Originally written on Mets360.com  |  Last updated 8/2/12
When I was a small child, the Mets were contenders every year. From age four through age eleven – with the slight blip of 1974 – the Mets were always in the hunt for the division, almost guaranteed to finish over .500. Everyone knew why: pitching, of course. Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, and Jon Matlack at the top of the rotations, complemented at points by Nolan Ryan, Gary Gentry, George Stone, Ray Sadecki and a rookie or two here and there were the formula to keep Shea Stadium humming. But you know what? They wouldn’t have been anything without the guys behind them. Great pitching is a marvelous thing, but great pitching ain’t great without at-least good defense. The hoary truism goes that it takes all nine guys on the field to win. Seaver, Koosman, et al all benefitted from having a Jerry Grote behind the plate, a Bud Harrelson at shortstop, a Del Unser in center field. It was a hallmark of those Mets, as clear an identity as Mr. Met or Bob Murphy. The writer Roger Angell ...
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