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Mettle

Mettle the mule heading out to right field at Shea Stadium in 1979.-Jeff Belson

Mettle the Mule
was the official mascot of Major League Baseball's New York Mets. A live mule, Mettle could be seen trotting up and down the foul lines in 1979.

Mettle was the brainchild of Bebe DeRoulet, the daughter of Lorinda DeRoulet, who inherited the team from her mother, Joan Payson, the first owner of the Mets. The name was chosen in a contest won by a fan, Dolores Mapps, from Mercerville, N.J. Mapps said she chose Mettle because it typified the team’s “spirit, ardor, stamina and courage, all of which the Mets have in abundance.”

Mettle did little for the Mets in 1979. The team finished in last place and averaged fewer than 10,000 fans a game, an all-time low for the Mets. The team was sold the next year to a group led by Nelson Doubleday and Fred Wilpon. The new owners wisely chose to send Mettle packing and spend their money on other things.

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