay Hook, saw stars. He was, like me, a 24-year-old college boy, but he was also a real prospect, expected to become one of the club's starting pitchers.

"I was optimistic that spring, I was optimistic for years," he told me recently from his farm in northern Michigan. "The beauty of baseball is that it's a new game every day. I never thought we were that bad. There were some pretty good guys on the team, especially the old Dodgers."
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Posted by at February 21, 2012 7:05 PM
  

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