1962 New York Mets
Managed by Casey Stengel
History, Comments, Contributions
The 1962 New York Mets are one of the most famous teams in major league history - albeit for records for futility. Created through expansion and staffed by the usual list of cast-offs resulting from an expansion draft, they lost their first nine games and were mathematically eliminated by early August. Starting pitchers Roger Craig and Al Jackson both lost twenty games, Craig Anderson went 3-17 and Jay Hook was 8-19; only one pitcher on the staff had a winning record, reliever Ken MacKenzie who was 5-4. Future Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn hit .306 with the club in his final major league season in one of the few bright lights.
The team was so inept that manager Casey Stengel uttered the famous question: "Can anybody here play ball?" The team's 120 losses are the most-ever by a major league team since 1900. On the very first play in team history, third baseman Don Zimmer committed an error. The embodiment of the team was "Marvelous" Marv Throneberry, an OF/1B with some power, but who also seemed to be learning how to play the game on the job, in spite of a number of years of major league experience, and whose specialty seemed to be throwing to the wrong base. In one famous episode, Throneberry hit an apparent triple but was called out for not touching second base; when Stengel came out to argue, the umpire told him "You know, he did not touch first base either". In spite of that, New York, NY, starved of National League baseball since the departure of the New York Giants and of the Brooklyn Dodgers after the 1957 season, embraced the awful team, earning them the nickname "Amazin' Mets".
Awards and Honors
1962 Opening Day Lineup
Richie Ashburn, cf
Felix Mantilla, ss
Charlie Neal, 2b
Frank Thomas, lf
Gus Bell, rf
Gil Hodges, 1b
Don Zimmer, 3b
Roger Craig, p
- Jimmy Breslin: Can't Anybody Here Play This Game?: The Improbable Saga of the New York Met's First Year, Ivan R. Dee Publisher, Chicago, IL, 1963. ISBN 978-1566634885 (originally published in 1963)
- Bill Morales: New York Versus New York, 1962: The Birth of the Yankees-Mets Rivalry, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2012. ISBN 978-0-7864-7090-7
- Keith Olbermann: "The '62 Mets: Blame Weiss and Stengel", in The National Pastime - A Review of Baseball History, SABR, Cleveland, OH, number 26 (May, 2006), pp. 23-25.
- Jonathan Weeks: Cellar Dwellers: The Worst Teams in Baseball History, Scarecrow Press, Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Lanham, MD, 2012. ISBN 978-0-8108-8532-5