Here’s To Another Memorable Mets Opening Day

Our New York Mets have had their share of great memories on Opening Day despite losing their first eight in a row. Since then you could say that the Mets own Opening Day.  Here are some memorable moments to set the right mood for todays opener against the Marlins at 1:00 PM. Enjoy…

The Mets played their first game ever on April 11, 1962. The rain delayed affair was played before a crowd of 16,147 who watched the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Amazins’ on Opening Day by a score of 11-4. Roger Craig started for the Mets and lasted just three innings, but more importantly, National League baseball was back in New York.

On Opening Day in 1962, right fielder Gus Bell stroked the first hit in Mets history, a single in the top of the second inning. First baseman Gil Hodges would hit the first homerun in franchise history two innings later, a solo shot to leadoff the fourth.

In 48 years, the Mets have posted a Major League best 31-17 Opening Day record, which is all the more impressive when you consider they started out by losing their their first eight games. It wasn’t until 1970 that the Mets would win their first Opening Day contest, and since then, they are a very sweet 31-9.

The Mets have used 19 different starting pitchers on Opening Day, led by “The Franchise” Tom Seaver who started a Mets record 11 Opening Day games and owns a perfect 6-0 Opening Day record. The 19 starters have a combined Opening Day record of 25 wins, 11 losses (25–11) and 12 no decisions.

In a 10-6 victory over the Expos, Kevin McReynolds and Darryl Strawberry each hit a pair of home runs helping the Mets to establish an Opening Day record with six homers. The ‘Strawman’s’ second shot, estimated at 525 feet, is believed to be the longest homerun ever hit at Olympic Stadium.

Dwight Gooden holds the Mets record for the most Opening Day wins. Doctor K racked up seven Opening Day wins against one Opening Day loss.

Welcome to New York Gary Carter. The “Kid” connects on a dramatic walk-off homerun in the bottom of the tenth inning to beat the Cardinals 6-5 on Opening Day in 1985. Carter hit his towering shot off Cards reliever and former Met Neil Allen who the Mets traded to acquire Keith Hernandez.

On Opening Day in 1983, Tom Seaver, making his first appearance with the Mets since 1977, combines with Doug Sisk to blank the Phillies at Shea Stadium, 2-0. It is Tom Terrific’s 14th National League Opening Day assignment‚ tying Senators hurler Walter Johnson’s record.

In 2000, the Mets opened the season against the Chicago Cubs at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan. It was the first MLB Opening Day ever played in Japan. Mike Hampton started for the Mets who lost 5-3 in front of a sell-out crowd of 55,000.

Former shortstop and former manager, Buddy Harrelson, started more Opening Day games, eleven, than any other Mets position player. He batted .228 (8-35).

In 1993 at Shea Stadium, the Rockies lose their National League debut to the Mets, 3-0. Doc Gooden pitches a 4-hit complete game shutout for the Opening Day victory.

During their Opening Day history, the New York Mets scored their most runs on April 4, 1994 versus the Chicago Cubs who they beat 12-8. The Cubs returned the favor and scored the most runs against us on March 31, 2003, beating us 15-2 in Tom Glavine’s very first start for the Mets after signing as a free agent.

On Opening Day in 1994 at Wrigley Field, Cubs rookie Tuffy Rhodes becomes first player to homer in his first three at-bats starting the season. The three solo round-trippers are all hit off Mets right hander Dwight Gooden, the winning pitcher in the Mets 12-8 victory.

In 1998, the Mets played in the longest scoreless Opening Day in National League history. Pinch-hitter Alberto Castillo’s single with two outs and the bases loaded gave the Mets a dramatic 1-0, 14-inning victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.

In 2006, SNY, the Mets all new cable network, broadcasts its first regular season baseball game. During the third inning of New York’s 3-2 Opening Day victory over the Washington Nationals, SNY experiences technical difficulties which blacks out the telecast for nearly twenty minutes.

We’ve had some memorable Opening Days over the years. Here’s to another great Opening Day and the start of another Amazin’ Mets season!

Thanks to Baseball Almanac, Baseball Reference and National Pastime for their help in compiling this list.

About Joe D 7944 Articles
I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73, '00 and '15, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.