A prophecy about the New York Mets linking important World Series players to each other through trades predicted bigger things for Joe McEwing in 2000.
Joe McEwing was supposed to end the 2000 World Series with a walk-off hit. He was supposed to dunk one over a drawn-in infield against Mariano Rivera just like Luis Gonzalez would one year later. This is what the New York Mets prophecy foretold.
Things didn’t actually happen this way for a variety of reasons. I’ll try to be sensible. I’ll also dive into the nonsensical along the way, too.
First, let’s back up to 1969. It’s Game 5 of the World Series. Mets starter Jerry Koosman is still on the mound. Can you believe a pitcher is actually going to toss a complete game—in the playoffs no less?
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Koosman threw the last pitch of the 1969 World Series. The Mets defeated the Baltimore Orioles. The prophecy began.
Years later, Koosman was traded to the Minnesota Twins. A part of the deal included a player to be named later—the most traded player in all of sports history. On February 7, 1979, the deal was completed with Jesse Orosco going to the New York.
It took a few years, but the prophecy reared its head again. In Game 7 of the 1986 World Series, Orosco was on the mound for the final out of the game against the Boston Red Sox. A strikeout sent the Mets to glory and set part-three in motion for the prophecy to continue, come true, or do whatever it is they are supposed to.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, this prophecy is about a string of trades. Koosman was traded for Orosco and each threw the last pitch of a Mets World Series victory. The team would get another chance to continue when they traded Orosco as part of a three-team deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland Athletics.
This is where the Baseball Gods may have turned against the Mets. A three-team deal is like a fantasy baseball trade to them.
In the trade, the Mets picked up Jack Savage, Kevin Tapani, and Wally Whitehurst. All three had a chance to continue this franchise oddity. None did as the Amazins were defeated by Orosco’s new team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, in the 1988 NLCS. They wouldn’t reach the playoffs again until 1999.
One more shot at fulfilling the prophecy
This was nearly the end of the coincidences until Orosco rejoined the Mets. He never did pitch a game for them. He was traded days before Opening Day to the St. Louis Cardinals for Joe McEwing.
McEwing was a super-utility player for the Amazins from 2000-2004. Because he was traded for the man to record the last out in a Mets World Series, it seems he may have been destined to end things from the plate.
It never did happen, though. McEwing had just a single at-bat in the 2000 World Series. He did score a run, but it wasn’t the winner in an elimination game. The prophecy seemed to end right then and there.
At one point, the Mets did try to make up for the three-team deal by trading Savage and Tapani to the Twins for Frank Viola. In the early 1990s, they did the same with Whitehurst only to the San Diego Padres for Tony Fernandez. Following those string of trades, we find they cease after Fernandez is traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in mid-1993.
Maybe McEwing was never meant to hit a walk-off single in the 2000 World Series to win it all. Maybe the fact that the two Mets pitchers on the mound for the franchise at the end of a championship season run were traded for one-another is pure coincidence. Or maybe we need to dive deeper into how they all had names beginning with the letter “J.”
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For the few minutes you spent reading this, I hope you got to imagine McEwing as a World Series hero. I don’t really believe in prophecies, curses, or hexes. Then again, what’s with the number 44 and Mets players that have worn it?