METS FANS SHARE THEIR MEMORIES OF THE APRIL 17, 1968 GAME:
March 19, 2003
The home opener, and I worked this game as a vendor. Seemed like a great job at the time. The most memorable thing about this one was that the rookie Koosman loaded the bases with none out in the first inning and then proceeded to strike out the side! I seem to remember the three victims as McCovey, Bonds and Hart.
September 4, 2003
The 3 Giants who struck out with the bags full were Mays, McCovey and Jack Hiatt, not Jim Ray Hart. Cleon Jones hit a 3 run homer off of Mike Mcormcik as Koosman won. I was at that game, the only Opening day at Shea I ever went to and the only Mets game I went to in 1968, the Year of the Pitcher.
July 5, 2005
Rookie Koosman became the first Met to ever pitch back-to-back shutouts. The previous week he had shut out the Dodgers 4-0 on the west coast. This win against the Giants was sorely needed after the Mets had lost their previous game 1-0 in 24 innings in the Astrodome.
November 15, 2005
I also was at this game and remember Koosman loading them up in the first inning and then getting out of it. If you check the box score, the 4, 5, 6 Giant batters were Mays, Hart, and Hiatt (McCovey batted 3rd). Mays struck out, Hart popped up directly over home plate (as Ralph Kiner would say, "he hit a home run in a silo!") and Hiatt struck out. After that, they couldn't touch Koosman that day.
February 2, 2007
I love comparing memories to the box score. Cleon Jones could have had a hard time hitting a 3 run homer since he had only 1 RBI, Joel.
Now I'll put up my memory, and subject it to testing against hard facts. I'd say this game was a weekday game, played during daylight, because I remember listening to it on a school trip someplace (I was in the 8th grade) and all the excitement as Koosman got the three Giants out in that first inning jam. The whole bus was rocking--I have no idea where we travelled to that day, or what we saw, but I'll take this memory with me to the grave, and anyone passing our bus at that moment must have thought someone had won the World Series from all the noise erupting. One of my warmest Mets' memories (now someone point out how this game was a night game, and played on a Saturday!)
July 5, 2011
I was in the 4th grade, off from school on Easter break. My dad took me to the game. We sat in the upper deck of a packed Shea, on a warm spring afternoon. First inning was very exciting with Koosman getting out of the bases loaded jam.
After the game my dad took me to Mays Dept. Store and bought me a first baseman's glove.
That day is my favorite father/son memory. Great day for a 9 year old.
Let's Go Mets!
November 28, 2014
My neighborhood was still packed with Giants fans by 1968. They'd only go out to Shea when the Giants were in town, expecting to see the deserters beat up on the lowly Mets. Then their kids would give me and the other Mets fans a bad time over it. Well, that had usually been the case, but not on this day.
When Jerry Koosman shut out the Giants in that home opener, he became my all-time favorite Met and still is to this day.
As for the Giants fans, well they finally got on board with the Mets after Koosman's 5-hit victory in the final game of the World Series the following year.
April 6, 2016
First time that the Mets ever won a home opener.