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METS FANS SHARE THEIR MEMORIES OF GAMES FROM THE 1962 SEASON
April 11, 1962 Sportsman's Park
St. Louis Cardinals 11, Mets 4
Jim Snedeker
April 30, 2002
Roger Craig gave up the Mets' first run in history on a balk. A guy was on third, and as Craig was going into his motion and then he dropped the ball.

Jeff
February 13, 2004

Roger gave up the first run but it didn't happen like that. The Cards had runners on first and third when Stan The Man blooped a single into left and drove in the first run. With runners on on first and second, Craig made a move to first but Hodges wasn't covering the bag. So Craig held on to the ball for a balk. Boyer then grounded out, driving in the second run. I know the myth sounds better but Craig had enough woes with the Mets and doesn't need this added to it. I think the story of the balk came from Breslin's "Can't Anybody Here Play This Game?"

Joseph Dubin
January 10, 2005

Jeff, the story about the balk is no myth - many of us have recordings of Lindsey Nelson calling the play. He has Roger Craig checking the runner at third, set into his windup and then drop the ball. Lindsey goes on to say, "The New York Mets have given up their first run in history on a balk."

Jim Snedeker
January 13, 2005

Actually, since my post about Craig's balk, I was corrected by another fan who told me that the recording Joseph refers to was recreated--that is, Lindsey did it in the studio, imagining the play, with fake crowd noise in the background. The recording I have of it comes from the record album produced in 1970 called "The Miracle Mets" by Fleetwood.

Joseph Dubin
February 10, 2005

Jim, I also have the 1970 "Miracle Mets" album and thought the crowd noise on some play-by-play sounded fake but never imagined the calls themselves were recreated!

Since Bob Murphy opened the broadcast, it would seem logical that he would be the one to have called the first three innings on radio.

Shad Stanleigh
May 31, 2005

The first run of the game was scored on an RBI single by Musial. Craig balked on the next play, but no run scored (although it did enable the Cards to knock in the second run on a groundout).

IntroMET
August 23, 2006

I had that "Miracle Mets" record when I was a kid and listened to it a lot. I remember that Nelson broadcast about the balk and was confused by it when I found out that it was not the way the run was allowed in this game. But I was wondering something. Could that balk have happened in the first SPRING TRAINING game in Florida that year? I don't know if this was really the case, but I think it's possible.

Matt Breitenbach
November 4, 2007

You can actually listen to the first game via a Podcast. Download Daniel Humprey's Baseball Historian Episode 16. Craig did balk, didn't drop the ball. Hodges didn't cover and Craig couldn't throw.

Michael
July 13, 2008

I guess for the final say... I just listened to this game and the 1st run scored on Musial's hit. THEN Craig balked, advancing runners to 2nd and 3rd.

Jim Snedeker
October 15, 2010

Yeah, I wonder why the producers of that record decided to play fast and loose with history. And why Lindsey agreed to go along with it!

David Bagdade
December 28, 2010

Jeff, Matt and Michael are dead on. While Craig did balk, he didn't drop the ball, and in any event, the first run had already scored. I believe that the whole "balked-in-first-run" myth started with Jimmy Breslin in "Can't Anybody Here Play This Game," published in 1963. It's incredible that the myth acquired such momentum that the recording fakery took place just seven years later. This is only one of a number of myths which surround the Original Mets.

If you want to really get to grips with sorting out the facts from the myths, might I suggest my newly-published book, A Year In Mudville: An Oral History of Casey Stengel and the Original Mets. This 418-page book is based on interviews with players, reporters and fans (including several who post on Ultimate Mets), and you can get your copy on Createspace.com or amazon.com, or if you want to read it on your iPhone or iPad, you can get it from the iBookstore. Email me for more info.

April 13, 1962 Polo Grounds
Pittsburgh Pirates 4, Mets 3
Anthony R.
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?

original met
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.

Ed K
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.

Ed K
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.

Bob E
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.

tomorrowsboy7
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!

Jim Cooney
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.

April 14, 1962 Polo Grounds
Pittsburgh Pirates 6, Mets 2
Ed K
June 8, 2013
The Maz becomes the first opposing player to hit a homer against the Mets.

April 15, 1962 Polo Grounds
Pittsburgh Pirates 7, Mets 2
David Bagdade
December 20, 2010
What many people don't know is that this game was supposed to be just the first game of a doubleheader. The Mets lost this game, dropping their record to 0-4, and they started the second game. They took a 2-0 lead into the fourth inning, at which point it started to snow and the game was called. Had they been able to keep their lead and play one more inning, they would have recorded their first win in a snow-shortened game. How appropriate would that have been?

April 17, 1962 Polo Grounds
Houston Colt .45's 5, Mets 2
Feat Fan
April 13, 2004
The Colt .45s win 5-3 over the Mets in the first meeting of the two National League expansion teams. All five of Houston’s runs come on round- trippers, a two-run home by Norm Larker in the sixth inning and a three-run shot by Don Buddin wins the game in the 11th. Hal Smith and Joey Amalfitano had singled ahead of his homer. After scoring a run in the eighth New York sends the game into overtime in the last of the 9th on Gus Bell’s home run. Starter Bobby Shantz was lifted with two-out in the sixth without allowing a run, giving up only four hits, striking out five and allowing only one walk. Jim Golden was the winning pitcher. Roman Mejias continued his plus .400 hitting going 3-for-4.

April 19, 1962 Polo Grounds
St. Louis Cardinals 9, Mets 4
Mike Roberts
February 12, 2006
I was 10 years old and it was my first time at the Polo Grounds. I remember putting the names in the scorecard and then Casey Stengel changed half the players about 10 minutes before game time.

The Mets were awful and I remember that Frank Thomas hit home runs in his last two at bats when it was meaningless. It was the only time that I saw Stan Musial play. The Mets were awful but not as bad as the 17-4 loss that I saw against the Giants. (That may have been in 1963.)

April 22, 1962 Forbes Field
Pittsburgh Pirates 4, Mets 3
Ed K
March 27, 2008
First Met game ever on Easter Sunday and they lost it in Pittsburgh. Note also that in those days, the Mets had an off-day on Good Friday.

April 23, 1962 Forbes Field
Mets 9, Pittsburgh Pirates 1
Ed K
September 3, 2002
Finally, a win! I don't recall the game being televised but I do recall listening to the early innings on radio as they built up a large lead before having to go to sleep for school the next day.

Bob Cruickshank
June 9, 2003

"Mark this day and mark it well," words on the postgame by Howard Cosell and sidekick "Big number 13" Ralph Branca. I will never forget this game as long as I live. Jay Hook was a star.

Vic Golat
May 15, 2009

I remember following the new Met team in the Daily News. The opening line that I remember was: "it wasn't on tv and it wasn't on radio but believe me the NY Mets won their first game." It's great seeing the old box scores. Thanks.

Ed K
April 19, 2012

It should be noted that three of the four Pirate pitchers in this game had future Met connections:

Tom Sturduvant was a former Yankee who would eventually pitch for the Mets in 1964.

Jack Lamabe was a rookie pitching only his third MLB game on this day, but he went on to pitch for the Mets in 1967 before the Mets traded him to the Cards to get Al Jackson back.

And, of course, Harvey Haddix later became the Mets pitching coach.

April 24, 1962 Crosley Field
Cincinnati Reds 7, Mets 3
Bob P
January 29, 2004
A day after the Mets get their first win, they draw eleven walks in this game, and still lose. Reds rookie Sammy Ellis goes six innings and allows just one hit with all the walks, and the Reds win, 7-3.

The 21-year-old Ellis will walk 29 batters in 28 innings for the Reds before heading back to the minors for more seasoning. Ellis wound up with a 10-3 record (mainly in relief) in 1964; then he won 22 games as a starter in 1965, and made the '65 all-star team.

April 25, 1962 Crosley Field
Cincinnati Reds 7, Mets 1
Ed K
December 6, 2011
In their 12th game, Richie Ashburn finally gets the Mets first SB.

April 28, 1962 Polo Grounds
Mets 8, Philadelphia Phillies 6
Bob P
January 2, 2005
Rod Kanehl scored from second base on a wild pitch and the Mets picked up their first-ever home win after seven losses at the Polo Grounds.

