Even 50 years later, the story of the “Miracle Mets” is still amazin’.
SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio (XM 89, Sirius 209) presents a special radio documentary celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Mets’ first world championship in 1969, following seven consecutive losing seasons.
Amazin’: A Celebration of the 1969 Mets features new interviews with several members of the ’69 Mets, including Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, Ed Kranepool, Cleon Jones, Ron Swoboda, Jerry Koosman, Jerry Grote, Duffy Dyer, Rod Gaspar, Wayne Garrett, J.C. Martin, Jim McAndrew, Bobby Pfeil, Art Shamsky and Al Weis, as well as manager Gil Hodges’ wife Joan and son Gil Jr., and Tommy Agee’s wife Maxcine. Listeners will also hear previously recorded memories from Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver. SiriusXM’s Ed Randall hosts the special.
If you’re an All Access subscriber, click below to listen to the full special now.
Read some of the highlights below:
Nolan Ryan, who appeared in 25 regular-season games and recorded a save in Game 3 of the World Series, on his memories of the ’69 Mets: “People ask me about what was the favorite team that I played for, and obviously because of the length of my career and the position that I held with a lot of teams and pitched a lot of innings over the years, when you are on a team that has a common goal and they accomplish that and go through that experience that we did winning the world championship, you develop special, special feelings towards your teammates and the things that happened during the course of that season. So I’ll always have fond memories of those folks and they’ll always be near and dear to my heart.”
Ed Kranepool, an original Met who played for the team in each of its first seven losing seasons, on how things felt differently in ‘69: “Nobody can say that we backed into the World Series or Chicago lost it. The Mets won it. We had such a streak, everyone was really playing hard, everyone wanted to get to the ballpark – it was the first time that any of us felt that, you know. There was no reason to go to the ballpark in the first seven seasons after the All-Star break. You know, you were playing for individual records, and that’s not the same as playing for a championship. It’s exciting going to the ballpark expecting to win and seeing at the end of the tunnel, you know, that there’s a chance to get into the playoffs. We had that feeling going and I’ll tell you what, there was no looking back.”
Cleon Jones, an All-Star in ‘69, on the impact of Mets manager Gil Hodges: “We were keyed up, and we thought we were the best team and we went out and proved it. And that’s because – I keep getting back to Gil Hodges. Gil Hodges prepared us and he wouldn’t let us let down. He was the kind of general — I’m calling him a general — but the kind of manager that kept his eyes on the prize. In other words, he wasn’t just watching pitching, he’s watching all the players on the team. And not only that, he’s watching what guys were doing on the bench to see if they were ready if they were called on. Thank God they were. That’s why you talk about the 1969 Mets – not a great team, but a well-prepared team.”
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