In 1968 Hodges was brought back to New York to manage the perennially woeful Mets, and while the team only posted a 73–89 record it was nonetheless the best mark in their seven years of existence up to that point. In 1969, he led the "Miracle Mets" to the World Series championship, defeating the heavily favored ; after losing Game 1, they came back for four straight victories, including two by 2–1 scores. Finishing higher than ninth place for the first time, the Mets became not only the first expansion team to win a World Series, but also the first team ever to win the Fall Classic after finishing at least 15 games under .500 the previous year. Hodges was named The Sporting News' Manager of the Year, in skillfully platooning his players, utilizing everyone in the dugout, keeping everyone fresh. Hodges continued as manager through the 1971 season. He died before the opening of the 1972 season and was succeeded by
part of baseball's expansion in the early 1960s, a franchise was awarded to New York, to play in the National League beginning in 1962, and to be known as the New York Mets. It was hoped that the new team would be supported by the many former Giant and Dodger fans left without a team when the franchises moved to California after the 1957 season. There were rumors through the 1961 season that Stengel would be the manager, but he initially showed no interest in managing a team that, given the rules for the expansion draft, was unlikely to be competitive. George Weiss had been forced out as Yankee general manager and hired by the Mets. He wanted Stengel as manager, and after talks with the Mets principal owners, Joan Whitney Payson and M. Donald Grant, Stengel was introduced as Mets manager at a press conference on October 2, 1961.Leonard Koppett of The New York Times suggested that Stengel took the job to give something back to the game that had been his life for half a century.
Look at that guy. He can't hit, he can't run, and he can't throw. Of course, that's why they gave him to us.
Casey Stengel, on a player obtained by the Mets in the expansion draft
Weiss was convinced his scouting staff would make the Mets a respectable team in five to six years, but in the interim New York would most likely do poorly. He hoped to overcome the challenge of attracting supporters to a losing team in the "City of Winners" by drafting well-known players who would draw fans to the Polo Grounds, where the Mets would initially play. Thus, the Mets selected a number of over-the-hill National Leaguers, some of whom had played for the Dodgers or Giants, including Gil Hodges, Roger Craig, Don Zimmer and Frank Thomas. Selected before them all was journeyman catcher Hobie Landrith; as Stengel explained, "You have to have a catcher or you'll have a lot of passed balls".
The return of Casey Stengel to spring training received considerable publicity, and when the Mets played the Yankees in an exhibition game, Stengel played his best pitchers while the Yankees treated it as a meaningless game, and the Mets won, 4–3. The team won nearly as many games as it lost in spring training, but Stengel warned, "I ain't fooled. They play different when the other side is trying too".The Mets lost their first nine games of the regular season; in the meantime the Pirates were 10–0, meaning the Mets were already 91⁄2games out of first place. Some light appeared in May, when the Mets won 11 of 18 games to reach eighth place in the ten-team league. They then lost 17 in a row, returning to last place, where they would spend the remainder of the season.
According to sportswriter Joseph Durso, "on days when [Stengel's] amazing Mets were, for some reason, amazing, he simply sat back and let the writers swarm over the heroes of the diamond. On days when the Mets were less than amazing—and there were many more days like that—he stepped into the vacuum and diverted the writers' attention, and typewriters, to his own flamboyance ... the perfect link with the public was formed, and it grew stronger as the team grew zanier".The Mets became an alternative to the stuffy Yankees that appealed to the younger generation of fans. As the losing continued, a particular fan favorite was "Marvelous" Marv Throneberry, who was a "lightning-rod for disaster" in the 1962 season, striking out to kill rallies, or dropping pop flies and routine throws to first base.During one game, Throneberry hit a massive shot to right, winding up on third base, only to be called out for missing first. Stengel came from the dugout to argue, only to be told that Throneberry had missed second base as well.
Can't anyone play this here game?
