NYC Lawyer William A. Shea had battled to create a new upstart Major League to compete with Major League Baseball to make up for the fact that New York went from 3 Major League teams down to 1 (with the loss of the Dodgers and Giants). Shea figured that if the Major Leagues weren't going to comply with adding new teams to their roster that he would create a league of his own to make up for the lack of MLB territories. The new Continental League was drawn up with new Major League teams in Denver, Houston, Minneapolis St. Paul, Toronto, Atlanta,
Buffalo, Dallas and Flushing Queens. The MLB took Shea very seriously and was afraid that his new league (with Branch Rickey named league president) would absolutely become a reality and a serious impact on their future. Major League Baseball approached William A. Shea, and asked him if he would back down if the Major Leagues agreed to place teams in some of the locations that Shea wanted to put a new ballclub. Shea agreed as long as one of those locations would be New York… the city he was most concerned about (Shea must have not been a Yankees fan!). The MLB agreed and announced that in 1962, they would establish the brand new New York Metropolitan Baeball Club as well as the Houston Colt 45's. The Metropolitans (soon to be shortened to the Mets) needed some talent to start their team in the right direction so in 1961… an entire season before their entry into Major League baseball… they asked the Mobile Bears to sponsor a franchise to help the Mets get themselves into shape. Mobile agreed and they became an affiliate for a team that didn't yet exist. The 1961 Mobile Bears were the future Mets… and just like the 1962 Mets, this team was truly awful! Finishing with a record of 61-92, these future Metropolitans would grow up to become the New York Mets at William A. Shea Stadium in Flushing (named after their hero… the founder of the Continental League that never came to be). The 1962 Mets would go down in history as the worst team to ever take the field at 40-120. Every other team on Shea's roster would eventually receive a Major League franchise except for Buffalo which remains today, a Triple-A city. Despite the awful record, the Bears new job of being the producer of the future Mets lasted all of one year. The Mets weren't necessarily done with Mobile but the Southern Association was. The Bears dropped to a miserable 48,000 through the gates… an average of 640 fans per game. That was actually good if you can believe it compared to Shreveport which drew a paltry 23,000. Just over 300 per ballgame.