METS FANS SHARE THEIR MEMORIES OF THE APRIL 7, 1978 GAME:
March 4, 2011
I was there opening day 1978 as part of the Armed Forces Police color guard. We changed into civilian clothes after presenting the colors and had pretty good (and free) tickets about 15 rows back of the third base dugout. Our NCOIC somehow had a WPIX press pass and handed it to Fred Merritt and me. We took our (not) professional cameras and went for it; the security guy waived us in. The only empty box was next to the TV booth with Ralph Kiner doing the play-by-play so we watched the game from there.
While I remember the Mets won, 3 to 1, Gary Carter hit a solo shot, and Andrew Carson played a nice centerfield, my greatest memory will forever be of who joined us. About the second inning, a graying-haired guy opened the door and was pushing another 50-something guy in a wheelchair. The former asked if there was room for them and I responded "Sure. We probably aren't supposed to be sitting here ourselves."
They entered and we all introduced ourselves; they were Duke Snider and Roy Campanella and Fred and I were just a couple of 24-year old Army GIs. The Duke and Roy laughed when we told them, bought the beer and hot dogs, and we all enjoyed the game. Ralph Kiner came over and chatted somewhere around the 4th inning.
What a day that was. Those three were all great for more than their on-field heroics: they were nice guys who never lost the common touch. And they went out of their way to thank us for serving our Nation.
March 11, 2011
This was the first Mets season opener in 11 years for which Tom Seaver was not the starting pitcher. With Seaver somewhere in Ohio, Jerry Koosman had the honor of being the Opening Day starter. Jerry pitched well, going all the way for the win and carrying on a Met tradition of season opening victories initiated by Tom.
In reading the entry above, I was wondering something. Tim, are you sure that your press pass was that of WPIX? Mets' games were televised by WOR (Channel 9) back then, while it was the Yankees that were on WPIX (Channel 11). Also, did you mean Andre Dawson when you wrote the name of Andrew Carson?