New York Mets

Long after fans stripped Shea Stadium of everything not nailed down, Tom Seaver and Gary Gentry left the clubhouse and returned to the torn up field followed by Life Magazine photographers.

“I realized for the first time that the ultimate joy is not in the clubhouse, spraying champagne … the biggest thrill is on the field, joining teammates in the competition to achieve one common goal,” said Seaver. “That day I understood that the process in itself is the reward. It was a lesson in maturity, a moment of personal growth. That is why as long as I live, whatever I accomplish, I will always be a ’69 Met.”

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Just as he did an hour earlier, New York Mets pitcher Dave Mlicki walked from the team’s dugout to the pitchers mound at Yankee Stadium. It was the same understated stroll he made to and from the dugout during the game only now the Stadium was quiet, empty and dark. It was eerily cool for a mid-June night. The heat — along with the cheering, jeering and chanting — left in the shadow of 56,188 New Yorkers.

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This is what the New York Mets were expecting: a middle-of-the-lineup right-handed power hitter who’d hit 30+ home runs and drive in 100+ runs; an above-average defensive left fielder with a strong throwing arm; a clubhouse leader and team player.

That’s who Jason Bay was — in 2009. In 151 games as a Boston Red Sox, Bay hit 36 home runs and knocked in 119 runs in his only as a starting left fielder in the American League. The Mets expected more of the same when they plucked Bay out of the free agent market and signed him to a four-year, $66 million deal.

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January 18, 1985 Tim Leary was quietly traded by the New York Mets to the Kansas City Royals. Leary was selected out of UCLA in the first-round (second overall) by the Mets in the June 1979 Draft. Less than two years later, at age 22, Leary made his major league debut. It lasted seven batters.

Life would have been better if no one said the phrase – ever — but it was too late now. By the timeTim Leary first heard someone say it in his presence all he could do was go out and try to provide evidence to support the claims.

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Ed Ryan entered the baseball blogosphere baggage in hand – emotional baggage. As a retired Marine, he endured the psychological effects from service in Operation: Desert Storm. After returning home to New Jersey he started a career in law enforcement and more stress: September 11.

“For about a year we were going to funerals back to back to back, that was numbing,” said Ryan. “I was fried. I needed an outlet a healthy one not drinking, drugs or women.”

He needed a distraction.

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