In my opinion, there is a misconception about the New York Mets. That is, I do not believe that their now 55 years in existence has been, for the most part, a bumbling mess. I suppose that can happen when you share the same real estate as the New York Yankees, the most decorated franchise in the history of American sports. However, if you take the big picture, that is compare the Mets during that span to some more celebrated organization in Major League Baseball, you will find that New York actually comes out more favorably in some instances.
To be sure, there have been some historically bad events that have been associated with the Mets. You can start with their inaugural 1962 season when they set a record for futility with 120 losses. You leap all the way forward to the collapse at the end of the 2007 season, losing a 7 1/2 game lead with 17 games remaining. In between, there has been a fair number of inept seasons, laughable front office shenanigans and downright embarrassing play that makes older fans of the team seem as though the madness never ends. However, does that mean their history as a whole has been mostly doom and gloom?
Since 1962, the Mets have appeared in five World Series, winning two and losing three. Let’s take a look at some other teams, ones that have been playing since at least 1962, and see how they have done in the pennant and World Series departments:
San Francisco Giants: 5 pennants, 3 World Series titles
Cincinnati Reds-5 pennants, 3 World Series titles
Atlanta Braves: 5 pennants, 1 World Series title
Philadelphia Phillies: 5 pennants, 2 World Series titles
Detroit Tigers: 3 pennants, 2 World Series titles
Pittsburgh Pirates: 2 pennants, 2 World Series titles
Cleveland Indians: 2 pennants, 0 World Series titles
Chicago White Sox: 1 pennant, 1 World Series title
Texas Rangers/Washington Senators: 2 pennants, 0 World Series titles
Los Angeles Angels: 1 pennant, 1 World Series title
Houston Astros: 1 pennant, 0 World Series titles
Chicago Cubs: 0 pennants, 0 World Series titles
As the above list indicates, at least one-third of all Major League teams have not exceeded the Mets’ five pennants over the past half century. When you throw in more recent clubs such as the Minnesota Twins, Seattle Mariners, Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres and Toronto Blue Jays, all of whom have played ball since at least since 1977, you will see that the Mets as a franchise compares favorably with more than half the teams in Major League Baseball. In fact, the list of teams that have had more success in terms of capturing pennants since 1962 than the Amazins is a select few:
New York Yankees-13 pennants, 8 World Series titles
St. Louis Cardinals-9 pennants-5 World Series titles
Boston Red Sox-6 pennants, 3 World Series titles
Los Angeles Dodgers-8 pennants, 4 World Series titles
Oakland A’s-6 pennants, 4 World Series titles
Baltimore Orioles-6 pennants, 3 World Series titles
So out of the 32 Major League Baseball teams, only six have won more league crowns during that time than the New York Mets. I am sure that doesn’t exactly erase all of the bitter memories of lost seasons. However, it should provide some perspective to Met and non-Met fans alike that the history of the franchise is a little bit better than what the perception is.
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