The Amazing Mets 1962

At this time of year, even Mets fans might feel optimistic.

A look back at the Mets’ first game of their first season appeared in the March 9, 2012, edition of the New York Times, marking the 50th anniversary of the birth of the new team in New York. The story centers on an audio clip preserved by a young Mets fan, Marc Gold, who used his grandmother’s bar mitzvah gift–a tape recorder–to preserve the radio broadcast of his hometown team.

The audio clip is wonderful, and made all the more so by hearing the unmistakable voice of Howard Cosell on the pregame show. Listening to baseball on the radio puts you right there in a way that watching it on television doesn’t. The crackling noises and the old-school diction of the announcers add to the feeling that you’re right in the ballpark.

And the facsimile of the game coverage from March 11, 1962, also adds to the feeling of being there. It may be an acquired taste, but I am a sucker for old-school sportswriting. Here’s Robert Lipsyte’s opening graf from that day: “Seven white yawls rocked idly and ineffectually at anchor in Tampa Bay today, in perfect harmony with the New York Mets at bat, in the field and on the mound.”

A brief photo slideshow rounds out the multimedia elements and adds to the ambience of the story. Each element contributes something; that is, none of them is gratuitous. But the star of the show, for me, is the audio. Play ball!! Oh, and Go Red Sox!