Mount Rushmore: An impressive work of American stone craftsmanship and a colossal awe-inspiring tribute to the foundations of American democracy. The likenesses of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln look over the Black Hills National Forest with purpose and great wisdom. It’s quite the impressive sight and well worth the trip to western South Dakota. Unfortunately for me, my summer of 2015 visit to Mount Rushmore was preceded by a full morning spent about 75 miles east at the Badlands National Park, which could easily be labeled a Mount Rushmore of geological history here in the States. The point of my itinerary from a day about eight years ago is that not all Mount Rushmores are the same.
“Mount Rushmore” has become a creatively fun way to say “what are your favorites” of a particular thing. “Who’s on your Mount Rushmore of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover models?”, “What’s your Mount Rushmore of pizza in Chicago?”, “What’s your Mount Rushmore of TV theme songs from the ’80s?”. Once a person replies with Elle MacPherson, Lou Malnati’s and Moonlighting, then continue down their lists the conversations really take off. Like I mentioned before, not all Rushmores are built the same. The Mount Rushmore of Yankees is going to be a tad bit more impressive than the Mount Rushmore of Mets, but we’re going to have some fun here and dig into the later.
The Mount Rushmore of New York Mets, the best Metropolitans of all time
I actually grew up watching a lot of Mets games in the suburbs of Boston. My parents are New Yorkers and when cable television came to town in 1978, my dad jumped on it because they carried two New York channels, WPIX which carried the Yankees games and WOR, which carried Mets games. My dad was a Mets fan so along with Yaz, Jim Rice, Carlton Fisk and Roger Clemens, I also watched a fair share of Rusty Staub, Hubie Brooks and Lee Mazzilli. I was a huge Staub fan as a kid, so, although a Red Sox fan, I’m not exactly coming out of left field in putting together the Mount Rushmore of Mets. Let’s begin.