METS FANS SHARE THEIR MEMORIES OF THE MAY 14, 1972 GAME:
April 5, 2002
I wasn't at this game, but I sure do remember it! This was the day that Willie Mays returned to New York as a member of the Mets! As a kid I had heard about what a great ballplayer Willie Mays was and even though I heard people talking about Willie's age, I figured a great baseball player was a great baseball player! Who cared how old he was? He's the "Say Hey Kid"! And what a fitting return. Against his former team, Willie hit a HR that gave the Mets a 5-4 win. Of course, Willie's age DID matter and many thought he stayed too long when he hung around for the 1973 campaign.
April 30, 2002
I recorded this game off the TV with my tape recorder. When Willie hit that HR, Ralph exclaimed, "There's a drive to left! Going back, and gone!" You can hear me in the background, yelling for my dad. Then when Willie came up the next time, Lindsey said "If you've been a Met fan since 1962 when they won only 40 games, just the sight of Mays in a uniform that says 'Mets' across the front of it, has got to do something for you."
Fran Healy, current Mets broadcaster, was catching that day for the Giants.
May 16, 2003
One more thing about this game: the Giants' starter was former Cleveland fireballer "Sudden" Sam McDowell. Sam, who was kind of the Nolan Ryan of his day (lots of walks and strikeouts), walked the first three batters in the game (Mays, Harrelson, Agee) and then Rusty hit a grand slam. McDowell then struck out Cleon, Fregosi, and Teddy Martinez to end the first inning. Four runs, one hit, three walks, three strikeouts!
September 16, 2007
I was at this game with my father. I was 15 and I remember Rusty's grand slam. We sat down the left field line and when Willie hit the home run it was during a slight drizzle of rain and the ball was a line drive over the left field fence. Never will forget it!
March 5, 2008
I was at my grandparents apartment in Manhattan watching the game. I still remember jumping up and down when I saw that line drive clear the left field wall. Willie was finally home again. I was glad to see probably his last dramatic moment in an illustrious career and share it with my grandfather who always called him the greatest player ever.
February 9, 2009
I was at this game with my father and I remember Rusty Staub's grand slam after Sam McDowell walked the bases loaded. Also Tito Fuentes went 4 for 4 that day. I Remember when Willie came up to bat in the 5th inning my saying, "Come on Willie, hit one off the bullpen cart" which if I remember he just missed it. Great game. Never will forget it.
April 9, 2011
This was the first game I had ever been to. I was 5 years old. I don't remember the game details any more than I remember the Mets won. What I do remember is the smells: stale beer in the concrete walls, pretzels, hot dogs and the spectacular site of the wonderful green green grass of Shea Stadium. I remembered it rained and a lot of people left. I thought my Dad was the greatest person in the world, cause somehow we went from being in the upper deck (which I thought was great anyway) to being on the field level behind 3rd base. I didn't know how he did it, but he got us as close to game as possible and everything I imagined seeing a baseball game was, came to life.
May 8, 2012
When Willie got traded to the Mets we were so happy and excited. Then we realized we would be attending his first game as a Met and against of all teams - the Giants. Wow, we were so excited.
I don't remember details of the game except Willie's home run. It was one of the greatest of my Mets moments - including attending Game 5 in '69. He just blasted a shot into the mezzanine seats in left field. The place went nuts. The Mets won thanks to Willie. It was perfect.