Ed K
January 7, 2008

This was also the first win ever by a Met reliever as Roger Craig threw three scoreless innings to record the victory. Craig normally started but had been knocked out early the day before, so Casey brought him back in relief the next day.

Bill Unger
March 5, 2011

Being a youth, this was the first game I ever attended as my uncle (George Fanelli) took me. He had access to corporate first row field level seats at third base in the Polo Grounds. The night before the game I was in bed and I overheard him tell my parents that he had two tickets, and his friend might not be able to attend the game so he might take me. Being a good Catholic boy I said a rosary that his friend could not make it - and my prayers were answered. What a great game and day! It was a sunny and mild spring day. Home runs galore, nine between the two teams and the Mets also nailed three in a row. And of course the Mets first home victory. Even though it took place 49 years ago, I remember the day like it was yesterday, and I have never had better seats since. Truly great memories!

Ed K
March 5, 2012

We should add that Dave Hillman probably should have gotten this first-ever Met relief win. He left the game with a lead but the official scorer ruled that giving up one run in one inning constituted pitching briefly and ineffectively and instead gave the win to Roger Craig who pitched 3 scoreless innings to finish the game. Today, almost cetainly Craig would merely get a save.

It was Hillman's first of thirteen games as a Met to finish his MLB career. He never got a win or a loss as a Met.

bob
April 19, 2012

I'm an original Met fan -- never had any allegiance to prior New York teams. This was my first game ever to see the Mets and I went by myself from Brooklyn on the BMT for 15 cents. I remember that they won of course. (You see I saw 20 games that year and saw 10 victories so I thought the Mets were a very good team.) Most of them at double headers on Sundays. Little would I know that I saw half of all the wins at home that year. What was particular in my mind was the back-back- back home runs by Neal, Hodges and Thomas. I just assumed that 3 in a row was a common thing to happen. Was I ever shocked years later to realize what I had just experienced in my first New York Met home game! Now I have a Citi Field brick to denote my originality.

Jeff K
April 17, 2012

This was the first MLB game I ever attended. I was 7 years old and had watched the Yankees on TV during the historic 1961 season. I had wanted to go to a Yankee game but they were out of town. My dad had been a life-long Brooklyn Dodgers fan and was thrilled to see a National League game in NY once again. We schlepped from Long Island to a decrepit stadium in upper Manhattan and it was love at first sight. I loved the aromas and the surreal green of the field. I was in awe of the orange and blue of the Mets uniforms and the gray and brilliant red of the Phillies road uniform. The feelings I had that day became a permanent part of me and I experience them today every time I enter a baseball park. I become 7 years old again every time I enter a baseball park. I saw the Mets win a rare game that season. I saw them lose many more over the next seven years but was amply rewarded when I went to the '69 Series.

April 29, 1962 Polo Grounds
Mets 8, Philadelphia Phillies 0
Walter Pullis
May 3, 2002
Great site. I was at this game 40 years ago. I saw something I have never seen since. Met pitcher Al Jackson picked off a runner at second base. The second base umpire didn't make the call even though he was only a few feet away. He must have fell asleep! The first base umpire made the correct call.

Joseph Dubin
May 8, 2002

My dad took me to the doubleheader when I was 11 years old. We lived on Sedgwick Avenue so dad parked the car along Kingsbride Road and we took the D train to the Polo Grounds. We sat in the upper deck grandstand behind home plate and I remember Al Jackson pitching that 8-0 shutout. We moved to the first base side for game two and while the Mets took an early lead I remember them being bombed and we left during the middle of the nightcap. Dad was a softee so I ate plenty of ice cream and popcorn, a lot more than I would have if mom had been with us!

We got back on the train and I remember dad taking me to a toy store near the Kingsbridge Armory before going home. It was already dark and I think he bought me a picture puzzle.

My dad is now 87 years old and I'll turn 51 in June but it's little memories like these that make me smile and cry at the same time.

Bob P
February 1, 2004

In the first game of this doubleheader at the Polo Grounds, Al Jackson pitches a shutout and Frank Thomas is hit by a pitch twice in the fourth inning as the Mets score seven times.

Phils starter Art Mahaffey hit Frank the first time up in the inning. The second pitcher to hit him was Frank Sullivan, probably best known for giving up a twelfth inning game-winning HR to Stan Musial in the 1955 All-Star Game.

Larry M
April 20, 2004

I was in fifth grade, less than a month away from my 11th birthday, when my Dad took me to my first Mets game at the Polo Grounds. It was a double header against Philadelphia. We saw the entire opener, which the Mets won 8-0 over the Phillies behind the pitching of little Al Jackson, and left midway through the nightcap. We sat out in right field, near the foul pole, and I remember one of the fans leading the rest of us in what was a brand new chant for me, "Let's Go Mets."

About three weeks ago, my 24 year old son, Josh, and I went down to Port St. Lucie to see a couple of spring training games. Gary Carter was there, along with Tim Teufel, Lenny Dykstra, Howard Johnson and Mookie Wilson, but the biggest thrill for me was seeing Al Jackson, nearly 42 years after that game at the Polo Grounds, still wearing a Mets uniform.

Ed K
November 23, 2005

This was actually the first game of the first Met doubleheader in history. Jackson pitched the first Met shutout in history and it was his first win as a Met.

Ed K
January 15, 2006

Also, as mentioned above, Frank Thomas got hit by a pitch twice in an inning which was only the second time in MLB history that had happened.

April 29, 1962 Polo Grounds
Philadelphia Phillies 10, Mets 2
Ed K
November 15, 2005
The nightcap of the first doubleheader in Met history and the Phils got the split in the Polo Grounds after losing the first game to an Al Jackson shutout. In the nightcap, they knocked out Sherman Roadblock Jones after 4 innings.

It was the last start as a Met for Jones. In the Mets next game on May 1st, he pitched an inning of relief, got bombed and was dropped from the team. He never made it back to the majors.

May 1, 1962 Polo Grounds
Cincinnati Reds 8, Mets 2
Ed K
November 15, 2005
The last game in which Sheman Roadblock Jones pitched for the Mets, and his last major league appearance.

Ed K
March 27, 2008

I have to correct my prior post. Sherman pitched one more game three days later for the Mets before being sent down to AAA. And he was recalled in September to pitch one more major league game for the Mets.

May 6, 1962 Connie Mack Stadium
Mets 7, Philadelphia Phillies 5
Rick trader
April 8, 2013
This was the first major league game I ever went to. I was 11 years old. It was going to be a doubleheader but there was a rain delay during the first game and the game went extra innings. Because there was something called the blue laws at the time, and the second game would have started after 6 pm on a Sunday, it was postponed because the second game would have started too late. Boy have the times changed!!

May 8, 1962 Wrigley Field
Mets 3, Chicago Cubs 1
Ed K
February 15, 2010
Every other NL stadium the Mets visited in 1962, they opened their first game ever there with a loss. But they won their first game ever at Wrigley on this day.

May 12, 1962 Polo Grounds
Mets 3, Milwaukee Braves 2
Walter Pullis
May 3, 2002
Casey Stengel sent in pitcher Ken McKenzie, a Yale graduate, to save the win. Before he left the mound he said to McKenzie, "Make believe your playing the Harvards"

Bob P
May 13, 2006

Warren Spahn took a 2-1 lead to the bottom of the ninth at the Polo Grounds. Gil Hodges led off with an infield single. After retiring the next two batters, Spahn only had to retire Hobie Landrith, a lefty hitter to come away with the complete game win. But Landrith hit his first and only home run as a Met and New York took game one of the doubleheader, 3-2. It was the first one- run victory for the Mets and the sixth win overall in their short history.

Ed K
July 2, 2011

Hobie's homer was the first walk-off homer in Mets history. In the nightcap, Gil Hodges had the second walk-off homer in Mets history.

David Samuels
July 6, 2012

I attended with my grandfather, my father, and my brother (a Braves and Spahn fan). Landrith's game-winning homer off Spahn was right down the right field line, a very short home run in the Polo Grounds. (It was those same dimensions that allowed Mel Ott to hit over 300 homers in that stadium). It was interesting in retrospect that Casey put in a lefty as a pinch hitter against the lefty Spahn (feeling that would work best in facing a screwball). Seeing 5% of the Mets wins that first season on a single day (their first doubleheader victory ever), not to mention two walk-off homers, made me a Mets fan for life.

