Miracle Mets To Mark 50 Years Since World Series Win With Long Island Celebration
NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – This week marks 50 years since the Miracle Mets shocked the baseball world. Mets Ron Swoboda and Ed Kranepool spoke with WCBS 880 about what it’s like to look back on the win after all these years.
Outfielder Ron Swoboda told WCBS 880’s Neil A. Carousso that he and his teammates still feel a strong bond with fans and will reunite on Long Island Wednesday night to share their fond memories of the team.
“You know baseball is our careers and all of them are made up of these little vignettes and these little stories that we can relate,” Swoboda said.
Swoboda made “the catch” in Game 4 that helped propel the Mets past the Orioles in the World Series of 1969. He said manager Gil Hodges was a Marine who instituted much-needed leadership for the young team.
Some baseball fans have criticized teams for relying too much on analytics, but Swoboda says Hodges applied data available to him at the time to put the best on the field.
“You can go through game after game, play by play, and see the decisions that Hodges made and the situations he made them in,” Swoboda said. “He was uncanny in his ability to plug the right guy in at the right time, because the season had a lot of ebb and flow.”
Ed Kranepool has played more games in a Mets uniform than anyone else. He told WCBS 880 that 1969 was a turbulent year in America and that the team’s victory was a moment of joy.
“It was a tough time in the country back in ’69. You had people walking on the moon. You had Woodstock. You had the Vietnam War. There was a lot of negative surroundings, but of course winning in ’69 with our ball club really brought the country together and people got behind us and celebrated,” Kranepool said. “And they’ve celebrated this year, and you know it just brings joy.”
Kranepool said a lot of players came through Shea Stadium and Citi Field, but members of the ’69 team have managed to remain friends after 50 years.
“That group that we had in ’69 stayed very close on and off the field. We traveled as a group, we played as a group and we celebrated as a group, and we’re still celebrating, and that’s what’s great,” he said.
Kranepool is amazed by how many fans still feel so connected to the Miracle Mets.
“Every day when you get up in the morning you can say a little prayer and be thankful that you’re still here, you’re still able to do things. The fans will never let us forget ’69. They want to hear the stories, they want to see us, they want to get an autograph,” Kranepool said. “It brings joy to everybody’s heart to really be able to celebrate, and I’m looking forward to seeing all the fans.”
You can join Swoboda, Kranepool and Art Shamsky at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City at 7 p.m. Wednesday—50 years to the day that the team won their first championship. You can purchase tickets for the event at cradleofaviation.org.
Kranepool will also be at the BNB Bank Business Breakfast on Thursday at the Huntington Hilton. You can find more info on the event here.