Miracle Mets: From Worst to World Champs

Updated: October 17, 2005, 4:32 PM ET
By Larry Schwartz | Special to ESPN.com

Oct. 16, 1969

In eight seasons the New York Mets have gone from the joke of the baseball world to the toast of the town. The Mets, who lost a modern major league record 120 games in their first season in 1962, put the final touches on their improbable season by defeating the supposedly superior Baltimore Orioles 5-3 in Game 5 of the World Series. A ninth-place team a year ago, the Mets are now world champions.

After the Mets fall behind 3-0 today, Series MVP Donn Clendenon belts a two-run homer, his third dinger of the Series, and then, amazingly, Al Weis (six four-baggers in 1,446 career at-bats) homers to tie the game. Ron Swoboda's tie-breaking double in the eighth makes a winner of Jerry Koosman. When Cleon Jones snatches the final out in left, Gil Hodges' Mets and their fans go bananas.

Thousands of deliriously happy fans tear up the turf at Shea Stadium. From the sleek skyscrapers of Wall Street comes a spontaneous tickertape blizzard greeting the triumph of the Miracle Mets.