But quietly, amidst all the other stories of the 2009 Mets season, there is another streak that looks to be coming to an end this year. A streak that perhaps no one other than myself is aware of...or even cares about.
Because of all their grand collapses and tragic endings, Mets fans may not be aware that the Mets have enjoyed a strange and rare period of, dare I say it, prosperity.
Only once before in the franchise’s history has the team been this competitive for this long a stretch. (644 games in 98-01) I can see some of your eyes rolling even as I type this. Allow me to clarify.
Do you remember the last time you went to the ballpark and the Mets were completely out of the post season hunt? To do this you’d have to go back to September, 2005.
Since opening day 2006, not counting the Pre & Post-Season, the Mets have walked into the clubhouse and suited up with at the very least a chance of going to the playoffs for 577 consecutive games. No Mets team in the history of the franchise can say that.
As fans, when we clicked the turnstiles at Shea and Citi Field for the last four years, we entered the building knowing that the Mets were division champs or had a shot to get into the playoffs. When we flipped on the TV or radio to catch a game, we knew it meant something. Not one game played has been meaningless.
Not even the championship teams of '69 and '86 were that consistently good. The wild card does play a role, but the fact is that as Mets fans, we’ve been spoiled. As spoiled as you can be in Metsville.
I grew up going to a lot, and I mean A LOT of meaningless Mets games in the late '80s and '90s. It will be sad to see those days return.
This is not meant to be a testament to Omar Minaya or the Wilpons. I have plenty of issues with them, but this is not the time for that. I wanted to remind people that despite collapses and other shortcomings, they have spent every game of the last four years in the fight.
For that, I tip my cap to the 2006-2009 New York Mets. You never did quite make it to the mountaintop, but it has been one heck of a ride.