Ed K
June 24, 2013

It was also the first homer by a Met catcher in history.

May 12, 1962 Polo Grounds
Mets 8, Milwaukee Braves 7
Bob P
February 2, 2004
Mets relief pitcher Craig Anderson won the second game of this doubleheader after also winning game one. That improved Craig's record to 3-1. Unfortunately, Craig lost his next 16 decisions in 1962, then two more in 1963 and one more in 1964. He never won another game in the majors after today.

Eric Rolfe Greenberg
April 15, 2010

I was there. Two ninth-inning victories, the first against Spahn, and the second on an opposite field homer by Hodges; I have a clear memory of watching from the upper deck out beyond the right field foul pole, the soft fly ball coming downward just inside the pole, fair, and into the first row of seats in the lower deck. Braves manager Bobby Bragan tore the clubhouse apart after the game; two ninth-inning losses to the Mets could do that.

I'm not the first to point out that when you win just 40 games in a season, each victory is memorable, but these surely were.

May 16, 1962 Polo Grounds
Mets 6, Chicago Cubs 5
Walter Pullis
May 3, 2002
Gil Hodges tied the game in the eighth on an inside-the-park homer! He was exhausted at home plate.

Ed K
December 13, 2010

Hodges inside-the-park homer was the first ever by a Met hitter.

May 20, 1962 County Stadium
Mets 9, Milwaukee Braves 6
original mets 62
May 28, 2007
This was the last game the team was to win until June 8, in Chicago. They went on a 17 game losing streak and went from 12-19 to 12-36. I guess you could say the season was over.

May 27, 1962 Candlestick Park
San Francisco Giants 7, Mets 1
Jon
June 23, 2004
This game featured the brawl at Candlestick Park mentioned in the Elio Chacon memory. Writers at the time called it one of the best brawls in baseball history as two fights broke out at once: Orlando Cepeda, who'd just been beaned, charged Roger Craig after Elio Chacon, who'd just been spiked on a pickoff play, punched Willie Mays in the head and was summarily bodyslammed.

Mays then took on Felix Mantilla before Gil Hodges stopped him.

Chacon was blamed for starting it and was the only one fined, though it was said that Cepeda's beaning was ordered by Casey Stengel.

May 30, 1962 Polo Grounds
Los Angeles Dodgers 13, Mets 6
Alan Liebowitz
April 21, 2005
My dad passed away on Monday April 18, 2005, and this game has special meaning because it was my first baseball game. I remember buying tickets from a scalper for I think 15 dollars and sitting in the left field bleachers not being able to see practically anything and Koufax pitched. In the second game we moved to seats behind the plate and saw the Mets pull off a triple play if my memory serves me correctly.

Bob P
June 10, 2005

The former Brooklyn Dodgers made their first appearance in New York as the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first game of this Memorial Day doubleheader at the Polo Grounds.

The Dodgers jumped out to a 10-0 lead on their way to a 13-6 win. Sandy Koufax pitched a complete game despite giving up 6 runs and 13 hits. One time Brooklyn hero Gil Hodges had a home run off Sandy in the fourth inning for the first run ever allowed in New York by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Other notable New York firsts from this game for the LA Dodgers: First at bat-Maury Wills. First hit-Wills (leadoff single to right). First out- Jim Gilliam. First run scored-Ron Fairly. First RBI-Frank Howard. First home run-Willie Davis. First inside the park home run-Maury Wills.

bruce h
September 6, 2008

In the 2nd game Harry Chiti dropped a 3 and 2 foul tip. On the next pitch Frank Howard hit a home run which turned out to be the game-winner.

May 30, 1962 Polo Grounds
Los Angeles Dodgers 6, Mets 5
jroth
March 25, 2005
The Mets lost a doubleheader to the Dodgers that day. It was my first time at the Polo Grounds. Koufax started the first game for the Dodgers and Drysdale pitched the second. Maury Wills hit 2 home runs in the first game. An inside the park and a 'Bobby Thompson' short porch home run to left. Koufax also hit a home run. The Mets pulled their first triple play in the nite cap.

Ed K
August 18, 2005

The first-ever Met triple play was in the top of the 6th of the nightcap of the doubleheader. Willie Davis hit a liner that Chacon caught and flipped to Neal at 2B who flipped to Hodges at 1B. Maury Wills and Jim Gilliam were the runners caught off base.

original mets 62
May 31, 2007

To clear up what jroth said, Johnny Podres pitched the 2nd game, (not Drysdale) and as he was walking to the clubhouse when he was removed from the game , a fan leaned over the bleacher screen and spit in his face. Also, Koufax did not hit a HR in the first game. It was quite day at Coogans Bluff even though our Mets lost 2 games to the team that broke the hearts of all Brooklynites in 1957.

May 31, 1962 Polo Grounds
Los Angeles Dodgers 6, Mets 3
Chris Powell
July 4, 2005
This was my first major-league baseball game. I was 12 and a Dodgers fan from Connecticut. The team had moved out on us but my dad and I were still loyal to the team, and he took my and my brother to this game, a night game at the Polo Grounds, God rest its soul. It was a thrill for us that the Dodgers won. Fans were allowed to walk across the field to exit the stadium at the end of the game, and that's what we did -- another thrill. I bought a Dodgers pennant, which I still have. Its blue long ago faded to gray and its felt is pretty fragile, but it is a precious relic to me. Crossing the field at the end of the game, I stuck my tongue out at a kid who was a Mets fan. I don't remember if he provoked me but I'm still ashamed of that. When we got outside the stadium, newspaper vendors were hawking the early editions of the tabloids. "Eichmann Hanged," the front page said. That's how I've always been able to place the date of the game. If only I'd gotten to see Ebbets Field as well!

June 1, 1962 Polo Grounds
San Francisco Giants 9, Mets 6
Bob P
June 17, 2005
After 56 months, the Giants return to the Polo Grounds to take on the Mets. Former Brooklyn/LA Dodger Roger Craig starts for New York, and just two batters into the game he is down 1-0 on a Willie McCovey home run.

McCovey, who just missed playing home games in the Polo Grounds by a year and a half, is so in love with the old ballpark that he hits another homer off Craig, this one a two-run shot, in his second at bat. Then in the fifth, Willie Mays gives the crowd something to see as he hits his first Polo Grounds home run in five seasons.

The Mets got on the board in the bottom of the sixth thanks to Rod Kanehl's first major league home run. But the Giants broke it open with five in the seventh to take a 9-1 lead, thanks mainly to a grand slam by Jim Davenport off Willard Hunter.

A two-run homer by Felix Mantilla capped a five- run rally for the Mets in the last of the eighth, but Stu Miller came in to shut the door on the Mets in the ninth, even though they did get the tying run to the plate with two outs. Miller retired Frank Thomas on a groundout and the Giants won in their return to Manhattan.

June 2, 1962 Polo Grounds
San Francisco Giants 10, Mets 1
Ira Socol
May 27, 2003
I was barely seven years old and this was my first baseball game. The year before I had asked to go see the Yankees but my dad (an absolute Giants fan, though he grew up a block from Yankee Stadium and had stories of Bill Dickey umpiring games for him and his friend when he was a kid) told me that "there is no baseball in New York." In March of 1962 I put my name in a drawing at the Daitch Shopwell supermarket near my house and won two tickets to this double-header! We drove to the end of the subway and took that to the Polo Grounds and I remember being surprised that it "had Met logos (the NY) all over it" and couldn't understand what my dad was talking about when he kept referring to the Giants. I don't remember anything about the game except being sure, to the very end, that somehow the Mets would come back and win. Of course they didn't, but it made no difference, I've been a Mets fan ever since.

June 6, 1962 Connie Mack Stadium
Philadelphia Phillies 2, Mets 1
Jim Eckert
January 21, 2011
This doubleheader was the first major league games I ever attended. I was 12 and had become a Met fan early this first season because of their name. It amused me because it seemed so silly. What on earth was a "Met"!? Little did I realize then I was attending history. The games were losses 16 and 17 in a row, still a club record 48 years later at this time. They sank this day to 12-36 for the season to attain the .250 WL percentage they were to fill out the season with at 40-120.

I do remember Richie Ashburn just standing at home plate, not arguing but just staring in disgust at an umpire for a long 10 seconds or so after he was called out on a pitch that seemed actually to bounce off the plate. He gave his bat a long low heave that made it skid nearly to the dugout.

