History of the New York Mets

In 1962, the New York Mets filled the void in New York baseball that resulted from the moves of the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants to the West Coast. Seven years later, the Miracle Mets brought back World Series excitement to New York.

The New York Mets started as an expansion franchise in 1960. A year later, the new franchise club drafted 22 players, including many older former Dodgers and Giants players. Casey Stengel was then hired to manage the new team.

The Mets first game was on April 11, 1962 in the old Polo Grounds, where the team played until Shea Stadium was completed in 1964. The team got off to a poor start and lost their first nine games. That first season continued to go badly and the New York Mets ended the 1962 season with a 40-12 win-loss record.

The Mets had a long stretch of losing until they drafted Tom Seaver in 1966. The next year, the Mets still ended up in last place, but Seaver was named Rookie of the Year and it looked like the Mets finally had a winner on their team. The 1968 Mets struggled, but they acquired several promising players, including Bud Harrelson, Jerry Koosman and Tommie Agee.

The New York Mets started out slowly in 1969, but they picked up steam at the end of the season and won 38 of their last 49 games. That was enough for them to win the National League East division. The Miracle Mets ended the regular season with a win-loss record of 100-62.

After winning the National League East division, the Mets faced the Atlanta Braves and Hank Aaron in the National League Championship series. They went on to sweep the series and suddenly found themselves in their first World Series. Their opponent was the strong Baltimore Orioles team, with the Robinsons (Frank and Brooks) and Jim Palmer. No one expected the Mets to win, but they took the series in four games to one, under the leadership of their manager, Gil Hodges.

The Miracle of 1969 did not last long, and, although the Mets continued to have strong pitching, led by Seaver, the team faltered. In 1972, Gil Hodges died from a heart attack and Yogi Berra became the Mets manager.

The year 1973 brought a renewed spirit to the Mets with relief pitcher Tug McGraw's positive attitude. His "Ya Gotta Believe" became the motto of the team and its fans, and the Mets turned around a losing record to win the National League East division title. They then faced Cincinnati's Big Red Machine in the National League playoffs and they won. The Mets then went through seven games in the World Series against the powerful Oakland Athletics but the Mets lost.

The next ten years were once again down years for the Mets. Ownership and management deteriorated, starting in the mid-1970s, and key players, including Tom Seaver, left the New York team. Fans gave up on the Mets and attendance at games dropped drastically. By 1978, the Mets were back in last place.

New ownership took over in 1980 and efforts were made to improve the Mets. Frank Cashen was hired as general manager and he helped the Mets acquire top young prospects, including Daryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden. By 1984, under the leadership of the Mets new manager, Davey Johnson, the team began winning again, and they ended the season with a 90-72 record. The next season was even better, but the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Mets for the division title. That didn't stop the new, revitalized Mets and, in 1986, they won the National League East division with a 108-54 record. The Mets went on to beat the Houston Astros in the National League Championship series and then the Boston Red Sox in the World Series.

The Mets played well for the next few years but they weren't able to win another post-season series. Then, in 1991, they started going downhill again and attempts were made in subsequent years to acquire top players. This plan, however, backfired and by 1993, the Mets were once again at the bottom, losing 103 games that season. It would take several more years for the Mets to improve, but post-season wins still remained out of reach until 2000. That year the Mets made it to the World Series but they lost to the New York Yankees.

Just as the Mets did after every other win, they once again fell after their 2000 World Series and in 2003, they had a 66-95 record and a 71-91 record in 2004. The only bright spot of these bad years was the drafting of David Wright in 2004.

New ownership and new executives brought changes to the Mets in 2005. Willie Randolph was hired to manage the team and strong players were acquired, including Pedro Martinez, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado, and Paul Lo Duca. The 2006 season, with the Mets' new roster and manager, resulted in the National League East division title but the Mets couldn't advance to the National League Championship playoffs. Since then, there have been only two bright spots for the Mets - the team's first no-hitter from Johan Santana and last year's Cy Young award for R.A. Dickey. Unfortunately, Santana, who has had injury issues in the past, is once again on the disabled list for the entire season, and the Mets traded Dickey to the Toronto Blue Jays at the end of his stellar 2012 season.

Source for Information
Wikipedia - New York Mets