Someone had to stand as a symbol of the colorless ineptitude of the late ’70s Mets.
Sure, the practical avenue would have been to focus on ownership and/or management.
But I was a kid. I needed a more visceral symbol. I needed Sergio Ferrer.
In 1979, I heaped all my scorn for the wayward path of the team on the 5′ 7”, 145 lb frame of one Sergio Ferrer.
The years of being Staigered and Randled and Grieved had taken their toll, and deep in the doldrums of another lost summer, I could not countenance being Ferrered.
So there in my bedroom, sifting through a toy chest brimming with well-worn cards, I came across a 1979 Topps Sergio Ferrer. And I ripped the bastard in half.
Call it an exorcism. Call it a sacrifice.
Sergio’s last appearance in the bigs was on September 29, 1979, in the second half of a doubleheader against the Cardinals. He pinch ran for Ron Hodges in the 7th inning, and scored on a triple by Kelvin Chapman.
Somehow the 1979 Mets won the final six games of the season to finish 63-99, while Mookie and Wally and Jesse toiled down on the farm. Come January of 1980, the team was sold to Nelson Doubleday and Fred Wilpon, who soon brought in Frank Cashen as GM. And with the number one overall pick in the 1980 amateur draft, the Mets selected Darryl Strawberry out of Crenshaw High School.
And somewhere in my secret heart, I believe that a 1979 Topps Sergio Ferrer needed to die in order for all this to be so…