June 8, 1962 Wrigley Field
Mets 4, Chicago Cubs 3
Walter Pullis
May 3, 2002
This game broke a 17 game losing streak. I had a sprained ankle and listened to the game on the radio. The Met's announcers treated the ninth inning like the seventh game of the World Series.

Ed K
July 2, 2011

This was the first game of a doubleheader at Wrigley and the Mets finally ended their infamous losing streak which had reached 17 games. I recall hearing the end of the game on radio after I got home from school - most weekday games on the road were not televised back then. Charlie Neal hit a SF in the top of the 9th to bring in an unearned run to put the Mets ahead, and Craig Anderson saved it for Jay Hook in the bottom of the 9th - although saves were not an official stat yet.

Of course, the Mets promptly went out and lost the nightcap!

June 11, 1962 Colt Stadium
Mets 3, Houston Colt .45's 1
Feat Fan
April 20, 2004
Dick Farrell (4-6) and lefty Al Jackson (3-7) hook up in a good pitching dual with New York and Jackson winning 3-1. The game was scoreless until the fifth when the Mets put together a walk, a triple by Sammy Taylor and Jim Hickman’s single for a 2-0 lead. Doubles by Norm Larker and Merritt Ranew scored Houston’s only run in the bottom of the inning. A base on balls and Charlie Neal’s single accounted for the final run of the game in the sixth. Farrell gave New York only six hits while striking out nine Mets and walking four. The .45s picked up seven hits off Jackson but fell victim to three New York double plays.

Ed K
July 16, 2006

Only game the Mets won in Houston in 1962. They also lost seven and had one tie. They weren't much better playing in the Polo Grounds against their fellow expansion team going 2-6.

June 14, 1962 Colt Stadium
Houston Colt .45's 10, Mets 2
Feat Fan
July 23, 2004
Houston’s Bob Bruce tosses his fifth win against only one defeat going the distance in a 10-2 victory over the Mets. New York starter Jay Hook (4-7) failed to retire a batter as the Colt .45s tally seven runs in the first inning. In that frame the Colts pick up six hits among them a two- run home run by Carl Warwick. Bruce struck out seven batters and walked eight – never allowing more than one walk an inning until the ninth when he walked the bases loaded after two were out. Now he was facing Marv Throneberry, who in his previous four plate appearances had homered, walked, singled and singled again accounting for three of the six hits off Bruce. The 6-3 righthander has the pleasure of getting the final putout of the game when Throneberry grounds to Norm Larker.

The .45s finish their home stand with six-wins and four-losses moving their record to 26-34 for the season. The club is currently in seventh place 14 and-a-half games out of first.

June 17, 1962 Polo Grounds
Chicago Cubs 8, Mets 7
Ed K
April 28, 2006
The game in which Marv Throneberry in the first inning messed up a would-be triple by not touching 2B. When Casey went out to argue the ump's call, the most common version of the story is that the Mets' 1B coach told him not to bother because Marv had missed touching 1B too.

Bill Wasik
April 20, 2009

This first game of a Father's Day doubleheader helped launch two fabulous careers. As mentioned above, the first belongs to Marvelous Marv Throneberry. Although Marv was at the tail end of a mediocre career as a player, his "triple" on this date placed him squarely on a path that would lead to immortality with Whitey and the Mick in the Lite Beer Drinkers' Hall of Fame.

This game also had the distinction of helping the Cardinals become the 1960's National League Team of the Decade, when a second great career emerged on this date. This occured in the first inning, as Cubs rookie center fielder Lou Brock stepped in against Al Jackson - lefty versus lefty. At the time, Lou had only two things going for him in making the jump from Class C ball: more speed than Maury Wills and - unfortunately for Cubs fans - more straight away power than Frank Howard. In this game, as he faced Jackson with two out and a runner on third, the 5'9", 175 lb. Brock missed the first pitch on a bunt attempt, then took ball one outside. Waiting to unload on pitch #3, Lou may have thought back to a Sunday three months earlier in Mesa, when he faced another lefty breaking ball specialist in a Cactus League game, and drove Warren Spahn's screwball 500 feet through thin desert air.

Of course, that was spring training, and Spahnie wasn't overexerting himself as he prepared for his 18th season with the Braves. But on this hot and muggy June 17th in New York, Jackson, like Brock, was only a rookie, trying to close-out a first inning in which the Cubs already had scored two runs. Brock, however, did connect with his next pitch, driving the ball high above Richie Ashburn in center, just to the right of the clubhouse, where it hit the top of the 30 foot high Batter's Eye background, 475 feet from home plate. As it bounced another 20 feet into the stands, Lou became the only lefty hitter who would ever reach the Polo Grounds bleachers (other than Babe Ruth in 1920-22, when home plate was 20 feet closer).

That home run, Brock's seventh in just his first two months in the majors, brought Lou instant recognition as a power hitter, and very well could have sealed his fate as the Corey Patterson of the 60's, because it led him to swing more often for distance. He began to strike out regularly and, two years later, had managed to hit only 13 more home runs for the Cubs, while compiling a .260 lifetime batting average. Along with these numbers, Lou's play in right or center field was always an adventure, as he would sometimes break the wrong way on line drives, or let pop ups bounce off the heel of his glove.

Fortunately for Lou, his incredible shot to the Polo Grounds bleachers did not spell the end of his effectiveness as a hitter, nor did it remain the high point of his career. Teams in the NL other than the Cubs were not managed by an inept College of Coaches, and leaders such as Gene Mauch, Danny Murtaugh, and Johnny Keane quickly recognized what Brock's speed could do at the top of a lineup. All of them pushed their front offices to trade for him. The Cards, of course, won out, and Brock became an instant star in St. Louis, playing left field to limit his defensive shortcomings, hitting line drives or hard grounders through the infield, and literally stealing his way into Cooperstown.

June 20, 1962 Polo Grounds
Milwaukee Braves 3, Mets 2
Bob P
January 31, 2004
The Mets lost game two of this doubleheader, 3-2. The game was called after six innings because of rain. Mets starter Willard Hunter gave up just two hits, but both were home runs by Henry Aaron.

June 22, 1962 Polo Grounds
Mets 2, Houston Colt .45's 0
rich edwards
March 13, 2002
My first Met game. A twi-night doubleheader. Little Alvin Jackson from Waco, Texas, pitches a 1 hitter. Richie Ashburn hits a homer and Mets win 2-0. I think the hit was by Joe Amalfitano. Then the Mets got clobbered in the second game. My most vivid memory was what a dump the Polo Grounds was at that time, falling apart at the seams. That stadium was really made for football.

Feat Fan
May 2, 2004

Al Jackson pitches the Mets to a stunning one- hitter to beat the Colt .45s 2-0 in the first game of a doubleheader and the Colts come back to take the nightcap 16-3. In the opener with one out in the first inning, the native of Waco now making his home in Houston, gives up his only hit of the game to Joey Amalfitano - a single. After striking out Roman Mejias, Jackson (4-8) walks Norm Larker before Carl Warwick strikes out to end the inning. The next 22 batters to face Jackson are retired in order - no Colt .45 would reach base until Pidge Browne draws a lead off walk as a pinch hitter in the ninth. Ironically, Dick Farrell’s (5-7) loss is his second to Jackson (3-1 June 11) in that game both pitchers also went the distance. This game had we known at the time was over after Mets lead off hitter Ritchie Ashburn homered in the first inning. Farrell allowed only two hits after Ashburn’s home run and the second run off Farrell was scored in the seventh on a walk to Ashburn and a base hit by Felix Mantilla.

Feat Fan
June 9, 2004

Al Jackson pitches the Mets to a stunning one- hitter to beat the Colt .45s 2-0 in the first game of a doubleheader and the Colts come back to take the nightcap 16-3.

In the opener with one out in the first inning, the native of Waco now making his home in Houston, gives up his only hit of the game to Joey Amalfitano - a single. After striking out Roman Mejias, Jackson (4-8) walks Norm Larker before Carl Warwick strikes out to end the inning. The next 22 batters to face Jackson are retired in order - no Colt .45 would reach base until Pidge Browne draws a lead off walk as a pinch hitter in the ninth.

