Although I was just 11 years old on this day, I still remember it all so well, specifically the last out; a lazy fly ball to left fielder Cliff Floyd off the bat of Josh Willingham which was caught and Floyd immediately threw his arms up in the air, Billy Wagner raced off the mound and into the arms of his catcher Paul Lo Duca as the home dugout emptied onto the field to join the celebration and the crowd cheering. The Mets broke almost a 20-year division championship drought for themselves, but also ended a streak of 11 consecutive NL East crowns for the Braves.
Every day that I think of the 2006 season, I always say to myself, "That was our year." To this day I strongly believe the Mets would've won the World Series if they found a way to take game 7 from the Cardinals in the NLCS. They had a dominant lineup featuring Jose Reyes, Paul Lo Duca, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado, and David Wright as well as contribution from surprise players including Jose Valentin and Endy Chavez. It was a special season for sure, but injuries to Pedro Martinez and Orlando Hernandez which forced them both to miss the playoffs did not make it easier. Regardless, players such as John Maine and Oliver Perez stepped up in a big way, giving the Mets a chance to advance to the World Series only to fall just short.
Post-game, David Wright said, "If this is what baseball in New York is like, to me it's the best." Unfortunately for David and the Mets, baseball hasn't been that way in Queens since, as the Mets are still searching to punch their ticket into the playoffs for the first time since 2006, a drought of now 7 disappointing seasons. But regardless, this is David's home; a New York native who signed a long term contract this past off-season to remain a Met for life, is determined to bring this team and city a World Series.
As this date in Mets history brings back amazing memories, it is another opportunity for Mets fans to remain hopeful as the future is bright due to the organization's large depth of highly touted pitching prospects and plenty of money to spend in the off season it appears the losing seasons may be a thing of the past.