Article from www.thisgreatgame.com
In the early 1960s, President John F. Kennedy pledged to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. A lot of people thought he was overreaching. Had the President instead said that the hopeless, lovably pathetic New York Mets would win the World Series by decade’s end, they would have thought he was crazy.
Yet amazingly, both missions would be accomplished by 1969.
For much of the 1960s, the Mets had cemented themselves as the laughingstock of baseball. Starting with their famously awful debut in 1962 in which they dropped a modern record 120 games, the Mets lost an average of 108 games through their first six years—much of it led by manager Casey Stengel, the aging clown prince watching his 24 stooges perform pratfalls on the playing field. The fans—and even the players, it sometimes seemed—reveled in the losing image. If the Mets had a mission statement, it might have read: “To seek new ways of losing so as to entertain our newfound faithful.”
While NASA was on track to meet its deadline, the Mets were still trying to figure out how to design a proverbial launching pad. Forget 1969, New Yorkers quipped; it seemed a safer bet that the Mets wouldn’t win anything until 2001.
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