Ironically, Dick Farrell’s (5-7) loss is his second to Jackson. (3-1 June 11) In that game both pitchers also went the distance. This game, although we didn't know it at the time, was over after Mets lead off hitter Richie Ashburn homered in the first inning. Farrell allowed only two hits after Ashburn’s home run and the second run off Farrell was scored in the seventh on a walk to Ashburn and a base hit by Felix Mantilla.

Ed K
May 10, 2006

First one-hitter by a Met pitcher ever.

June 23, 1962 Polo Grounds
Mets 13, Houston Colt .45's 2
Chris
September 30, 2002
This is the game that hooked me on the Mets. I was 9 years old, knew almost nothing about baseball. I had asked my dad what an "error" was. He explained but then said the best way to learn the game was to watch it. He sat me down in front of the TV and turned on this game. He explained the Mets stunk. I asked him why he liked them. He said he always roots for the underdog. I was in awe of Ashburn's 2 homers. Mets kicked ass and I was a Mets fan for good.

Bob P
May 22, 2004

Richie Ashburn hit two homers in this game: one over the fence, and one inside the park.

Not only did Wille McCovey have three homers, but he hit the three homers in the first four innings!

As of today, a player has had three homers by the end of four innings only nine times in major league history.

Steve Abuisi
August 23, 2006

I was 12 years old and a Richie Ashburn fan since about 7 or 8 or since I heard Dizzy Dean (I believe) on a Saturday afternoon broadcast say "that Ashburn, he can run like a deer" and what 7 or 8 year old kid wouldn't want to "run like a deer" especially after fly balls! His 2 homers that day were an amazing part of an amazing year. I think he also crashed into a wall that day making a "routine" catch.

Gary Broitman
May 28, 2007

My first Mets game ever. Only 11 years old. Still a Met fan and still going to games 45 years later.

Ken Leonhardt
July 13, 2008

I was three days shy of my tenth birthday and attending my first baseball game. My dad had bought a suit at Howard Clothes and they were giving away two Mets tickets for each suit purchased. We sat behind first base in the upper deck at the Polo Grounds and I was in awe the entire afternoon. Richie Ashburn hit two homers and the Mets enjoyed one of the few laughers that year.

I have always been more a Yankee fan but I will remember and cherish that day forever.

Richard
April 10, 2012

My mother caught a foul ball bare handed and a kid behind us yanked it from her hand. My first MLB game and never have gotten a foul ball.

June 27, 1962 Forbes Field
Pittsburgh Pirates 6, Mets 5
Randy Post
May 2, 2005
This was a Wednesday night game significant because Richie Ashburn collected career hit number 2500. I was 11 years old and saw this game with my father, who was raised in Pittsburgh, but married and raised a family in California. The Pirates scored last in either the 9th or 10th inning.

June 29, 1962 Dodger Stadium
Mets 10, Los Angeles Dodgers 4
Ed K
September 3, 2002
The Mets only win against the Dodgers out of 18 games in 1962 and the game was at night on the west coast so few people heard it all the way through. My recollection is that the Mets only had a handful of hits but 10 or 12 walks by Dodger pitchers helped them win the game.

June 30, 1962 Dodger Stadium
Los Angeles Dodgers 5, Mets 0
Ken Akerman
March 31, 2003
This game was the first of four career no-hitters by Dodger pitcher Sandy Koufax.

robert
July 23, 2003

This game was televised from the coast - an 11 PM start. I fell asleep during the second inning. I vowed never again to leave a game until I saw a team get their first hit. Finally paid off a couple years later when I saw Jim Bunnings perfect game - ignoring all my friends screaming at me from outside to come out and play stickball!

rich edwards
August 13, 2003

If my memory serves me correctly this was a Friday night game (Koufax no-hitter). I don't even think the results were in Saturday's Newsday. I don't remember WOR televising the late West Coast games until around 1969. Anybody?

original mets
August 23, 2006

This game was on Saturday night, televised on WOR-9 and it was not the first time they faced Koufax. In the first inning Sandy threw 9 pitches striking out the side.

Mike Friedman
January 10, 2014

It has gone unnoticed but it was Ray Daviault's best major league performance.

July 6, 1962 Polo Grounds
Mets 10, St. Louis Cardinals 3
John Mac
May 16, 2002
I'm pretty sure this was the first Mets game I ever attended (8 yrs old.) I recall it was a close game until Rod Kanehl broke it open with a pinch-hit grand slam off Barney Schultz (the "fireman" for the Cards) sometime in the 7th or 8th inning.

Think about how improbable that was; Hot Rod Kanehl hit only 6 lifetime HR's, and hits a pinch-hit grand slam off a tough pitcher.

I switched from a Yankees fan to a Mets fan at that point and never looked back.

Bob P
January 2, 2005

The grand slam by Rod Kanehl that John Mac referred to in his May 2002 post was the first grand slam in Mets history.

Tom Anderson
June 13, 2005

I attended this game with my dad and I remember that Gil Hodges hit a home run; I also remember that Ray Sadecki threw a wild pitch on an intentional walk, allowing a run to score.

Ed K
September 22, 2007

Hodges hit his last major league homer in this game. It was #370 which moved him into 10th place on the All-Time Homer list as it then stood - ahead of Ralph Kiner who was announcing when Hodges hit the homer!

An interesting question: I was a young kid at the time and recall that one of the nine homers by Hodges as a Met was an inside-the parker at the Polo Grounds. Was this it? Inside-the- parkers were quite frequent in the Polo Grounds on balls hit in the gaps because CF was 480 feet while the Mets played there in 1962-63!

Tom Miller
June 30, 2009

This was the first Met game I ever went to. I was 11 years old and my father got great seats directly behind home plate, slightly to the third base side, a few rows up. I remember expecting the Mets to lose. I had started watching the Yankees a few years earlier and still considered myself a Yankee fan, although the Mets interested me because I could now see players like Willie Mays and Sandy Koufax. I did not realize at the time but my metamorphosis into a Met fan began that night. I remembered that the Mets won big and I remember vividly the grand slam hit by Rod Kaneal as a pinch hitter in the 8th. I remember Ray Sadecki was a young, hard throwing lefty for the Cardinals. I distinctly remember the catcher chasing a ball to the backstop, shouting out curses as he neared the stands. Roger Craig kept the Cards off balance all night. I also remember how much I enjoyed the ambiance before the game, watching batting practice and listening to the music piped in from speakers in center-field. I remember thinking I liked the Polo Grounds better than Yankee Stadium. I remember how much my dad enjoyed being at the game with me.

July 7, 1962 Polo Grounds
Mets 5, St. Louis Cardinals 4
David Mo
October 24, 2004
The first time my father took me to the Polo Grounds, the Mets split a pair of one-run games with a pretty good Cardinals team. Little did I know that the second-game loss would begin a string of 16 losses in the next 17 games. Ray Daviault earned his only big league victory in the opener, thanks to a pinch-hit HR by “Marvelous Marv” Throneberry. Sammy Taylor caught both games(!) of the doubleheader and homered in each game. He hit only three all year and 33 in his career.

Ed K
July 2, 2011

This was the first of two pinch-hit walk-off homers Marv hit in 1962. This one is credited with helping establish him as a fan favorite. The other one (on 8/21) is legendary as he was called on to pinch-hit after coaching at 1B for much of the game!

July 7, 1962 Polo Grounds
St. Louis Cardinals 3, Mets 2
Jerry M
July 11, 2005
My father took me to this double header. I was 10 and I distinctly remember sitting in the right field seats (just fair) and having several home runs land near us, including one by Stan Musial. I was very happy to discover this site and see the box score confirm my nice memories of this day. Thanks!

George G
July 2, 2011

This is the only game I ever saw in the Polo Grounds. Mostly I remember Stan the Man's HR; it was my birthday present! Wonderful to see the box score!

Dan Morrow
February 13, 2013

My Dad took me to this double header at The Polo Grounds. I was almost 9 but an ardent fan of baseball in a family with 10 kids. We were all baseball fans and embraced the Mets and the return of NL Baseball to NY. I remember that field so vividly and the imaginations as I peered through binoculars at close ups of so many greats of the game: Musial, Hodges, Woodling.

I was hooked as a Mets fan and went to more than 30 games in '69 and was there when the Mets clinched the pennant. I grabbed chunks of grass and tried in vain to dig out home plate with a bunch of other crazies! What a sweet summer that was. My sister Anne and her boyfriend Willie took me to so many games in my teenage years to Shea! Great memories of Shea- Kiner's Korner-before there was ESPN and good sports highlights!

