METS FANS SHARE THEIR MEMORIES OF THE APRIL 18, 1964 GAME:
January 13, 2002
I was thrilled when my father surprised me with tickets to this game. It was the second game ever to be played a Shea and the Pirates had players like Clemente, Mazeroski and future Met hero Don Clendenon. I got to see Casey Stengel up close! Of course, by the bottom of the seventh the Pirates were up 9-0. Being a Met fan we were used to being pounded. But...the Mets scored 2 in 7th, 2 in the 8th and 1 in the ninth to close the gap to 9-5. Everyone was screaming like crazy, waving handkerchiefs and banners. The game ended with the bases loaded. We really had the Bucs on the ropes for three innings. In those days a come-back like that was a real moral victory.
March 3, 2003
This was the second game ever played at Shea Stadium. I was 15 years old at the time and for the first time I went to a ball game with my friends instead of my dad. My buddies and I were waiting on the subway platform at 74th Street and Roosevelt Avenue. From a distance, we saw our 9th grade Spanish teacher. When we returned to school on Monday, we discussed the game in Spanish.
June 19, 2004
Somewhere in the barrage of runs Pittsburgh scored in this game, a little-noticed but truly classic “Can’t Anybody here play this game” incident took place. At some point, with a few runners on base, the batter lofts a towering fly ball into shallow left-center – a tough play for any shortstop, but even tougher if your shortstop is named Elio Chacon.
Chacon drifts back, looking over his shoulder, starts to slowly turn to the right as the ball descends, keeps turning, craning his neck, turns and turns some more until he comes all the way back to where he started - a full circle - and the ball drops right in the middle. The stadium is brand-new and so is the sod; the ball buries itself in the grass; Chacon can’t find it, Pirates are running merrily around the bases; a few runs score; and the only thing we could do in the stands was to laugh hysterically – you always had to be ready to do that in the early years.
April 8, 2008
We were 15 years old or so and were we ever looking forward to seeing Shea Stadium. The Mets had run a feature on the new stadium in the 1963 Yearbook or Scorecard and we couldn't believe that our team would ever be playing in a place that was so state of the art. There was even going to be this huge TV screen on top of the scoreboard! (It didn't work during day games for sure and I think it took them years to get it to work at all.) This was the second game at Shea and my friends and I walked up to the box office and were able to get Loge Reserved seats in one of the sections right behind home plate. To this day, and after going to Shea hundreds of times, they were the best seats I ever had at Shea.
How times have changed. I don't even know if we'll be able to buy our way into the new CitiField the first year of play, much less the second day!