Originally written February 08, 2013 on Mets Merized Online:
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In 1980, Baseball in New York featured a Yankee team that was a legitimate contender. Having won it all in 1978, they looked pretty solid. The overbearing and uncompromising Yankee owner George Steinbrenner was determined to establish his Yankees as perennial contenders by sheer force of will. The Mets on the other hand were awful and ended up losing 95 games. It’s almost hard to believe some of the guys the Mets ran out in 1980.  They ranked dead last in the NL with 61 home runs, their slugging percentage was .345 with a team OPS of .644. There were some bright spots –  a kid named Wally Backman hit .323 in 93 at bats for instance – but the positives were few and far between. 1980 was important, however, because it marked the Mets’ purchase by an ownership group that had the wherewithal to hire Frank Cashen as General Manager. Cashen, a former baseball writer turned lawyer, was highly regarded in baseball circles following a successful stint with the Orioles. Early on there were fe...
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