METS FANS SHARE THEIR MEMORIES OF THE JUNE 19, 1974 GAME:
August 11, 2015
I remember this game vividly. This was my major league debut. I was almost 8, and my Dad had asked me in the offseason to pick a game for my 1st trip to Shea Stadium. Hank Aaron was my favorite non-Mets player, and so I picked this Braves game the year he broke Ruth's HR record. Two weeks or so before, I caught chicken pox, and it was possible I wouldn't be able to go. Like Gary Carter refusing to make the last out in Game 6 in '86, I willed myself to shake off the pox. June 19 was the 1st day I was healthy enough to go back to school, and, thankfully, my parents let me skip school to go to this afternoon game. What a thrill. My 1st time walking in to the beautiful stadium, seeing the amazingly dark green grass. We had box seats about 20 rows up behind the 1st base dugout. We got there early, and walked down to the dugout railing, and I was so excited to get backup shortstop Teddy Martinez to sign my very 1st scorecard and program! I didn't even know who he was at the time, but I didn't care. I got a Met's autograph at my 1st game!!!
Jon Matlack started, pitched 4 shutout innings, and shut down Aaron, who was later removed from the game, to my disappointment. Then, whichever Bob Miller relieved Matlack let the game get out of hand in the late innings, and the Mets had no chance to come back. My Mets heroes showed NO offensive abilities that day against former teammate Buzz Capra. We stayed to the end, however, soaked up all the atmosphere. And my 5 1/2-year-old sister capped off the day with comic relief by asking Dad and me after the final out was made and we sighed together in disappointment: "Who won?" The Braves did. A forgettable, midseason, lopsided shutout loss, but a HUGELY memorable, once-in-a-lifetime day for the ages for this little boy, who managed to not get busted by the Channel 9 cameras for "claiming" to be out of school with chicken pox, only to be taking in a Shea matinee on "a beee-yooo-tiful day for baseball," as Bob Murphy must've said that lovely Wednesday.