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Showing posts from December 18, 2005

Santa Klaus is Coming to Town

Thanks to those who helped us clear the 20,000 hit mark. Happy holidays! Santa Klaus, and yes there's a reason I've spelled it that way, came down the Shea Stadium chimney a little prematurely in 1965, but Mets fans didn't mind, as he came bearing a perfectly nice gift- a walk-off win over the Houston Astros. April 15 of that season marked an unusually early time for the Flushing 9 to be celebrating victory, as it was only their third game of the season. It was a taxing day for some (pardon the pun), but one of the last good ones as Mets manager for Casey Stengel, a jolly, happy soul if there ever was one. There was some early excitement in this one, as in the second inning, the Mets defense turned a triple play. With runners on first and third, Jimmy Wynn hit a fly ball to right-center field. Johnny Lewis made the catch, and his throw home was in time for catcher Chris Cannizzaro to tag oncoming runner Walt Bond for the second out. Meanwhile, future Met Bob Aspromonte got

Then Dreidel I Shall Play

Regular readers may recall that I got a little prematurely excited during the season regarding the religious status of former Met Mike Jacobs, thinking initially that he, like me, was Jewish before learning that he was not. While Jacobs won't be lighting the menorah or spinning the dreidel this Sunday (yes, the first night of Hanukkah coincides with Christmas), six other former Mets will. Two had walk-off hits for the Flushing 9. As it turns out, we've already written about one , but we'll give the other recognition today. Elliott Maddox, a native of East Orange, New Jersey, was a baseball star at the University of Michigan, whose baseball claims to fame are varied. You can read more about them here but to summarize, Maddox played on the 1971 Washington Senators (the final season of baseball in D.C. until 2005), finished as high as eighth in the AL MVP voting while with the Yankees, and, before joining the Mets,

Oh, The Weather Outside is Frightful

Thanks to Barry Federovitch for the suggestion regarding this particular entry I made nearly 20 trips to Shea Stadium during the 2005 season and for every one, I brought either a jacket or umbrella. I have been to the Flushing ballpark enough times to know that one or the other is likely going to be needed, even during the warm summer months, because the weather, on a good day, can be nasty, and at worst, be putrid. And if I ever need a reminder of how bad it can get, here's a game worth remembering. We talked about Opening Days in my last post, and I'm glad to say I was nearly four years from birth on April 6, 1971 when the Mets and Expos commenced the season in the combination of 40 degree temperatures, 40-mile-an-hour winds and a driving rainstorm in what New York Times writer Joseph Durso described as "a day not fit for man or beast or baseball player." The good news for those in attendance was that this affair lasted only 96 minutes. The Mets struck first in the

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

When I was in elementary school at PS 190 (82nd between 1st and 2nd), we had a music teacher named Ms. Rosen, who started a school chorus. I was a member and during my two-year tenure as a sorprano, I had the opportunity to perform a solo during a performance at the ritzy Plaza Hotel. Ms. Rosen loved Christmas songs and shared her adoration with her chorus and the music classes. They got drummed into us pretty good because of weekly repetition. I don't celebrate Christmas, but for whatever reason, I like Christmas and holiday music. My tastes range from "Frosty the Snowman" to "My Two Front Teeth" to "Winter Wonderland." I find these songs soothing, but I don't know why. So this week, I'm going to spin a holiday theme throughout my blog posts, be in it the titles or the stories themselves. In baseballese, the most wonderful time of the year isn't Christmastime (except for the recently signed ex-free agents who are busy counting their money)