Mets: Looking back at a few Mets-related questions on Jeopardy!
In celebration of the life of Alex Trebek, we look back at a few times when the New York Mets made their way onto Jeopardy!
On Sunday November 8, 2020, the world learned the sad news of Alex Trebek’s passing. Trebek was the dignified host of Jeopardy! from 1984 until 2020. The New York Mets have wormed their way into several Jeopardy! questions over the years, many of which took a slight dig at the Mets’ many memorable failures. Clearly, there are quite a few Mets fans who regularly watch Jeopardy!, as any Mets question on the show always finds its way onto Twitter in a matter of minutes.
Just in the past couple of months, Jeopardy! featured a pointed question related to the now former (!) owners, the Wilpons, and their involvement with a certain Ponzi scheme.
When I saw this question come up on my TV screen, I groaned, then snickered. No matter what joys come to Flushing fans in the Steve Cohen era, the Flushing Faithful will never forget how the Wilpons lost hundreds of millions of dollars with Bernie Madoff, effectively handicapping the franchise for the next decade and a half.
Another recent Jeopardy! question took a shot at the Mets, but it wasn’t even in a baseball-related category. The category was “Let’s Talk About Flags,” of all things, and referred to the Mets metaphorically waving a white flag early on in the 2017 season.
It is intriguing that in the vast sea of flag-related trivia about, well, real flags, a question defining the 2017 season as a “white flag” even made it into this category. Unfortunately, in the 21st century, the Amazins have raised plenty of white flags very early on into their seasons.
Luckily, Jeopardy! has also paid tribute to some of the more triumphant moments in Mets history. This question from 2017 was a nice reminder of how the Amazins truly “started from the bottom” in the 1960s before rising to the top in 1969.
My favorite part of this clue is the subtle nod to the “Amazin” nickname by using the world “amazingly” to describe the 1969 World Series title. Fans watching this episode of Jeopardy! hopefully got a kick out of the writers’ added tribute to the franchise from Flushing.
A relatively recent clue from February 2020 should have been a home run for Mets fans, though no Jeopardy! contestant buzzed in to answer.
Any Mets fan watching this probably blurted out “MIKE PIAZZA!” at their TV as soon as they saw the question. I know I did. It is always nice to get an unexpected reminder of one of my team’s best-ever players while watching Jeopardy!.
It is also nice to be reminded of some lesser-known, more niche players while watching Jeopardy!. A question from a few years ago paid tribute to Julio Franco, the ageless veteran who, in his late 40s, played in Flushing from 2006 to 2007.
Another relatively recent Jeopardy! question referenced Kirk Nieuwenhuis via his famous three-homer game at Citi Field, his main claim to fame while in Queens.
Sometimes, the Amazins have even made their way into Final Jeopardy questions. This 2018 clue in the category “Flag Colors” involved both the Mets and another blue-and-orange New York team, the Knicks.
Of course, this flag question alluded not to a metaphorical white flag, but to the Mets’ famous orange and blue colors that they borrowed from the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers.
Baseball does come up occasionally on Jeopardy!, and when it does, the Mets tend to be among the rotation of teams mentioned. I don’t know whether Alex Trebek personally had a hand in ushering any of these questions from the writer’s room to the soundstage, but I hope he knew that he delighted Mets fans everywhere by reading these questions aloud about their favorite team.
Want your voice heard? Join the Rising Apple team!
As the Mets enter a distinct new era with Steve Cohen at the helm, Jeopardy! will also be entering a very new era without Alex Trebek as its venerable host. I look forward to seeing what new eye-roll-inducing and interest-piquing Mets questions the new host will read.