Wednesday, July 3, 2013

1993 Mets Win World Series? Part 1: Todd Hundley Roid Rage

I am attempting to win the World Series in Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball with the 1993 New York Mets, who finished that season 59-103, worst in baseball. Griffey Baseball is one of my favorite video games ever. The gameplay holds up, but on top of that, it was released just before baseball changed forever. Consider the following:

1. There were 4 divisions with 7 teams each in 1993. Each division winner made the playoffs. There was no wild card playoff spot. When you start a season in this game, you can choose to align the league as it was in 1993, or you can select the "1994 proposed format." Amazing.

2. As a swan song to the old guard, the 1993 San Francisco Giants won 103 games in the NL West and did not make the playoffs. They had the MVP (Barry Bonds) and the manager of the year (Dusty Baker), but had the awful luck of finishing a game behind the Atlanta Braves. The Braves in the NL West! Adorable!

3. The very next year was the 1994 strike. On pace that year to meet in the World Series? The Chicago White Sox and the Montreal Expos. The Expos were absolutely stacked, with Pedro Martinez, Moises Alou, Larry Walker, and John Wetteland. I would argue the strike shattered a lot of the lore surrounding baseball and allowed the NFL to push ahead in the national spotlight.

4. Finally, this game was pre-steroids discussion. But steroids sent baseballs over the wall, put butts in the seats, and saved the game, so let's move on.

Game 1: San Diego Padres at New York Mets

Killer photography.

Dwight Gooden got off to a rocky start, allowing 2 runs in the first to the lowly Padres, but he settled down enough to scatter 3 runs and 9 hits over 8 innings. Even better news: I didn't see him do coke once! Way to go, Doc.

Todd Hundley went completely bananas, smashing 3 home runs, a double, and collecting 5 RBIs. TODD HUNDLEY IS ON STEROIDS.

Updates on my quest to make the 1993 Mets World Series champs will follow. To close, here's a little bit of personal history. When Griffey Baseball released in 1994, I was 11 years old. To keep me from wasting my life away, my parents housed the Super Nintendo at Grandma's house in Wheeling, IL. I have tons of memories of visiting G Unit and rattling off a handful of Griffey games (they take under a half hour to complete) before heading to the pool for the day.

Grandma died in April 2013. She was a voracious reader, a huge sports fan, and a dynamite lady. One of my favorite conversations with her:

Grandma: [sees Luke doctoring his coffee]
Grandma: You should drink black coffee.
Luke: ?
Grandma: I used to put cream and sugar in mine. Then I switched to black and all the boys wanted to date me.

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