When the 1962 New York Mets trotted onto the field giving the fans their first look at the expansion team, the crowd roared its welcome for the new hometown nine. The freshly uniformed aggregate was an odd assemblage of faded yester-season stars like Richie Ashburn, Gene Woodling and Roger Craig, each dispatched by their former teams for whatever benefit that might provide for the Mets. The manager was Casey Stengel, nicknamed the Old Professor for his 10 American League titles with the Yankees.
Surely his wisdom, experience and colorful vocabulary would enhance the play of the old castoffs with reasonably stylish behavior on the field. But even though the fans loved every minute for of it, satisfied to cheerfully call their team “the lovable losers “, the team finished the season with a 40-120 record . Its performance was best chronicled by the story of first baseman Marv Throneberry’s birthday party. Casey told the inept fielder, “I would have given you a cake, Marv, but you would have dropped it.”
Donald Trump insists he drafted the best cabinet ever. Columnist Tom Friedman described it as a pickup basketball team. I would suggest that it is the modern version of the Mets, even if I don’t think the Old Professor deserves to be mentioned in the same breath with Trump.
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