No they didn’t make it to 11 straight wins but as first pointed out in the comments section below the Mets on Friday ran out an all-odd starting lineup for what we believe to be the first time in their 46-year history.
7 Reyes SS
9 Anderson LF
5 Wright 3B
15 Beltran CF
3 Easley 2B
21 Delgado 1B
17 Tatis RF
23 Schneider C
33 Maine P
They’d been toying with this accomplishment frequently this season, particularly with Alou unavailable, and were heretofore held back mainly by the presence of Endy Chavez in the starting 9 (or starts by Pelfrey or Perez).
Fittingly, this milestone — rarer even than an extra-base hit by Brian Schneider — was achieved only after replacing even manager Willie Randolph with an odd successor in Jerry Manuel.
And with that taken care of, we can focus on regaining first place.
So the Mets made it two of three from the Diamondbacks this afternoon, winning the rubber game behind a well-timed error by the bad guys, and while wearing the black unis for the first non-Friday of the year. Howie Rose told listeners on Saturday that the Mets had planned to wear black then also, only to be foiled when the Snakes at the last minute donned their black shirts. (For the record, they wore a different look in each game of the series, including the hideous solid-red tops today, indicating how out-of-control the whole unisphere is. Many people consider the red/gold thing an improvement for the Diamnondbacks, but I’m not one of them. I mean, the teal/purple thing was awful but it at least called to mind some of that Southwest painted-desert art).
Yes, and so the Mets improved to 4-1 in black this year. I meant to keep a running tally, and may still do so if I can reconstruct the season. Unless someone else already has and would like to share…
Anyway, I was visiting relataives in the Philly TV market and wound up seeing most of today’s Phillies-Giants game. You’ve probably been told the Giants suck this year, which is true to an extent, but they can pitch. Like the Diamondbacks this weekend, they probably played a little better overall but lost 2 of 3. The West has excellent pitching; we’re about to see more in LA.
Got the following email recently from reader Steve:
I bought a Rawlings authentic jersey on eBay a few weeks ago. The seller listed it as a Jose Reyes jersey but I knew it couldn’t have been because: 1) it’s a Rawlings and 2) it just had the “7”, with no player name, on the back. So, upon seeing it, I immediately thought it was a ’99 Todd Pratt jersey (I was excited someone liked Pratt as much as I did, that they’d actually get a Pratt jersey). That all changed, however, when I got it in the mail.
For starters, the authentic tag is on the inside of the jersey, not the outside, which is where it is when players get them. It also has the “flag tag” hanging from it, indicating size “42”, the Rawlings jerseys had tags in the collars with the size. Third, it has the MLB logo sewn on the back of the neck, which wasn’t done until 2000. So, all these things made me very confused. So, I got to thinking that maybe this was a minor league issued jersey (maybe the B-Mets) but I just don’t know. I was hoping there might be some way you could help. Was there someone on the B-Mets who was small enough to wear a “42” sometime after 2000 and before they started using Majestic?
As I explained to Steve, I’m not an expert at all when it comes to jersey make/models but as he did, I suspect he must have purchased a B-Mets jersey. But I don’t know for sure, and I hope you might. To sum up, Steve is looking at a “game-worn” jersey that:
1) No. 7, no name on the back
2) Size 42
3) MLB logo on the back
4) Rawlings make
If you have some ideas as to the origin of this jersey, please share them in the comments section below.
Thanks to all who showed up at last night’s event at Word Books, where I discussed Mets by the Numbers and Spike Vrusho told tales from his book on baseball brawls, flawlessly brought to life by Caryn of MetsGrrl (who I know must be saddened today by the passing of E- Streeter Danny Federici). The event was a lot of fun, and though we’d missed most of last night’s regularly-scheduled Mets game to do the event, the Mets were kind enough to give us plenty of time for drinks and triumphant game-watching afterward at Red Star.
I was at Shea last night for the first time this year thanks to my co-writer, and now co-star in a potential future episode of Mets Weekly. We were joined by two other swell guys, and we had a great time, the Mets looked resplendent, especially with the blue hats, matching 42 jerseys (anyone other than me remember Chuck Taylor?) and no names on the back. Sweet.
Worth noting was that the scoreboard identified the players by their assigned numbers but the Shea PA announcer introduced them all as No. 42. I’ll address how to integrate this event into the database when I’ve had some time to think about it.