Casey Stengel, on his 1962 Mets
Stengel tried incessantly to promote the Mets, talking to reporters or anyone else who would listen. He often used the word "amazin' " (as he put it) and soon this became the "Amazin' Mets", a nickname that stuck. Stengel urged the fans, "Come out and see my amazin' Mets. I been in this game a hundred years but I see new ways to lose I never knew existed before".Stengel was successful in selling the team to some extent, as the Mets drew 900,000 fans, half again as many as the Giants had prior to their departure, though the games against the Giants and Dodgers accounted for half of the total. The team was less successful on the field, finishing with a record of 40–120, the most losses of any 20th century major league team.They finished 601⁄2 games behind the pennant-winning Giants, and 18 games behind ninth-place Chicago.
The 1963 season unfolded for the Mets much like the previous year's, though they lost only eight games to begin the season, rather than nine, but they still finished 51–111, in last place. One highlight, though it did not count in the standings, was the Mayor's Trophy Game on June 20 at Yankee Stadium. Stengel played to win; the Yankees under Houk possibly less so, and the Mets beat the Yankees, 6–2.
It has 57 bathrooms, and I need one now.
In 1964, the Mets moved into the new Shea Stadium; Stengel commented that "the park is lovelier than my team".[The Mets finished 53–109, again in last place. By this time, the fans were starting to be impatient with the losing, and a number of people, including sportscaster Howard Cosell and former Dodger Jackie Robinson, criticized Stengel as ineffective and prone to fall asleep on the bench. Stengel was given a contract for 1965, though Creamer suggested that Weiss, Grant and Payson would have preferred that the 74-year-old Stengel retire.
And we have this fine young catcher named Goossen, who is only twenty years old, who in ten years, he has a chance to be thirty.
The early part of the 1965 season saw similar futility. On July 25, the Mets had a party at Toots Shor's for the invitees to the following day's Old-Timers' Game. Sometime during that evening, Stengel fell and broke his hip. The circumstances of his fall are not known with certainty, as he did not realize he had been severely injured until the following day. Stengel spent his 75th birthday in the hospital. Recognizing that considerable rehabilitation would be required, he retired as manager of the Mets on August 30, replaced by Wes Westrum, one of his coaches. The Mets would again finish in last place.
Johnson took over the Mets in 1984, a team that had not won a pennant since 1973. He became the first National League manager to win at least 90 games in each of his first five seasons. The highlight of his time with the Mets was winning the 1986 World Seriesagainst the Boston Red Sox. While with the Orioles in 1969, Johnson was the final out in the Miracle MetsWorld Series win.
However, Johnson rankled Mets management with his easygoing style. Years later, he summed up his approach to managing by saying, "I treated my players like men. As long as they won for me on the field, I didn't give a flying fuck what they did otherwise."When the Mets struggled early in the 1990 season, starting the season 20-22, he was fired. He remains the winningest manager in Mets history and was inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame with Frank Cashen, Darryl Strawberry, and Dwight Gooden on August 1, 2010.
After managing in Japan Bobby returned to the U.S. and the Norfolk Tides in 1996, managing them to an 82–59 record and second place in the International League's West Division. He then was promoted to manager of the Mets with 31 games left in the 1996 season, and led them to a 12–19 record the rest of the way.
Over the next two seasons, with Valentine at the helm, the Mets began a resurgence, finishing 14 games over .500 (88–74) both years. Valentine's most memorable game as a manager occurred on June 9, 1999. In the 12th inning of a 14 inning marathon with the Toronto Blue Jays, Mike Piazza was called for catcher's interference on Craig Grebeck. Valentine was ejected by home plate umpire Randy Marshfor arguing the call, and returned to the dugout an inning later in a disguise (a fake moustache). Unamused, Major League Baseball fined Valentine $5,000 and suspended him for two games. The Mets went on to win the game 4–3.
Valentine led the Mets to a record of 97–66 and a wild card playoff berth that season. The Mets beat the Arizona Diamondbacks in four games (3–1) en route to the National League Championship Series, where they eventually lost to their division rival the Atlanta Braves in six games (4–2).
