View Full Version : Top 5 Met Openers

04-05-2012, 06:39
With the Mets set to kick-off their 50th anniversary season here are the top five true home openers in the history of the franchise.

5- April 8th 1969- The Mets took on the expansion Montreal Expos in the first game in the history of the Expos. Trailing 11-6 going into the bottom of the 9th the Mets scored four runs but still fell short in an 11-10 loss for the Expos first win in team history. Though the Mets lost for the seventh time in eight opening days, there would be plenty of good times ahead in the 1969 season.

4- April 1, 1996- On a rainy, cold day at Shea the St Louis Cardinals took an early 6-0 lead as Met starter Bobby Jones was ineffective in 3 2/3 innings of work. The Mets began to chip away on a Todd Hundley 2-run homer in the 4th and a Bernard Gilkey solo shot in the 6th. In the top of the 7th, Rey Ordonez, making his major league debut got Shea rocking as he threw out Royce Clayton at the plate while spinning on his knees in shallow left field to keep the Mets within three. In the bottom of the inning Ordonez came through with his first major league hit, sparking a Mets 4 run rally as they came from behind to beat the Cardinals 7-6.

3- March 31, 1998- For the first time in club history the Mets opened the season in March as they hosted the Philadelphia Phillies. Curt Shilling pitched brilliant for the Phillies, striking out nine and giving up only two hits over 8 innings of work. Met starter Bobby Jones wasn’t as brilliant but was as effective, shutting out the Phillies through his six innings of work. Greg McMichael, Dennis Cook, John Franco, Mel Rojas and Turk Wendell kept the Phillies off the scoreboard with 8 innings of shutout ball themselves as the game remained scoreless until the bottom of the 14th when light hitting back-up catcher Alberto Castillo drove in Brian McRae with the game winning run to give the Mets a 1-0 opening day victory.

2- April 5th 1983- Tom Seaver made his return back home to the Mets and was greeted with a ruckus standing ovation as he made his way in from the bullpen just prior to the opening pitch. Seaver and Phillies starter Steve Carlton went toe to toe for six innings with Seaver giving up only three hits and striking out five. After Doug Sisk came in for relief in the 7th the Mets put up a two-spot in the bottom of the inning and went on to beat the Phillies 2-0. Though Seaver would leave again after the 83 season it was a day no one in the stands would ever forget.

1- April 9, 1985- It was a cold, brisk day at Shea as the Mets were poised to kick-off a new era of baseball against the Cardinals. Dwight Gooden started but was mediocre giving up three earned runs and striking out six over 6 innings of work. The Cardinals would tie the game at five with a run off Doug Sisk in the top of 9th. The game went to extra innings setting up a dramatic scene as newly acquired Gary Carter came to the plate with one out in the 10th. Carter was brought over by general manager Frank Cashion in an off-season trade with the Montreal Expos for Hubie Brooks and was thought to be the final piece to the Mets championship puzzle. Carter sent the Met fans into hysterics as he connected on the most memorable opening day homerun in the history of the team blasting the game winner into the Cardinals bullpen to give the Mets a 6-5 win. Chants of GARY! GARY! echoed throughout the stadium and you could feel the Mets were on the verge of something special.