July 8, 1962 Polo Grounds
St. Louis Cardinals 15, Mets 1
Ed K
February 3, 2003
My first Met game at age nine. I recall the fans booing the entire Cardinal line-up except for Stan Musial who got cheered. The only game I went to with my grandfather and father before the former passed away the next year. We had box seats on the third base side and almost got a baseball during batting practice when AL Jackson was shagging flies and threw in a ball that rolled near us. And boy did centerfield in the Polo Grounds look like it was forever.

Bob P
January 31, 2004

Stan Musial hit three homers in his first three at bats after hitting a home run in his last at bat yesterday.

Stan the Man, age 41, became the oldest player ever to hit three homers in a game. I'm not sure if that record still stands.

Brad H
June 14, 2004

This was also MY first Met game. I still have the ticket stub. I was two and half weeks short of my eighth birthday. My dad and I attended the game at the Polo Grounds and I also recall very clearly how vast centerfield seemed. I was very excited.

Twenty Five years later, in 1987 I returned the favor and took my Dad to see the Cardinals play at Shea. He was only 59 years old, but suffering from macular degeneration, a dibilitatiting eye condition that left him with peripheral vision only. I described most of the action on the field to him, and you know? We had a blast!

He passed away suddenly in May 1988, and I am so glad we shared our Met baseball together!

The Big H
June 30, 2009

This game would be where to place the remark, that I once read that Musial was ready to retire after 1961, but when he saw the names on the Mets pitching staff he decided to continue. Based on his stats against the Mets you can see why.

July 12, 1962 Polo Grounds
Los Angeles Dodgers 3, Mets 0
Bob Jones
January 30, 2013
This was the first game I ever went to. I will never forget it. Walking under the stands, you could hear the buzz from the crowd. And emerging from the tunnel to see that green grass and brown dirt! Unbelievable. The Polo Grounds had that huge center field with the big clock over the club house. How cool is it that I can tell everyone that on my first game, I saw Koufax, the greatest pitcher of his generation? Awesome!

July 14, 1962 Polo Grounds
Los Angeles Dodgers 17, Mets 3
Barry
October 4, 2004
This was the first game that I saw at the Polo Grounds. Somewhat stargazed, not so much by the Mets whom I loved out of sentiment, but because of the ex-Brooklyn players on the LA roster; the Dodgers appeared to be heading to the World Series. [They lost to the Giants in a playoff]. Maury Wills broke Ty Cobb's season record for stolen bases, and I believe that he stole three in this game. In batting practice, Frank Howard reached the right field bleacher on a bounce, and Duke Snider pulled a ball into the second deck of the right field grandstand. Craig Anderson, who was about the luckless of all the Met pitchers, failed to arise to the occasion, despite my cheers.

Barry
September 15, 2004

This was the first game that I saw at the Polo Grounds. Somewhat stargazed, not so much by the Mets whom I loved out of sentiment, but because of the ex-Brooklyn players on the LA roster; the Dodgers appeared to be heading to the World Series. [They lost to the Giants in a playoff]. Maury Wills broke Ty Cobb's season record for stolen bases, and I believe that he stole three in this game. In batting practice, Frank Howard reached the right field bleacher on a bounce, and Duke Snider pulled a ball into the second deck of the right field grandstand. Craig Anderson, who was about the luckless of all the Met pitchers, failed to arise to the occasion, despite my cheers.

James Mack
October 4, 2005

It was a good year. National League baseball was was returning to N.Y. I had arranged for a group of co-workers and friends to go to the game. It was also Old-Timers Day, and the heroes of my youth would be there: Jackie, Gil, Duke and Pee Wee.

In eary June I started dating a lovely girl named Flo. We had a lot in common and our relationship started to blossom. One night Flo said, "I have to attend a wedding on July 14th., will you escort me?" I hesitated for a second and said, "No, I have to go to the Mets game on that day."

"You're kidding." she said. "Well, if you won't take me I'll go with someone else." I started to think should I go to the wedding with a girl I really liked, or should I go to the game? Mets or Flo? Flo or the Mets? I went to the game.

I'm sitting there in the old Polo Grounds saying to myself, "What am I doing here? The Mets are being crushed, and my girl is dancing with someone else." Later that evening Flo called me and we decided to meet. We agreed that we wouldn't date anyone else as we were made for each other. Flo said, "From now on, we'll go to the Mets games together."

That was 43 years ago, and my wife Flo and I are still rabid, enthusiastic Mets fans.

Jim Eckert
February 8, 2011

I did not attend this game but I remember the newspaper account. The account mentioned there was an Old-Timer's Game preceeding this game, and went on to say that afterwards "then the Mets went out against the Dodgers and played like old old old timers".

No wonder of course. The score - just look at it!

Scores of some other Dodger wins over the Mets that season were 17-8, 13-6, 16-5. I dreaded Mets-Dodgers games their first 3 seasons - 2-16, 2-16, 3-15 for a 7-47 record 1962-64. In 1965 they finally solved the Dodgers and were a "respectable" 6-12 against them.

July 15, 1962 Polo Grounds
Mets 5, San Francisco Giants 3
Walter Pullis
May 3, 2002
I saw this game for "free" at the Polo Grounds. You got a general admission seat for bringing in 20 side panels of Formost milk cartons.

July 16, 1962 Polo Grounds
San Francisco Giants 3, Mets 2
Mr. T
May 29, 2005
This was my first major league game. My oldest brother took me and my other brother to the game. He had been a a New York Giants fan. Anyway, we sat in the upperdeck in right, the foul pole was to our left. The seats were jammed with people. The memory of of all those people with their red, white and blue shirts is still with me. Oh, did I mention that I sat behind a pole and passed peanuts and money back and forth all afternoon. I don't remmenber anything about the game except for the final score, 3-2 Giants over the Metsies.

July 19, 1962 Polo Grounds
Pittsburgh Pirates 5, Mets 1
Mike T.
July 6, 2012
Picked up a sweet team-signed ball from this game. Likely one of the first times Bob G. Miller signed as a NY Met since his first game wasn't until 7/24 on the road.

July 26, 1962 County Stadium
Milwaukee Braves 6, Mets 1
Bob P
February 1, 2004
The Mets lose their eleventh straight to fall to 24-73. Warren Spahn hits his 31st career home run, setting a record for a National League pitcher.

July 27, 1962 Sportsman's Park
Mets 1, St. Louis Cardinals 0
robert
July 23, 2003
I think "Little Al" Jackson (wonder what he thought of that name?) beat Gibson in this game, despite some adventures from Marvelous Marv at first base (anybody have a copy of Breslin's "Can't Anybody Here Play This Game"?) pretty funny stuff.

Ed K
January 15, 2006

The 3rd of Al's four shutouts in 1962. All were the during the first game of doubleheader and in each case, the Mets lost the second game!

Ed K
February 1, 2006

Also, this was the first 1-0 shutout ever won by a Met pitcher, and it was the first shutout by a Met pitcher in an away game.

August 1, 1962 Polo Grounds
Philadelphia Phillies 11, Mets 9
Ed K
February 13, 2012
This was the first of three straight game in which Frank Thomas hit two homers in each game. He sure loved hitting in the Polo Grounds.

The story Thomas tells is that after one of the homers during these three games, he returned to the dugout and Casey asked about the new yellow glasses he was wearing. Thomas said that the trainer had given them to him. Casey said to tell the trainer to buy a gross of them.

Of course, the Mets lost all three games.

ROY TRINGA
January 23, 2013

This was the first Mets game I ever attended. I was 12 years old when my parents took me to the Polo Grounds and bought me my first yearbook which I still have today. You know,the one with the baby on the cover and Miss Rheingold on the back cover. What I remembered most about this game was Frank Thomas hitting those two home runs and I remembered the final score, but to actually see the box score at this site was a real thrill. This is my first visit to this site and have added it to my favorites. Life Long Mets fan from the beginning.

August 2, 1962 Polo Grounds
Philadelphia Phillies 9, Mets 4
Chris
September 11, 2003
I'm pretty sure this is the game started by Art Mahaffey for the Phils where Frank Thomas and Marv Throneberry each hit 2 solo HRs for all the Mets' runs, but the Phils' lead was never in jeopardy.

