Posted by Mack Ade at 12:00 PM
My hometown of Huntington, NY was also home to Mets announcers Lindsey Nelson and Bob Murphy who lived fairly close.
I was in San Francisco for a conference in July 1974 when the Mets were also in town. They were staying at the hotel I was at where I ran into Nelson in the lobby wearing one of his garish sports jackets. I was able to catch a night game and see the Mets play. It was a rather strange experience watching a game in July and freezing since temperatures were in the 50's with 20 mph winds. The locals knew how to dress wearing hooded coats and/or using blankets. Despite Jerry Koosman pitching the Mets lost.
The next year (1975) while visiting family in NY I caught a game at Shea against the Dodgers and managed to catch a foul ball hit by Ron Cey (alias The Penguin).
The Mets went through some lean years the rest of the 70's and into the early 80's. They reached bottom when Tom Seaver was traded.
A few years later while attending a spring training game in Phoenix I saw Nelson in the press box. I was able to approach him and asked why he left the Mets to announce games for the Giants. His retort was that he was following Horace Greeley's advice: "go west, young man, go west".
As the 80's unfolded the Mets made some strides and came close to winning the division a time or two finishing a game or two behind the Cards through 1985.