1983 Mets Fridays #1: The team photo

One of the many items that has survived since my childhood at Shea is this photo of the 1983 Mets.  (click on it for a much bigger version)

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It lives in my office above the 1982 version, and below the awesomely-horrible-awesome 1992 apology letter the Mets published in the newspapers. I don’t know how the picture made it until 1998, but that year I bought my first house and started framing things. As you can tell by the way the bottom right corner is bent I didn’t carefully frame it – but it has been in that plastic frame for 15 years now.

The 1983 squad is an interesting one, especially at the start of the season because Keith Hernandez has not yet arrived and Mike Howard was the Opening Day right-fielder.  You can think of it as nineteen seventy-thirteen.

In this photo Hernandez is there in the second row with Mookie Wilson, Craig Swan, George Foster, manager Frank Howard in mop-up duty after manager George Bamberger had resigned, #42 Ron Hodges (honored every April on Ron Hodges day), then Keith, Hubie Brooks, Rusty Staub, and then the only name Mets fans might now know but a solid major leaguer named Mike Torrez.  Not a bad row.

Right in the front and center, and where else would he be, #52 Bobby Valentine.  In the back that tall fellow is a rookie everybody was excited about named Strawberry – and for those of you making banners it was easy to start with some sort of Throneberry/Strawberry comparison.  Remember it had only been 21 years since 1962!

I left out one name from that second row.  Tom Seaver.  The franchise was back.  I will be writing a lot about April 5, 1983 as that anniversary approaches, and as  I mentioned yesterday I wrote about it in my upcoming ebook Send The Beer Guy.

Next Friday I’ll dive into the 1983 Team calendar.

How about those blue uniforms?!

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4 comments
William Martin
William Martin

I wonder where this was picture was taken? It's obviously not in St Pete as Keith was not with us until June of that year; nor was Junior Ortiz. Also, Frank Howard took over for Bamberger shortly before Hernandez was acquired.

Shannon Shark
Shannon Shark

Yeah I was gonna mention the Thon beaning but thought it was a little deep for what seems to be a younger audience. I was watching that night. He got drillllled. Mike was indeed #5. Game winning hit, never plays again. WEIRD.

D. Giwner
D. Giwner

Those are my favorite Mets uniforms.. I bought a Kingman ine last year. I also remember when Mike Torrez beaned Dickie Thon of the Astros.. Not on purpose. Thon was really never the same ball player again. I also remember the Mike Howard experiment. I remember saying to my self who is he? #5 If im not mistaken. GReat photo. Dave.

Shannon Shark
Shannon Shark

I think it is actually Shea - perhaps with the tree behind the bullpens airbrushed out. Look at the very right of the photo on the blue fence, you see a pennant on the fence. Also that's probably the old picnic area in its early days.

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