Forever cast in the role of Robin to the crosstown Yankees' Batman, the New York Mets may not have the championship hardware of their rivals, but that hasn't stopped them from carving out a legacy all their own. Stepping into the void created by the Dodgers' and Giants' departure for the West Coast, the Mets wear the official state colors on their uniforms and approach each game with a never-give-up mentality that makes them a New York institution, through and through.
In 1960, National League baseball returned to New York City when it was announced that the Mets would be the latest expansion franchise. Their moniker was inspired by the corporation that was responsible for their creation, the Metropolitan Baseball Club. While the unveiling of Shea Stadium was widely celebrated, there wasn't much else about Mets baseball in the '60s that inspired any sort of confidence. It wasn't until the "amazing" events of 1969 that the conversation changed.
Led by future Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver and his 25 regular-season wins, the Mets leapt out of the National League basement and won 100 games in '69. They made quick work of the Atlanta Braves to capture the NL pennant, and then stunned the Baltimore Orioles in the Fall Classic to claim their first world championship. Mets fever was born, and while moves like the 1972 acquisition ofWillie Mays would placate fans, it wasn't until the '80s that the Mets would follow up on their title aspirations.
Players such as Dwight Gooden, Darryl Strawberry and Keith Hernandez would become household names, not just in Queens but throughout the country. Flying high on all the star power, the team would march back to the playoffs in '86. In Game 6 of the World Series, a grounder by Met Mookie Wilson trickled through the legs of a Boston fielder, and the rest, as they say, is history. A second world championship banner would be hung at Shea Stadium the following spring.
While the Subway Series of 2000 would split New York in two, the Mets weren't able to replicate the magic they conjured up in either the '69 or '86 campaigns. Stars have come and gone, but the fans (including A-list supporters such as Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock) have never wavered. The new Mets coliseum, Citi Field, opened in 2009 and is a veritable museum of baseball history.
The much-celebrated Home Run Apple, moved over from its perch at Shea, welcomes fans as they descend on the stadium. Inside, they can marvel at the Jackie Robinson Rotunda and learn more about one of the greatest athletes ever to play in New York. And that's the other thing about being a Mets fan. It's not just about celebrating the amazing hometown team; it's about reveling in just how incredible the sport can be. Come-from-behind wins, mile-long home runs, and everything in between -- that's what being a supporter of the Mets is all about.