'69 Mets: Joanne Kaufman Cornelius

Joanne Cornelius in 1969

Joanne Cornelius in 1969

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Joanne Kaufman Cornelius of Greenlawn, 58. Corporate branding associate, Computer Associates.


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September 1969 was the first year any of us sisters went away to college. We who remained on Long Island followed our beloved Mets' journey into the World Series. We watched each game with a mixture of hope and terror. Could they possibly pull it off? Would the Amazin's let us down?

We called long distance to our faraway sister in upstate New York to share the play-by-play: 'Bottom of the ninth - two outs. Cleon Jones, Art Shamsky and [Ron] Swoboda all single to tie the game. Top of the 11th, the Giants' rightfielder, Ken Henderson, tripled home the go-ahead run! The Mets lose, 7-6, ending a six-game winning streak!'

There were five sisters altogether and twin brothers. And we were all Mets fans. . . . Of course, we all had our favorites. One sister was Ed Kranepool and another sister would be Cleon Jones, and I always liked Art Shamsky. And my father [had] a love-hate relationship with Ron Swoboda. He would always say, 'Oh, Ron Swoboda, that bum.'

As they started winning more and more, we couldn't believe it. We were like, can you believe it? Can they really do it? When you think about how they were before 1969, it was hard to believe anybody would ever take them seriously. And then, there they were."

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