Originally written on Mets360.com  |  Last updated 3/15/12
For the Mets, 1978 was already shaping up to be a rough year by June 30. The team was dispirited, the fan base was dwindling and those that remained continued to pine for the banished Tom Seaver. The team’s hierarchy tried to salve the fans’ wounds by going out and signing free agents, something they had vowed never to do. Unfortunately, instead of signing Reggie Jackson or Bobby Grich, ownership brought in Tom Hausman and Elliot Maddox. After the traditional Opening Day win, they stumbled badly out of the gate and limped into Pittsburgh a dismal 13 games under .500 at 32-45. At the opening of Mets’ training camp in Port St. Lucie, beloved owner Jeff Wilpon distributed t-shirts with the logo from the old “Underdog” cartoon to players and personnel. This reminded me – and others – of an attempt at motivation for similar Mets team, facing similar circumstances as this year. At the start of spring camp in 1979, the Mets’ emotional leader, John Stearns, handed out blue t-shirts em...
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