Bob P
September 13, 2003

Chris, you are correct...and not only that, Mahaffey himself hit a grand slam in the third inning. Craig Anderson was the starter for the Mets.

Al
January 17, 2008

I remember this game for two reasons: I think it was the first time my friends and I were allowed to travel to the Polo Grounds by ourselves. But it was also because Rick Herrscher started at 3rd base. I think that this was his first start in the majors. Unlike the old Dodger and Giant fans who became Met backers, my friends and I were partial to the younger Mets and were pretty excited about seeing the new 3rd baseman. But I think we must have had an inkling even then about how hard it was going to be for the Mets to find a good one. It turned out it wasn't going to be Rick and it took another 40 years or so before they found a real one. Right? To this day, I test anyone's so-called Mets devotee's bona fides by asking if they remember Rick Herrscher. I've stumped most everyone so far.

Ed K
February 21, 2012

Al, I remember Rick Herrscher because the following Sunday he hit his only MLB homer and I was there to witness it at my first Met win in person.

This was the middle game of the three games in which Frank Thomas hit a total of six home runs - two in each of the games. And the Mets lost all three games. After that, the Mets won three in a row when Thomas hit no homers. Go figure.

August 3, 1962 Polo Grounds
Cincinnati Reds 8, Mets 6
F
July 13, 2004
With a pair of home runs for the 3rd straight game, the Mets Frank Thomas becomes the 2nd player in National League history with six home runs in three consecutive games. Cincy ace Joey Jay tees up the two solos for Thomas today, as the Reds win, 8–6.

August 4, 1962 Polo Grounds
Mets 9, Cincinnati Reds 1
rich edwards
March 13, 2002
This was my 2nd and last visit to the Polo Grounds. Our little league took about 50 of us. We sat in the lower left field stands probably close to Thompson's homer. I remember in warmups Gene Freese of the Reds trying to throw balls into the stands, but somehow he always would come up a little short and hit the wall. I believe Mets scored 6 in the first, including a Choo Choo home run. Roger Craig got the win. That combo probably never happened again. I remember we were all upset because the game was part of a day-night doubleheader and we couldn't stay for the night game.

Choo Choo
March 22, 2004

The Mets may have only won 40 games in 1962, but they won 2 of them on this date, the day I was born.

August 4, 1962 Polo Grounds
Mets 3, Cincinnati Reds 2
pvr
April 8, 2013
My first Mets game. I was 9. Mets gave out free "clinic seats" passes to right field upper grandstands. Great promotional move. Made me a fan for life. Mets won both games of the double-header with Roger Craig winning the first game and the Frank Thomas homer in the bottom of the 14th to win the second game against the Reds. By the way, Roger Clemens was born on this day. How cool was that?

August 5, 1962 Polo Grounds
Mets 5, Cincinnati Reds 2
Ed K
September 3, 2002
This was the second MLB game I ever saw and my first win as the Mets completed their biggest winning streak of the year (3 games). The Mets lost all 9 games to the contending Reds at Crosley Field in 1962 but won 6 of 9 at the Polo Grounds. Poor Cincy Manager Fred Hutchinson looked like he was going to have a heart attack and die right there in the dugout.

Bob P
April 24, 2003

I remember this doubleheader at the Polo Grounds very well for two reasons:

My dad and I (I was 8 years old) had great box seats in the lower level, between home plate and the Mets dugout. In game one, Jim Hickman was batting against Reds lefty Jim O’Toole. Hickman popped one foul over our heads, and it hit the front of the press box and came down right on the seat or lap of the woman sitting behind my father. She reacted as if something disgusting had fallen in her lap and screamed, brushing the ball away from her and onto the ground under my father’s seat. He calmly reached down, picked up the ball, and handed it to me!

My dad was already a god in my eyes, but this cemented it! By the way, I have gone to hundreds of games with my dad, my friends, my wife, my kids....at the Polo Grounds, Shea, and yes, even in the Bronx (I grew up there), but this was the only game I’ve ever gone to where I got a ball.

And the second reason: we were driving home to the Bronx after the games on the Harlem River Drive (I’m not sure why we drove that day, we usually took the D train from Kingsbridge Road to the 155th Street Polo Grounds stop) and the lead story on the radio was that Marilyn Monroe had been found dead in her bed.

One more note: the victory for the Mets was their third straight win, their longest winning streak of the season, and brought their record to 29-79. They went on to lose the second game of the doubleheader, then lost their next two, won a game, then lost 13 in a row.

August 5, 1962 Polo Grounds
Cincinnati Reds 6, Mets 3
Richard c.
December 14, 2003
I was 8 years old when my father took me to see this Sunday doubleheader against the Reds. Commenting about game 1, I distinctly remember Manager Freddy Hutchinson ready to pop a blood vessel in his head watching his Reds lose game 1.

In game 2 I remember Frank Robinson hitting a home run into the upper deck in left and shattering the wooden seat where his vicious line drive ended up.

I also remember game 1 a line drive off the shoulder of Jim O'Toole caught by the shortstop who then had no idea what to do with the ball, so he threw it into the stands over first base trying to double or triple up someone off first.

But most of all I remember my first view of the Polo Grounds like it was yesterday. The grass was the greenest grass I have ever seen! Of course we arrived two hours before the game for batting practice. Left after game 2 having consumed more ham sandwiches than any 8 year old should have eaten.

August 7, 1962 Dodger Stadium
Los Angeles Dodgers 7, Mets 5
Bob P
August 23, 2006
In the 111th game of their first season, the Mets lose for the 82nd time, thereby assuring that they will finish with a losing record in 1962 -- even if they were to finish the season with a 51 game winning streak!

August 10, 1962 Crosley Field
Cincinnati Reds 8, Mets 4
Mike Dolitsky
September 18, 2006
As the 2006 Mets close in on the division title my son Kenny asked me if I knew on what date the 1962 Mets were eliminated from the pennant race. Thanks to the daily standings provided by the Ultimate Mets Database, I was able to research this, and according to my calculations, they were eliminated after they lost this game to the Reds in Cincinnati on August 10.

After the Mets lost on August 10, their record was 30-84. That meant that if they won all the rest of their games, the best they could end up would be 78-84.

The Dodgers (who were in 1st place at that time, although they ended up losing the pennant to the Giants) were 79-38, meaning that even if they lost the rest of their games, the worst they could end up was 79-83, which would still be 1 game better than the best that the Mets could do. Therefore, as of that date, it became mathematically impossible for the Mets to win the pennant. I don't know if that's the earliest elimination in history, but it's hard to imagine being eliminated any earlier.

Actually, they probably were really eliminated earlier - since there was no interleague play back then, it would have been impossible for a team to win the pennant with a record under .500. So they probably were really eliminated at least a few days earlier, since even if they had been able to win a few more than 78 games, it would have been impossible for at least one other team in the N.L. not to have had a better record.

August 14, 1962 Polo Grounds
Philadelphia Phillies 3, Mets 1
Walter Pullis
May 3, 2002
I remember watching this game on television 40 years ago like it was yesterday. Al Jackson pitched all 15 innings almost perfectly. The game was won on a single by Mel Roach(that was his real name!)

Walt Wachter
July 20, 2003

Dallas Green started for Phils and Jackson was great for all 15 innings. Mets had numerous chances to win including bases loaded no-outs in extra innings but Pignatano grounded into double play to kill it.

Ed K
July 13, 2004

Jackson threw 215 pitches according to a book I have. Can you imagine any pitcher with a pitch count like that today? Apparently, the Mets were going to remove him after 11 innings but he wanted to stay in and try to win it because the Mets kept getting runners on base and he thought they would eventually score.

Stephen Appell
July 4, 2005

I came home that day from my summer office job at about 6 pm, I just wished I could see the Mets on TV, but figured the game was long over. Just for fun, I turned on the TV and to my amazement the game was still on. Al Jackson was one of my favorite original Mets. His efforts that day help explain why.

nick motto
October 6, 2010

I watched that game from the bleachers in center field a very hot day and a gutty Al Jackson wasn't enough. The Met offense was anemic that day.

