Jon Niese turns 25 this Thursday. Put another way: someone was born, grew up, went through the minor leagues and established him as a major league starting pitcher since the last time the Mets won a World Series.
I’ve often thought of looking at Niese as a good measuring stick for exactly how long it has been since that elusive title. Niese is like The Portrait of Dorian Gray, growing ever older, while the memories of 1986 remain fresh in our minds, seeming to have happened yesterday. So how does the Mets Person Drought compare to other teams in Major League Baseball?
Twelve franchises have either never won a championship, or haven’t won more recently than the Mets. So while the Mets Person Drought is personified by Jon Niese, the Pirates are represented by pitcher John Ennis, whose last game in the major leagues was September 12, 2007. The Cleveland Indians are best represented by Cynthia Clawson, who in the time since the Indians last won on October 11, 1948, has won five Dove Awards and a Grammy for her gospel singing.
And while the Cubs don’t have a perfect representative born on October 14, 1908, it is worth noting that the economist John Kenneth Galbraith was born the very next day. Since the Cubs won a championship, Galbraith served under four presidents- Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson-and won the Medal of Freedom twice, before passing away in 2006.
That’s a lot of life to get in between championships. Let’s hope the Mets win another championship before Jon Niese wins the Medal of Freedom for a lifetime of public service in economics.