“Ya Gotta Believe!”

By Dan Gartland and Extra Mustard
February 14, 2017

When the Mets managed to win the NL East in 1973 with a mediocre 82–79 record and topple Joe Morgan and Pete Rose’s Big Red Machine in the NLCS, the team united behind a three-word phrase from closer Tug McGraw: “Ya Gotta Believe!”

Though they went on to lose to the A’s in the World Series, the rallying cry has been attached to McGraw and the Mets ever since. 

McGraw was traded to the Phillies after nine seasons and spent another 10 years in Philly. So it makes sense for the Phillies to feature him on the wall of their spring training facility, but this still looks weird. 

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Count the Mets among those scratching their heads.

To be fair, McGraw did plenty in his post-baseball life to make those three words relevant outside the game. When McGraw was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in 2003, “Ya Gotta Believe” became the motto for his charitable foundation. 

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