In early 2000, Valentine was at the center of what would be called "The Whartongate Affair", in which he allegedly mentioned to students at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business somewhat cynical, insider comments regarding a handful of Mets players and the organization as a whole.
The Mets returned him as manager the following season, finishing the year with a 94–68 record and another wild card playoff berth. This time, the Mets would not be denied the pennant, winning the 2000 National League Championship Series by defeating the St. Louis Cardinals in five games (4–1). The Mets run would end during the 2000 World Series as they were beaten by their crosstown rival New York Yankees in five games (4–1).
Valentine won the 2002 Branch Rickey Award for his donations and personal work with survivors of the September 11 attacks. Valentine had an uneasy, if not volatile relationship with general manager Steve Phillips, who fired three of Valentine's coaches and selected the replacements himself during the 1999 season (in a move many observers felt was an attempt to get Valentine to quit and eventually fired him after the 2002 season. Valentine was hired by the network soon afterwards. He finished his Mets managerial career with a record of 536 wins and 467 losses.
Collins wears number 10 to honor his managing mentor and friend Jim Leyland of the Detroit Tigers. Collins served on Leyland's coaching staff when he was manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1992 and 1993.
On September 27, 2011, the Mets announced that they would pick up Collins' option for the 2013 season.
In 2012, after the Mets 46–40 record at the All-Star Break, Tony La Russa selected Collins as one of his coaches to the 2012 All-Star Game. In 2013, Bruce Bochy selected Collins as one of his coaches to the 2013 All-Star Game at Citi Field.
At the end of September 2013, Collins agreed to a two-year extension with the Mets with a club option for 2016.When Jim Leyland retired in October 2013, Collins became the oldest active manager in Major League Baseball.
On June 16, 2015, Collins won his 340th game as Mets manager, passing Gil Hodges for the third most in franchise history.On September 26, 2015, the Mets defeated the Cincinnati Reds 10–2 to clinch the National League East. It was the first time Collins ever clinched a playoff berth as a manager. On October 15, 2015, the Mets defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers to advance to Collins's first ever NLCS appearance. On October 21, 2015, the Mets defeated the Chicago Cubs to advance to the 2015 World Series versus the Kansas City Royals. On November 2, the Royals won game 5 in Citi Field to defeat the Mets and win the World Series, 4 games to 1. Collins made the decision to leave starter Matt Harvey in the game for the ninth inning with the Mets holding a 2-0 lead. Harvey gave up 2 earned runs in the inning to allow the Royals to tie the game, leading to questions about Collins's strategy.
Despite being below .500 (60-62) as late as August 19, the Mets went 27-13 in their final 40 games to make the postseason in consecutive seasons for the second time in franchise history. They subsequently went on to lose to the San Francisco Giants in the Wild Card Game.
Collins retired as manager following the final game of the 2017 season on October 1, 2017. Immediately after his retirement from the managerial role, Collins was named special assistant to the General Manager for the New York Mets.
In 1969 the Mets would finally come of age. Coming from 10 games back on August 14 the Mets won their last 24 of 32 games to beat Chicago for the East Division, before sweeping the Braves in the first NLCS. They went on to shock the Baseball world capturing the first World Championship in franchise history by topping the Baltimore Orioles 4 games to 1. And being forever dubbed the “Miricle Mets”!
the 1986 Mets were a power house club winning a franchise rscore 108 Games on their way to the Division title. They would go on to defeat the Houston Astros in the NLCS In 6 Games, before winning an epic 7 game World Series against the Boston Red Sox, but not before dropping the first 2 games at Shea Stadium, and being 1 Strike away from defeat, before Mookie Wilson hit a dribbler up along first, only for it to inexplicinbly get by Boston's Bill Buckner to trigger a Mets comeback in Game 6, which they would go on to win and clinch their 2nd World Title with a 8-5 win in Game 7!