Alan Lerner did me the favor in writing his own review for the Mets Annual 2009 magazine to give you more of an in depth look. Thanks Alan!
The two articles, I enjoyed were “As the Worm Turns“, and “Stepping Forward” because both are about the 1984 season. Out of the two articles, “Stepping Forward” is more enjoyable to read because it’s an interview with Keith Hernandez on that season.
The 1984 season was the first exciting season for me and it was so much fun being at Shea Stadium that summer. I believe my first game at Shea Stadium was in 1977 with Dad, and grandpa, I still remember being more into the $1.00 hot-dogs then the game.
From 1977 to 1983, the Mets finished in last place four times, and second to last the other two years. They averaged 62 wins in those seasons, so as you can see they did not provide much excitement for the fans.
For me in those years, the highlights were getting Pete Rose‘s autograph one game, and seeing the All-Stars from other teams come to Shea.
I remember always talking to my Dad about what teams, I would want to see play the Mets. How can you not want to see Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, Dave Parker, Wille Stargell, Pete Rose, Nolan Ryan, Steve Garvey, Johnny Bench, and so on, play live as a kid?
Don’t get me wrong, I rooted for the Mets to win and enjoyed watching Dave Kingman, Steve Henderson, Doug Flynn, Graig Swan, and the rest of them play, but they were not hall of fame players. I even believed in the motto “The Magic is Back” in those years, but the real magic started in 1984 where the Mets won 90 games that year and finished in 2nd place. I felt Shea Stadium alive for the 1st time in my life.
The Mets had veterans like Keith Hernandez, George Foster, and Rusty Staub to go along with young players like Mookie Wilson, , and Jessie Orosco. They also had Wally Backman, , , and of course Strawberry and Gooden.
When Strawberry came up to bat it was so exciting to see what he would do. 1984 was Gooden’s rookie year, and it was a magical one. I still remember all the “K” signs fans held up, and the “K” corners.
The 2nd greatest Mets game, I attended was on July 27, 1984. I remember this date because my late father mentioned this date in the Gooden book “Rookie” he bought me.
On this date, the Mets were in 1st place and were playing the second place Cubs. I still remember that Friday summer night like it was yesterday.
There was 50,000 people in the stadium and it felt electric. I was used to seeing 15,000 to 20,000 fans at Shea for a game over the years. I also remember doing the “WAVE” during the game, and having so much fun. I think that was the 1st year of the wave.
The Mets won 2-1 and went up four and a half games on the Cubs. Gooden pitched 8 innings, struck out 8, and gave up 4 hits. That summer night felt like a playoff game to me. Even though the Cubs won the division that year by beating the Mets 12 out of 18 times, I was lucky to be at one of those wins.
The year 1984 was a great year. The 1st exciting season for me, and the seed season that started to develop and which eventually sprung out in 1986.
Thank you Tanya for asking me to write a review, this was new and fun for me. Nothing beats the good memories of baseball growing up as a child and sharing it with other fans. I was debating to buy the magazine, but I’m so glad, I did. Writing about this is Priceless.
Let’s Go Mets!!!