In the October 14, 1986, issue of the Voice (which would’ve hit the stands on October 7, just prior to the start of the NLCS pitting the Mets against the Houston Astros), the Jockbeat section of the paper featured a full-page exposé by humorist Charlie Rubin, “Favorite Dinosaurs of the Mets.”
Frank Cashen, the Mets G.M., gave Rubin a quote covering the basics: “Dinosaurs are important to any winning organization. And when your dinosaurs go, so does your competitive edge. I was talking to George Steinbrenner the other day, and he agreed with me. He said, ‘You know what killed off those great Yankee teams of mine, don’t you? Extreme cold and changing vegetation.’ ”
Left fielder Mookie Wilson added a player’s perspective: “When I’m in a slump, I comfort myself by saying if I believe in dinosaurs, then somewhere, they must be believing in me. And if they believe in me, then I can believe in me. Then I bust out.”
And pitcher Dwight Gooden imparted some field-level expertise: “Absolutely no question, the highlight of my season was finding that claw bone in the late Cretaceous formation just outside our dugout. Scaling up its dimensions, I’d conclude it was from a creature that was about 6-1 and 200 pounds…probably Tom Seaver.”
Now we know why that lovable team from yesteryear went on to win it all against the hated Boston Red Sox — who, we suspect, wouldn’t even recognize a Parasaurolophus if it was chowing down on the centerfield grass in Fenway Park. The takeaway? Know your dinosaurs — or lose the World Series.
Right about now you might be wondering, “How did anybody even think of this?”
Well, that’s what Jockbeat was for. We’ll be unearthing more than just dinosaur bones in future posts.