Spring has arrived and with it the baseball season. It’s a bit late this year, due to the lockout, but 162 games are in our future. The Mets home opener is tonight, and I already have tickets for next week. If you aren’t a Mets fan, well… no one’s perfect. And if you don’t care about baseball at all, allow me to sell you on our absolute mess of a team. For now I’ll say that at least three of us here at FTA and our editor’s mom root for the Mets, and that should be enough to convince you.
I can hear you now. “This is a music blog, C.” True! And the New York Mets have a storied history of music. As a diehard fan, I own a number of them.
The Mets came to Queens in 1962 as a replacement for both the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants. They were infamously terrible for their first seven seasons, but they came with one of the greatest theme songs in all of baseball. Written by Ruth Roberts and Bill Katz, “Meet The Mets” has stood the test of time. The tune is catchy, the lyrics fun, and the classic version still plays outside Citi Field to greet fans to this day. Here on seven-inch vinyl is the very record I use to inaugurate the season every year:
“East side, west side!” How can you not enjoy this song? There was an attempted update in the 80’s and it’s… alright. The “hot dogs, green grass, all out at Shea” version is obviously outdated with the advent of Citi Field. A better 80’s Mets tune was in the making, as we will see later.
In 1969, the Mets managed a miraculous World Series win. During the season, excitement was high, and eager to ride the wave, Buddha Records put out a frankly amusing album, The Amazing Mets, of Mets players singing Mets-ified versions of songs such as “Hallelujah” and “God Bless America.” The album also contains some locker room chatter from the game where the Mets clinched the NL East Division, on September 24, 1969.
In the Sixties, there was no YouTube and ESPN; reliving the special moments from a game could be difficult. Enter Fleetwood Recordings, who put out The Miracle Mets, an LP of play-by-play covering the whole season, beginning with a rather dramatic eulogy for the Dodgers and Giants and ending with the ’69 series win. Mets games were covered then by Bob Murphy, Lindsey Nelson, and Ralph Kiner. (The Citi Field radio broadcasting booth is named after Bob Murphy, from which you can still catch the game on WCBS with Howie Rose and Wayne Randazzo.)
After 1969, there was a long drought for Mets fans. They went to the World Series in 1973, losing to the A’s, and languished for a long time afterward. Finally, in 1986, things were looking up again, and it was time for more Mets music.
“Let’s Go Mets Go” came out in August of 1986 during the regular season. Featuring a now very nostalgic video, filled with 80’s hairstyles I wish I had, the song was written by Shelley Palmer and recorded by Tom Bernfeld. It’s honestly catchier than it has a right to be:
The collectors edition record also features an extended re-mix of the song and more season highlights of play-by-play by Bob Murphy, who was still on the broadcast.
The Mets won in 1986 in an exciting World Series against the Red Sox, and went on to lose in 2000 to the Yankees and again in 2015 to the Royals. Is it time for another Mets song? Could it bring us luck? I think so! Let’s get Lindor, Alonso, and Marte all in on the chorus, maybe deGrom and Scherzer on the bridge. (OK, Mad Max would probably just stare terrifyingly into the camera.) But we have enough musicians at FTA to make it work, I think. Call me, Steve Cohen. Let’s Go Mets!