3) The biggest cult hero in New York Mets history is none other than Marvelous Marv Throneberry
The early New York Mets did not give fans a lot to cheer about, but Marv Throneberry gave the fans a lot to laugh about. And that is kind of unfair.
Throneberry was actually a very talented, and very feared, left-handed power hitter. He started his career in the Yankees organization but was blocked on his path to the Big Leagues. After a couple of stops with the Kansas City Athletics and the Baltimore Orioles, Throneberry became Met midway through the 1962 and immediately made an impact.
He hit 16 home runs and drove in 49 runs but he gained more notoriety for the things that went wrong while he was on the playing field.
During a game against the Chicago Cubs on June 17, 1962, Throneberry came to the plate with two runners on base. He drove the ball deep into the crevasses of the old Polo Grounds and legged out a triple. But Cubs first baseman Ernie Banks called for the ball and stepped on first base and the umpire called Throneberry out…for missing the bag.
With Throneberry still standing on third base, Casey Stengel flew out to argue the call but he was stopped by the Mets third base coach who said, “Don’t bother…he missed second base too.”
Marvelous Marv became a symbol for the “Lovable Losers” moniker that was bestowed upon those early Mets. His status as a cult hero continued on for many years and was even mocked in the iconic Lite Beer commercials of the 1970’s with Marv saying, “I still don’t know why they wanted ME to do this commercial.” Mets fans know why.