There was a strange sound coming from Citi Field on Saturday afternoon. One not heard much lately, and not likely to be heard much the rest of the summer.
It was cheers. Applause. Actual joy.
For 30 minutes, the Mets and their fans got to forget about the current season that is closer to irrelevance than significance, and take themselves into a time machine half of a century ago, to honor the 1969 World Series champion Miracle Mets.
As part of the festivities, the ‘69 Mets received keys to the city from Mayor Bill de Blasio and arrived at Citi Field in a parade down newly-named Seaver Way. The Citi Field scoreboard was given old school graphics and fonts to look like Shea Stadium and following the ceremony, the old champion Mets met the current disappointing Mets.
“It’s great to see all your teammates, all the guys who are here having a good time,” said former first baseman Ed Kranepool, a Met his entire 18-year career. “The stories get longer. The lies get better.”
“It is 50 years later,” Ed Kranepool said. “We’re all struggling to keep it together. I don’t think we’re going to celebrate 75.”
There will always be that magical summer, however, seven years after the team lost 120 games in its inaugural season. The Mets, who had finished in ninth place the previous season, trailed the National League-leading Cubs by 10 games on Aug. 14 before a rampaging finish to surge past Chicago, then upsetting the Orioles in the World Series in five games.
“What made this team so special and the victory so good was because of these guys lived through the loveable loser years and we were all on a pretty bad team the year before. And then to win it all makes it that much more special,” Art Shamsky said. “The beauty of it is everybody contributed to our success, and I think that’s one of the legacies of that team.”