A miracle? Amazin'? Yes, yes, yes!

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The Mets, who had been dismissed as the "lovable losers," provided the surprise kicker to the summer of 1969. Sports columnists said the Mets would never win: They were an 8-year-old expansion team playing the star-studded Orioles - with Frank Robinson, Boog Powell and Jim Palmer - acknowledged to be one of the finest teams ever.

The Mets had never finished higher than ninth place, and their gaffe-filled performances had been immortalized by Jimmy Breslin several years earlier in a book aptly titled, "Can't Anybody Here Play This Game?"

Even in mid-August of 1969 they were in third place in the National League East division.

"When they reached the World Series, everyone said, 'They don't deserve it, it's a fluke,'" said Kim Cody, of Whitestone, who was a 17-year-old Mets fan back then.

He got to attend every home game of the Series. In the fifth and final game, the Mets won 5-3 in front of a sellout crowd of more than 57,000 at Shea Stadium. Cody ran onto the field and lifted a stranger aloft. Their photo ran on the back page of a newspaper the next morning.

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Tom Seaver, left, pitches to Ernie Banks of the Chicago Cubs in the eighth inning at Shea Stadium. Seaver's bid for a perfect game was spoiled in the ninth inning.

When Cody went to his Catholic school and reported that he'd been sick the day before, the dean of discipline said simply, "Mr. Cody, you take a nice picture." Cody said he received 10 lashes with a belt.

"It hurt like hell," Cody recalls, "but it was worth it."


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