On September 17, 1986, the New York Mets magic number was one. Dwight Gooden was the starting...
The Mets entered the new decade with a great sense of hope and promise. The franchise had just won its first World Series title and the roster was filled with young, talented players led by Tom Seaver, Cleon Jones, Jerry Koosman, Bud Harrelson, Ron Swoboda, Gary Gentry and a great leader in Gil Hodges.
The sky was the limit — or so we thought.
The Mets remained competitive if not dominant in the early 1970s, as solid pitching continued to make up for a tin offense. They rose from a deadened start in 1973 and took advantage of a decrepit National League East with a first-place 82-79 mark, stunning heavily-favored Cincinnati Reds in the NLCS before taking Oakland to seven games in the World Series. The front office’s stubborn refusal to embrace free agency late in the decade led to a meltdown on the field, especially once Tom Seaver was traded on June 15, 1977.