METS FANS SHARE THEIR MEMORIES OF THE APRIL 13, 1962 GAME:
August 20, 2004
I'm only 34 years old, and obviously cannot remember this game, but on Aug 8, 2004 Ed Randall did an interview with the 2nd base ump who did this game on 660 WFAN. The gentleman said that only about 12,000 showed up for this historical game because of (1) the rain, and (2) because it was an afternoon game during the week. He said that the showers in the old Polo Grounds didn't work, and the field was in shambles because no baseball had been played there for 4 years, (only the NY Titans played football there) Think of today if after 4 years of no NL baseball, would the Polo Grounds been filled to capacity the entire season?
February 5, 2005
This was a cold early April rainy day. On this particular day I was able to talk my mom to watch the home opener. I remember Lindsey Nelson saying "At the Polo Grounds, it's baseball time, time for the New York Mets." Bob Murphy would do the Viceroy commercial ("not too strong, not too light, Viceroy cigarettes are just right") and the marching Rheingold Beer bottles. What memories! The team? Just to have National League ball back in New York was a thrill for this 13 year old.
January 3, 2006
Sure the attendance wasn't much by today's standards but remember that the total Metropolitan area's population was much smaller than it is today, disposable incomes were much more modest, and corporate season tickets were not as common back then. A team drawing a million fans in a season was highly respectable.
Two things of note about this game other than it being the very first Met home game at the Polo Grounds:
1. Frank Thomas hit his first Met homer. He'd go on to lead NYC in homers in 1962, besting Maris and Mantle. He also had an RBI single in the ninth but the Mets still lost 4-3. Thomas had played for Pittsburgh against the NY Giants in their last game at the Polo Grounds in 1957 and hit a homer in THAT game as well as making the final out.
2. Sherman Roadblock Jones was the losing Met pitcher. Originally, Casey planned to start him in the season opener in St. Louis but Sherman hurt his eye with a cigarette lighter allowing Roger Craig to lose the first Met game ever. Instead, Sherman got to lose the Mets first home game ever.
March 14, 2010
One other item of note in this game: it marked the first appearance by Elio Chacon in a Met game when he became the first Met pinch runner ever.
November 25, 2010
The game is a memory that I will have forever. There were just about 13,000 people in the Polo Grounds in the rain and I was one of them. Sat behind first base in the lower deck. My most vivid memory is of the top of the seventh inning when three Mets (Richie Ashburn, Charley Neal and Gus Bell) played "I don't want it - you can have it" with a Bill Mazeroski pop fly in short right field which fell for a triple and allowed the eventual winning run to score. We didn't know it at the time but that play was an omen of things to come.
July 2, 2011
This was my 8th birthday, and what a birthday present it was, except that the Mets lost. I'll never forget it!
August 31, 2011
I went with two friends to the Polo Grounds for the first Mets home game. We sat in the bleachers. I remember it being chilly and there was a drizzle. I was disappointed that my favorite ballplayer Gil Hodges didn't play. Are there any pictures or film of that day around? I remember we were in the front row of the bleachers and there weren't too many people by us.