For a baseball fan who had seen his team pull off one miracle —
Coming back and winning it all in 1969 —
And then almost pulling off another one in ’73 —
For a fan who then endured a drought of a decade plus
(I apologize for the lack of sensitivity to Cubs and Red Sox fans),
1984 and ’85 were like being in a coal mine and breathing hints
Of pure, fresh air; those two years were foreshadowings of what would follow.
But the momentous acquisitions of Hernandez and of Carter
And the promotion to the Show of home-grown Doc and Darryl
Were not the reason I loved my team in 1986. It was not
Love of any single player, charismatic or not, that drew me
More closely to that team than I had been in 13 years. They
Played with spirit, hustle, abandon and desire . . . all well and good . . .
But it was the way they represented the best of my nation,
Showing that individuals working together, not separated
By pettiness or selfishness or a desire to find someone to blame,
That I sensed in them and I loved them for it. Think about it
As you peruse their roster: they were America; a few were born
In the Southeast — in Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama,
South Carolina, Florida; some were born in New York and Connecticut;
Several called California birthplace while the rest of the west coast,
Washington and Oregon were also represented . . . as were Texas
And Ohio and Montana. Two vital pitchers, born in Honolulu,
Called Hawaii birthplace while a shortstop stemmed from
The Dominican Republic, the only international player on the Mets . . .
But he fit right in and was loved and respected by teammates,
Not looked upon as “The Other” and held in contempt.
Take a deep breath and watch them play — with skin
The shade of every color possible, working as one prideful unit
To accomplish the goal — as a team! This is what I saw and what I think of
First and last when I recall that year. Yes, there were individual goals
And personal pride, but there was more — much more —- in unity,
And that is what today’s America can learn (a lesson very badly needed):
If we pull in divergent directions we will rip apart ourselves and our foundation;
If we pull together, we cannot be stopped — and we build a championship
That our children and all future generations will think of with pride.
Let us raise the greatest banner of them all together and pledge allegiance
To our common goal and bask one day soon in the common victory!