The West That Was Barely Won!

Matthew Keegan

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Well, it is just days before the end of the major league baseball season and as of this writing, several divisional races are still up for grabs. One race that has just ended involves a division where it appeared that no one wanted to win it: the National League West. The San Diego Padres have clinched the division, and the collective yawn that you are hearing is coming from fans who are simply not impressed as the Padres won-lost record sits squarely at .500! Do the Padres stand a chance? If history repeats itself they certainly do. Please read on to learn why.

In 1973, when the National League was split into two divisions of six teams each, a similar battle for first place occurred. The New York Mets and all their rivals battled to the end of the season before the Mets won the division with an 82-79 record. Up until that time no team had won any sort of baseball title with as “dismal" a record. While the Mets record was certainly forgettable the way they won the division and their post season success belies that record. Coming from 11 games out the Mets rallied to win their division and then dispatched the haughty Cincinnati Reds in the league championship series three games to two.

Entering the 1973 World Series against the powerful Oakland Athletics, the prognosticators predicated an Oakland sweep, but were quickly proven wrong as the Mets jumped out to a 3 games to 2 lead. Ultimately, the Athletics prevailed and won the World Series, but not before all the doubters recognized that the Mets were certainly worthy contenders.

It remains to be seen if the Padres can capture the same spirit as the ’73 Mets. Unlike the Amazin’ Mets, these ‘05 Padres did not have to rally from many games back. Still, the Padres do have an opportunity to cause much mischief in the post season and it will be interesting if they manage to advance even beyond the first playoff round. Let the games begin!

Matthew Keegan is The Article Writer who writes on just about any and every issue imaginable. You can preview samples from his high performing site at


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