Managing The Amazin' Mets
In 1962, at age 72, Stengel was called on to manage the new Metropolitan Baseball Club of New York, better known as the Mets. On accepting the position, Stengel said, "Most people my age are dead at the present time." Drumming up support for his new team, he announced, "Come see my amazin' Mets!" and the name stuck. The 1962 Mets became known as the worst baseball club in history. Stengel said, "I been in this game a hundred years but I see new ways to lose I never knew existed before." In spite of their losses, Stengel kept up the humor, and the Mets drew ever larger crowds to the rundown Polo Grounds, where they played. Near the end of the 1962 season, some 923,000 fans filled the park, a very respectable number when compared to the 1.5 million drawn by the Yankees. Before their final home game, the Mets carried placards onto the field spelling out "We Love You Mets Fans Too," and Stengel ran to the end of the line with an exclamation point. Stengel stayed with the Mets until 1965, when he broke his hip and was forced to retire, at age 75. Four years later, the Mets won the pennant, after winning 100 games.
In 1966 the Baseball Writers Association of America met in secret and elected Stengel to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Thrilled with the honor, he said, "This Hall of Fame thing is bigger than anything I ever saw."