web analytics
May 24, 2015 / 6 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Monitor »

First To Worst


Media-Monitor-logo

The Monitor tries to warm the winter cold with one baseball-related column a year, and what better time than now, with the Super Bowl over and pitchers and catchers set to report to spring training camps next week?

Jacob Kanarek, an accountant who lives in Lakewood, New Jersey, recently wrote a book about the Mets of the mid-1970’s – a team that went from five straight winning seasons and two World Series appearances between 1969 and 1973 to being a laughingstock of a franchise by the end of the decade.

Born and raised in Boro Park, Kanarek says he was one of the few kids in his class without a television, so he spent his childhood listening to games on radio. After learning in Israel he moved on to Bais Medrash Govoha in Lakewood and married a girl from Boro Park. After several years in kollel he decided to study accounting, passed the CPA exam and opened his own practice.

The Monitor recently spoke with Kanarek about his book.

What inspired you to write From First to Worst: The New York Mets, 1973-1977?

I have very fond memories of my childhood-teenage years. I began to scour the archives of The New York Times and the Sporting News, just to reminisce. Reading the articles not only brought back memories of Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Dave Kingman, etc., but in a way transplanted me back to Boro Park of the mid-seventies. Those good feelings, combined with the fact that no author had ever focused on those seasons, gave birth to the idea of the book.

Did your passion for the Mets and baseball cause any problems as you were growing up?

I can’t say I really had any major issues growing up as a sports fan in a mainstream yeshiva environment. Whatever yeshiva I attended, there was always a significant number of other students who were also into sports. I probably took more grief from Yankee fans then from the non-followers. Every so often we would hear from a rebbe who would decry our interest in the “groibe goy vois hocked a ball mit a shtecken.”

Do you follow the Mets as closely now as you did when you were younger?

As a father of eight children, the principal of a growing accounting firm and someone who keeps two sedorim a day, I don’t have the opportunity to follow sports like I did growing up. My sports-following activities are pretty much limited to listening to games in my car on my way to night seder and back, and if it’s a good game I’ll stay in the car longer. The game has also changed significantly since my childhood and not in a positive way – greed, steroids etc.

What most stands out in your mind about the Mets of the mid-1970s?

The contrast between their great pitching and lousy hitting. For example, you could have a game against Cincinnati where the Reds would have a starting lineup of Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, George Foster, Johnny Bench, Ken Griffey, etc, or the Dodgers with Davey Lopes, Steve Garvey, Ron Cey, Dusty Baker, Reggie Smith, etc., and the Mets would counter with Bruce Boisclair, Mike Vail and Roy Staiger.

Do you have a favorite Met from that era?

Jerry Koosman. Aside from being a great pitcher (whose numbers would have been a lot better if he hadn’t pitched for two seasons with an awful team behind him) he is known as a good guy – something I got to experience firsthand when he agreed to my request that he write the book’s foreword.

So what was it that caused the downfall of the Mets from a competitive team in the early ‘70s to a laughingstock just a few years later?

I think there were two people two blame for the collapse of the franchise – M. Donald Grant and Joe McDonald. Grant, the chairman of the team, essentially knew nothing about baseball and elected not to improve the Mets via free agency despite the fact that they were one of the league’s wealthier franchises. Grant felt signing high-priced free agents would promote jealously on the team, but the opposite was true. The players were not interested in playing on a non-competitive level and either requested to be traded or Grant ordered them dealt. At that point McDonald, the general manager, would do his damage by trading off the stars and not getting equal value.

Jason Maoz can be reached at jmaoz@jewishpress.com

About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at jmaoz@jewishpress.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “First To Worst”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Sha'ar Shechem / Damascus Gate. The Old City of Jerusalem.
Arab Stabs 2 Jewish Teens in Old City Terror Attack on Shavuot
Latest Indepth Stories
Harris-052215

We take a whole person approach, giving our people assistance with whatever they need.

Shalev and Rabbi Levinger

During my spiritual journey I discovered G-d spoke to man only once, to the Jewish people at Sinai

MK Moshe-Feiglin

20 years after the great Ethiopian aliyah, we must treat them like everyone else; no better or worse

Sprecher-052215

Connecting Bamidbar&Shavuot is simple-A world without Torah is midbar; with Torah a blessed paradise

Many Black protesters compared Baltimore’s unrest to the Palestinian penchant of terrorism & rioting

She credited success to “mini” decisions-Small choices building on each other leading to big changes

Shavuot 1915, 200000 Jews were expelled; amongst the largest single expulsions since Roman times

Realizing there was no US military threat, Iran resumed, expanded & accelerated its nuclear program

“Enlightened Jews” who refuse to show chareidim the tolerance they insist we give to Arabs sicken me

Somewhat surprisingly, the Vatican’s unwelcome gesture was diametrically at odds with what President Obama signaled in an interview with the news outlet Al Arabiya.

The recent solid victory of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party produced something very different.

The reaction is so strong that nine times out of ten, parents engage in some form of coping mechanism before arriving at a level of acceptance of a special-needs diagnosis.

“…his neshamah reached out to us to have the zechus of Torah learning to take with him on his final journey.”

The gap isn’t between Israeli and American Jews-it’s between American Jews and the rest of the world

More Articles from Jason Maoz
Front-Page-051515

Some of the president’s defenders took to arguing that the overwhelming majority of German military personnel interred in Bitburg were regular Wehrmacht soldiers who died on the battlefield and likely were not involved in atrocities against civilians.

Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, both outspokenly critical of Netanyahu’s upcoming visit to Congress, were wowed by him in 2011.

Note also the response to the speech by the top Democrats in the House and Senate, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, both of whom have been outspoken in their criticism of Netanyahu’s upcoming visit.

The New York State comptroller manages the state’s $180.7 billion pension fund, audits the spending practices of all state agencies and local governments, oversees the New York State and Local Retirement System, reviews the New York State and City budgets, and approves billions in State contracts and spending.

While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.

When you grow up in a home where your parents went through what my parents went through, you realize that life has to be meaningful. You have to be there for other people.

“It’s a lousy column and a dishonest one,” Halberstam wrote. “So close it. Or you will end up just as shabby as Safire.”

Wye would be seen to have set the groundwork for the creation of a Palestinian state

These are not necessarily the best all-around biographies or studies of the individual presidents listed (though some rank right up there), but the strongest in terms of exploring presidential attitudes and policies toward Israel.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/first-to-worst/2009/02/04/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: