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The history of the Mets Part 2: 1962

By Metsmix Writer: Scott McCarthy

National League Baseball had returned to New York in the summer of 1962, when the New York Mets took the field at the Polo Grounds in Manhattan, they did not get off to an auspicious start as they lost their first nine games, with was a precursor to a season that would find them on the losing end of the game a record setting 120 Games, ranking at the very top for a single season in losses in the 20th century, but a funny thing happened on the way to futility, this team became not only popular, but immensely popular.

In fact, it seemed the more that the team lost, the more they were loved, this club was the polar opposite of their cross river rivals the Yankees who had placed themselves in the upper echelon of sports lore with an unprecedented amount of championships and fielding what seemed to be a never ending string of legends and future stars.

The 1962 squad was managed by “The Old Professor” Casey Stengel, whose eccentric behavior and odd quotes were part of the team’s undeniable charm. This little engine that couldn’t was mathematically eliminated from any change at winning the pennant by early August, and they had two starting pitchers with 20 losses (Roger Craig & Al Jackson) but despite the mounting losses the team’s popularity continued to grow and they soon were affectionately labeled as the “Lovable Losers”, the team finished the season with a 40-120-1 record, laying the foundation for a franchise that would go on to becoming one of the more popular teams in the history of sports, as well as a fan base that loves their team no matter how awful they are, and the fans loyalty was eventually repaid only a few years later when the Mets added another title to go along with “Lovable Losers” , that title being World Champions.

The Mets opening day lineup is listed below

Richie Ashburn CF
Felix Mantilla SS
Charlie Neal 2B
Frank Thomas LF
Gus Bell RF
Gil Hodges 1B
Don Zimmer 3B
Hobie Landrith C
Roger Craig SP

On Deck: Check back next weekend, when we take a look at 1963, AKA: It couldn't be any worse then 1962!


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