As we officially begin our bracket challenge today, we start off with an interesting match-up of old vs. new. To see the bracket, please return here.
To look back at these two great events, I have pulled from other articles to get a sense of the general impact of both.
Suddenly the Mets, who for so long seemed to have losing in their lifeblood, couldn’t lose if they tried. They won both ends of a doubleheader over the Pittsburgh Pirates on September 12 when their two starting pitchers—Koosman and Don Cardwell—knocked in the only runs in a pair of 1-0 victories. Three days later, St. Louis pitcher Steve Carlton set an all-time major league record against the Mets with 19 strikeouts—and the Mets still beat him, 4-3. New York clinched the NL East at its final home game before a week-long, season-ending road trip; Shea Stadium groundskeepers would need that week to repair the turf, ripped apart by 50,000 rabid fans.— 1969 The Amazin’ Mets
The New York Mets ended nearly two decades of disappointment in their division and days of delay, clinching the NL East for the first time since 1988 with a 4-0 victory over the Florida Marlins on Monday night.
Jose Valentin, one of their unexpected stars, homered twice and Steve Trachsel, their longest-tenured player, combined with three relievers on a four-hitter.
Fireworks shot off from behind the center-field wall when Cliff Floyd caught Josh Willingham’s fly ball to left for the final out. The Mets rushed to the center of the diamond to celebrate, hugging near shortstop.
New York’s “other team,” often obscured by the crosstown Yankees, had hoped to clinch last week during a trip to Florida and Pittsburgh. But the 280 or so bottles of Freixenet Cordon Negro Extra Dry sparkling wine that had been flown from city to city were neatly arrayed in four trays outside the clubhouse before the game, as if to tantalize passing players.
Just two years removed from a 71-91 finish that led to the hiring of Omar Minaya as general manager and Willie Randolph as manager, the Mets ended the reign of the Atlanta Braves, who had won 14 straight division titles, including 11 in a row since their move to the NL East.—The New York Times
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