I missed the announcement pre-game so I was delighted to see Duaner Sanchez trot in from the bullpen for the the 9th inning. The quietly effective Carlos Muniz was shipped back to the minors to make room. Just an all-around terrific night.
6 p.m. Tonight, we’re opening for Gary Carter at Bookends in Ridewood, N.J. Thursday at 7:30, I’ll discuss the Mets and baseball with Metsgrrl and Spike Vrusho (author of Benchclearing) atWord Books in Greenpoint (beer and snacks to be served)!
The Mets on Tuesday will celebrate the pioneering efforts of Ron Hodges, who broke the Scrubeenie Barrier by lasting 12 seasons in a Mets uniform, the first 11 without even being considered a regular starting option.
To mark the historic occasion, every player on the Mets will be outfitted in the No. 42 jersey Ron made famous while rotting on the bench behind Grote and Dyer; then Grote and Stearns; and then Stearns and Grote; and then Stearns and Trevino; and then Trevino and Stearns; and then Stearns and Trevino again; and then Mike Fitzgerald. Relievers from Harry Parker to Wes Gardner found Hodges’ target while warming up in the bullpen; and managers from Berra to Frazier to Torre to Johnson called on his left-handed bat to pinch hit in crucial situations, provided they had already used Kranepool, Staub or Jorgensen.
“Waiting around to be useful and occasionally contributing something worthwhile are attributes I want my guys to inhabit,” explained manager Willie Randolph, who donned the 42 jersey at last year’s event. “We need to go out there and show our fans that in each of us beats the heart of a lefthanded hitting reserve catcher, preferably a veteran.”
For Hodges, 11 seasons of waiting around for a shot came to delicious fruition in 1983, when as a 34-year-old, he was the starting catcher in Tom Seaver’s glorious, opening-day return to Shea Stadium. Hodges set career highs with 110 games played and 250 at-bats.
“As a lefthanded-hitting catcher with a reputation for strong defense, I understand that Ron Hodges was every bit the player I am,” added the Mets’ current starter behind the dish, Brian Schneider. “Ron’s career reminds me of how blessed I am.”
* * *
* Actually, all Mets are to wear 42 Tuesday to honor Jackie Robinson. The above wasn’t meant to disparage his contributions, or Ron Hodges’s, for that matter.
* Cultural omniblogger/librarian Mike Tubridy’s “Boat Against the Current” blog has nice words on Mets by the Numbers and its launch party last week.
Seen here is a video still from yet another regrettable moment in Mets uniform history as captured by the remarkable Paul C. Yes that’s mercifully deposed announcer Fran Healy, along with Howie Rose, showing off their custom Mercury Mets jerseys during the schlocky promotion on July 27, 1999.
Paul sent this beaut along after reading in our interview published recently that Howie prefers No. 14 (reader Steve R. in the meantime recalled Howie telling the story of wearing No. 36 at a Met fantasy camp). So why 21? Just guessing here, but you may recall the whole turn-ahead-the-clock jersey fiasco was a marketing trainwreck hatched by the geniuses at realty company Century 21. The game, they wanted us to imagine, took place in the Year 2021 (wow! That far ahead?)
Until now the best photo we’d had of Mercury Mets attire came from Dave Murray, aka Mets Guy in Michigan, who this week declared Mets by the Numbers to be “the best book ever written.” Aw… Thanks!
And speaking of the greatest blogger of all-time, joining Dave on the links column to the left is No No-Hitters, a site devoted to the New York Mets’ dubious streak of having never pitched a no hitter in franchise history. Personally I find no-hitters just random enough events to not-so-secretly hope this streak continues for another 46 years. I was relieved when Glavine choked one away in 2004. Glavine? In 2004? Go, Kit Pellow!
When the Mets play the White Sox in the annual Civil Rights Game exhibition March 29 in Memphis, they will wear special uniforms to commemorate the event. According to a news item today on Paul Lukas’s Uniwatch blog, they will look like the jersey pictured here (which, he reminds us, looked like the jerseys last year, when the Indians and Cardinals met).
As chronicled by Paul for the founding event a year ago, MLB officials explained the jerseys were “inspired by the simplicity of the Negro Leagues uniforms,” but its tough to figure out their style decisions all the same.
Good to see the Mets participating this season at any rate. I mean, it’s not Mercury Mets.
Funnier stuff for sure is detailed on Brooklyn Met Fan, where an associate down in St. Lucie whose t-shirts proclaiming CHOOSE LIFE… um, I mean, GO BIG PELF have caused a minor sensation with some members of the Mets.