Ok so we made a deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates recently acquiring Vic Black and Dilson Herrera in exchange for Marlon Byrd and John Buck. We seem to have made out well and pretty much everyone seems happy with this deal.
…and it is sort of nice to see the Pirates doing well after having been down for so long. In fact, it sort of gives me hope that the Mets will also see their fortunes turn before too long.
…but you know, I grew up anti-Pirate and its hard to shake that attitude.
Here are some reasons why:
3. They had the productive Bobby Bonilla years. We had the desctructive Bobby Bonilla years (actually we had them twice!). Oh, and we’re still paying him.
4. They had the productive Jason Bay years. We had the phizzle years.
5. John Milner came back from Texas to play for them from 1978-1982.
6. Wally Backman came back from Minnesota to play for them in 1990.
7. Dock Ellis beat the Mets 11 times including two shutouts in 22 careers starts against us. When he pitched for us, he won three games in 14 starts.
8. The biggest reason though is non-other-than Willie Stargell. In the early eighties, my Friend Fitz ended up with two extra tickets to Banner Day. We got to Shea Stadium just in time to get into the end of the parade. There were may two or three banners behind us. We had an old banner that his little brother had made; I think it said, “Go-Go Mets”. There may have even been holes in the o’s for us to peek our heads out or something like that. Anyway. Fitz was on the right and I was on the left as we headed in from center field. We came down the left field line. I was checking out the crushed brick and scenes from the field when Fitz yelled out, “That’s Stargell standing at the top stairs of the visitor’s dugout.” Quickly, Fitz filled me in on how Stargell had come to his college (St. Francis University in Loretto, Pennsylvania) and delivered this motivational speech about “We are Family” and what a great inspiration he was as a player and a person. And this is all happening quickly. And he gets right up in front of Stargell and he yells out to him, “Hey Willie; Hey Pops! I was at St. Francis when you gave us your speech! You’re great!” …and Willie looks at Fitz carrying this Mets banner and gives him this total look of disdain and says, “Keep movin’, kid.”
So just as Stargell dashed many a Met pitcher’s hope of a victory and ruined their day; he, likewise, ruined Banner Day.