This weekend, the Mets celebrated their 1986 World Championship team.
Along with the 1969 Miracle Mets, both championship teams are renowned for their paths to the title, and the legendary players that filled each team.
One other hallmark of Mets history is the lovable characters that have made their 55 years of existence so memorable.
From their very first manager, Casey Stengel to Davey Johnson, Bobby Valentine, and their present leader, Terry Collins, they create attention by their larger-than-life personalities.
The mound has also been home to a lot of Mets characters, like Roger McDowell, Turk Wendell, who used to slam the rosin bag down at the back of the mound when he would come in to pitch in the Piazza years; Pedro Martinez, and R.A. Dickey, the ageless knuckleballer who took home the Cy Young Award in 2012.
There is certainly one Mets pitcher who has just this club and is certainly a fan favorite for many reasons, Bartolo Colon.
Colon came to the Mets in 2014 after a successful run in Oakland, and the feeling was mixed as to what he would bring to New York, as he was 40 years old.
In his first year with the Mets, he went 15-13 with a 4.09 ERA, and threw 202 1/3 innings, bringing stability to a young rotation.
2015 was when Mets fans fell in love with him, as he got off to a fast start, along with the rest of the team and people were marveling at what the then-42 year old was accomplishing.
Colon, who was given the nickname Big Sexy by Noah Syndergaard, became an anchor in the rotation, as reliable as any of the young guns going out every fifth day.
It also helped Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, even Matt Harvey, to have the cagey veteran around to show them how to be successful in the majors.
This year, the legend of Colon has kept growing, as Mets fans keep being amazed at what a pitcher of his age (43 years old) and hefty build can do for them every day.
Colon is also one of those guys that looks like he’s having a ball out there, and that feeling of positivity is infectious.
A moment that will be remembered for a long time is when Colon hit the Shot Heard Around New York on May 7, when he homered in San Diego. He became the oldest player to ever hit his first major league home run, at 42 years and 349 days.
Colon also made some history on the mound, as he passed Pedro Martinez for the second-most victories among Dominican-born pitchers, with 222 career wins. Juan Marichal is first with 243 wins.
On Sunday night, Colon got big ovations when he took the mound and was announced as he was set to take on the Dodgers and their ace Clayton Kershaw.
The Citi Field crowd was into this one, as Sunday night games always have a playoff atmosphere and the Mets fans wanted vengeance after the disastrous Saturday night.
The ballpark particularly came alive when Colon came to the plate in the third inning. The crowd reacted to every pitch, especially when he lined one foul down the third base line before ultimately striking out.
Colon followed that up by snaring a line drive by Yasiel Puig to open the top of the fourth.
Colon did his job, allowing just two runs on seven hits in six innings, with a walk and three strikeouts, keeping the Mets in the ballgame against Kershaw.
Asdrubal Cabrera hit a homer in the bottom of the sixth to cut the Dodgers’ lead to 2-1.
The Mets tied it in the eighth when Curtis Granderson ripped a triple of Adam Liberatore, who came in to face him when Kershaw was lifter, to score Kevin Plawecki.
Mets Manager Terry Collins turned to his closer Jeurys Familia to keep the game tied.
Just like Friday night, when he allowed four runs, Familia did not have it, as he allowed a single to Kike Hernandez to open the inning. After getting Chase Ut;ey to pop out to Plawecki, he walked Corey Seager and Justin Turner to load the bases.
Adrian Gonzalez then singled home Hernandez and Seager to make it 4-2 Dodgers, and the Mets went down in order in the bottom of the ninth to end it.
After the game, Collins said of Familia’s command not being there in his last two outings, “That’s where he lives and dies. I talked to him a bit today, the only pitch that’s really hurting him is the slider to right-handers. You saw it again tonight, he got ahead in the count, and he left a slider up over the plate, it went for a base hit. Same thing the other day in Washington with (Jayson) Werth. His stuff’s fine, he just has to go back and make the pitches he knows he’s capable of doing so he can get some outs. He’s got a great sinker, and I hate to see him rely on off-speed pitches.”