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Don Draper and the New York Mets: 1969, A Year of Miracles

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Listen up everyone who is rooting for Don Draper to make it. OK, I know! Writer after writer is predicting that Don is in the same free fall as the shadowed figure opening his drama each week. And that this final season is going to end with Don's own humongous crash.

One glaring example of this future, or so is written, is that Don, among other humiliations, has been relegated to Lane Pryce's very sad office. Yes, the very office where Lane ended his free fall by hanging himself. I am sure your remember the grisly events: In desperation to escape his financial nightmare, and to save his wife humiliation, Lane forged Don's name to a "temporary" bonus. Don promised to repay Lane's debts, but told him the price -- Lane had to find "an elegant exit" from the company that held his lifeblood. Suicide was the exit he chose.

But dear optimists (and I am with you!), do you remember what Don, in a burst of fury, found under a radiator in Lane's former office? It was a Mets pennant! By the end of our last segment that pennant was off the floor and on Don's office wall, front and center.

Now here comes the optimistic foreshadowing -- the year for Don and his Mad Men (and Women) is 1969, the Mets' eighth season in the Major Leagues. In the seven preceding seasons the Mets had never finished higher than ninth place in the ten team National League and had never had a winning season. Records show that they lost at least one hundred games in five of the seasons.

Now stay with me, and yes, prepare to hoot and holler! The Mets got their act together when the Chicago Cubs suffered a late season breakdown, finishing the season 100-62, eight games ahead of the Cubs. They then defeated the National League West champs, the Atlanta Braves, three games to none in the League Championship Series. On a roll, they proceeded to defeat the American League champs, the Baltimore Orioles, in five games (I remember this well, as my home town was Baltimore!!), and win the World Series.

By the way, do you recall the first baseman who was named the series most valuable player (on the strength of his .357 batting average, three home runs, and four runs batted in)? His last name is Clendenon; his first, Donn.

And there is more foreshadowed hope symbolized by the formerly rumpled Mets pennant, now neatly attached to its new home, front and center! Casey Stengel, who managed the Mets from their inaugural season to 1965, called his team the "Amazin' Mets." Others refer to them as the "Miracle Mets." Well, you and I know that miracles can happen if you believe they can and will yourself to turn your life and luck around.

Yep, I join those wholeheartedly who are not giving up on our Don. He's got many a home run in him, and it will be thrilling to see what he does with them.