Queens lawmakers took a break from the frantic last days of the legislative session in Albany Tuesday to honor the “Miracle Mets.”
Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas invited former Mets outfielder Art Shamsky to the capitol to present him with a resolution commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1969 World Series Champions.
“I am proud to congratulate the 1969 New York Mets,” Simotas said. “Their thrilling championship victory was a cause for celebration in the borough of Queens and all through the state. It is also important that we recognize the exceptional players who represent our great state.”
For most of the 1960s, the Mets were a laughingstock in Major League Baseball, suffering a modern-record 120 losses when they made their debut in Flushing in 1962. In 1969, they shocked the sports world winning 38 of their final 49 games and defeating the powerhouse Baltimore Orioles in five games to win the World Series creating bedlam at old Shea Stadium.
“Mets fans are a special breed and Mets teams hold a special place in the heart of our city,” state Senator Michael Gianaris said.”It was great to have Art Shamsky with us in the Senate as we honored the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Miracle Mets.”
After the wild celebration that day, Shamsky famously told reporters, “I’ll walk down the street in New York now and people will say, ‘There’s Art Shamsky of the Mets.’ People used to laugh. They won’t anymore.” Known as “The Sham,” he hit .300 during that magical season becoming a fan favorite, particularly with the city’s large Jewish population.
“The 1969 Miracle Mets are emblematic of the people of New York City and Queens, they were underdogs who were never given a chance, that through teamwork, grit and determination became champions and shocked those that underestimated them,” Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato said. “They gave their fans an identity that the team still carries today and captured the imaginations of a generation of fans who still refer to this team with fond memories.”
Every player on the team roster became a household name in every corner of the borough.
“The heroics of the ‘69 Mets made Queens more proud than it had ever been, and I was glad I was able to enjoy watching the likes of Tom Seaver, Cleon Jones, Ed Kranepool, Tommy Agee, Jerry Koosman and Bud Harrelson compete on a high level at Shea Stadium,” Assemblyman Michael DenDekker said. “I also cherish the memories of watching the 1969 Mets as a young child with my father. The Miracle Mets taught me to never forget that ‘Ya Gotta Believe!'”