August 15, 1962 Polo Grounds
Philadelphia Phillies 8, Mets 7
Feat Fan
June 14, 2004
Pinch-hit home runs by the Mets Choo Choo Coleman (6th inning) and Jim Hickman (8th) tie the major-league record for pinch home runs by one club in one game, but the Mets still lose to the Phils, 8–7, in 13 innings. Winning pitcher Chris Short singles and scores the winning run. The Phils cop the opener, 9–3 behind a Callison homer and two by Demeter.

August 20, 1962 Polo Grounds
Pittsburgh Pirates 2, Mets 0
dave freeman
February 15, 2002
i don't remember many details of either game. the event is memorable. these were my first big league games...my father took me. I was 10. he'd been a brooklyn dodger fan...i didn't even like baseball...until I entered the park.

August 21, 1962 Polo Grounds
Mets 5, Pittsburgh Pirates 4
Ed K
May 28, 2007
This is one of two games in 1962 that Marvelous Marv won with a pinch homer in the ninth inning. The other game was against the Cards in early July but I believe this is the one with the side story that helped make Marv legendary.

Marv was on the bench because lefty Harvey Haddix (a future Met coach) was the Pirate starter. During the game, 3B Coach Solly Hemus got himself thrown out of the game in an argument. In order to shame the ump, Casey finished the inning coaching 3B himself.

The next inning, Casey shifted Cookie Lavegetto who was coaching 1B over to 3B and yelled for someone to get out there and coach at first base. Richie Ashburn shoved Marv out there to coach and the fans went wild. In the bottom of the ninth, the Mets are down 4-2, and a reliever is in the game with two Mets on base. Casey pulls Marv off the coaching line to pinch hit and he hits the walk-off three run dinger. It was sweet!

August 22, 1962 Polo Grounds
Mets 5, San Francisco Giants 4
Joseph Dubin
January 11, 2005
This was the second game I went to at the Polo Grounds that first season. My dad took me and I remember leaving our right field seats a little early to beat the crowd in the ninth - we saw the game ending double-play while standing underneath the upperdeck behind home plate.

Mike McCormick started for the Giants and I believe the score went back and forth before the Mets went ahead late in the game. Prior to the game there was a home-run hitting contest. A Met won that too. And my dad found a parking space on the street right near the upper deck home plate entrance so it was a winning night all around (the Polo Grounds was located underneath hence entrance was through the upper deck.

August 24, 1962 Polo Grounds
Mets 6, Los Angeles Dodgers 3
digittydog
January 9, 2002
If I've got this right this was Gil Hodges night at the Polo Grounds. I was overwhelmed with the park but more impressed with how much everyone loved this man. Although I was twelve, I was still a Brooklyn Dodger in my soul. Hodges changed that for me. I remember him not only as a great player, but as a man of integrity. Where are these qualities today? I remember the game as such: Jay Hook beat Don Drysdale 6-3. Homers by Kanehl,Coleman,Throneberry.

Mighty Quinn
May 26, 2004

Just read digittydog's recap on Gil Hodges Night at Polo Grounds on August 24, 1962, which differs from mine, but while The Dig was 12, I was only 11, so don't hold me to this. My recap has Don Drysdale starting for L.A., and the Dodgers holding a 3-1 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth. The Mets loaded the bases, and up steps Hot Rod Kanehl, who rips a double up the right- center field gap and clears the bases for a 4-3 Mets victory. That's the story I've been telling people for 42 years. Hope someone can clear things up.

Bob P
July 5, 2005

OK, further to some earlier posts...retrosheet to the rescue!!

I have bad news for Mighty Quinn...Diggitydog's account of the game is correct.

The game was tied 3-3 going to the bottom of the eighth, Jay Hook and Don Drysdale on the mound. The Met runs had come on solo homers by Choo Choo Coleman, Marv Throneberry, and Rod Kanehl.

In the eighth the Mets loaded the bases with nobody out on a single and two walks, then Kanehl singled to left scoring one run but Frank Howard threw out Throneberry at the plate. Gene Woodling came in to pinch-hit, and Walter Alston countered by bringing in Ron Perranoski. Woodling singled to drive in another run, and then Jay Hook drove in the sixth run with an infield hit (it may have been a bunt). Richie Ashburn grounded into a DP, but the damage was done.

Hook retired the Dodgers 1-2-3 in the ninth for his eighth win of the season. It was the only loss for the Dodgers at the Polo Grounds in 1962.

Stephen Appell
July 7, 2005

I attended Gil Hodges Night. The Mets had a 3-run 8th inning to break a 3-3 tie. The 8th inning rally included a drag bunt single by pitcher Jay Hook to drive in a run. The first 3 runs were scored on solo HR's by Kanehl, Coleman and Throneberry. The 9th inning featured fantastic fielding by Throneberry (who was regarded as a poor fielder), had 2 infield assists, and then made a diving catch on a Willie Davis line drive to end the game. It was the first home Met victory over the Dodgers.

The night had more drama - in the stands I heard the loudspeaker announcement requesting that if a doctor was in the stadium, he should report immediately to the Dodger clubhouse. I later learned that Leo Durocher, then a Dodger coach, had been stricken with an allergy attack, and required an adrenaline shot in his vein. The trainer was only authorized by law to give such an injection into the muscle. According to the papers, Durocher told Manager Walt Alston "if this it Walt, go get 'em." Fortunately it was not, Durocher received treatment and he lived until 1991.

I regard this game as one of the greatest in the history of the Mets.

August 25, 1962 Polo Grounds
Los Angeles Dodgers 8, Mets 2
Jon
March 26, 2002
I have my dad's scorecard (15 cents) from this game. The Dodgers hit 4 home runs (Gilliam, Willie Davis, Tommy Davis, Fairly) off Craig and MacKenzie.

August 26, 1962 Polo Grounds
Los Angeles Dodgers 16, Mets 5
Don
April 1, 2002
My first baseball game ever -- 7 years old. A quirky double play when one of the Dodgers lost track of the outs and wandered off second base after a fly out.

August 28, 1962 Connie Mack Stadium
Mets 2, Philadelphia Phillies 0
Ed K
February 1, 2006
Al Jackson's fourth and final shutout of the 1962 season. All four shutouts happened during the first game of a doubleheader and the Mets lost the second game each time!

Ed K
April 28, 2006

The last of Al Jackson's four shutouts in 1962. All were pitched during the first game of a doubleheader and the Mets lost the second game each time!

September 2, 1962 Sportsman's Park
Mets 4, St. Louis Cardinals 3
Bob P
February 2, 2004
Stan Musial collects his 3,516th hit in this Met victory. The hit moves him past Tris Speaker into second place overall behind Ty Cobb for most hits in a career.

Musial gets another 114 hits to finish at 3,630 and now sits fourth behind Pete Rose, Ty Cobb, and Henry Aaron.

September 8, 1962 Colt Stadium
Houston Colt .45's 4, Mets 3
Feat Fan
September 27, 2004
On a steamy 85 degree afternoon with the humidity at 77% the Colt.45s win the day-half of their day- night doubleheader from the Mets 4-3.

The Colts get behind in the first inning on two unearned runs on errors by J.C. Hartman and starting pitcher George Brunet, but Brunet pitches through seven innings giving up no further runs and only three hits before he’s lifted for a pinch hitter while trailing 2-0.

Mets starter Jay Hook is lifted to start the seventh after shutting out the Colts for his six innings and allowing five hits. Manager Casey Stengel sends in rookie Ray Daviault and this is the turning point of the game.

Daviault has two infield errors behind him as well a hit by Al Spangler in his first inning of work as Houston cuts the lead to 2-1. Hal Smith opens the 8th inning batting for Jim Campbell and ties the game with the first Houston home run in the last nine games. Russ Kemmerer (4- 2) working his second inning in relief of Brunet gives the lead back to New York in the ninth on a triple by Joe Christopher and a base hit by Rod Kanehl.

With the Mets now leading 3-2 Stengel lifts Daviault to start the 9th and brings in another rookie Willard Hunter who promptly gives up singles to pinch hitter Bob Lillis and Johnny Temple.

Out goes Hunter and number 37 lumbers to the mound and brings in Craig Anderson (3-17). Anderson forces Joey Amalfitano to hit into a double play but Norm Larker is walked on purpose and scores the winning run on a combination of Bob Aspromonte’s single that eludes Frank Thomas in left field for New York’s fifth boot of the game.

Feat Fan
December 15, 2004

On a steamy 85 degree afternoon with the humidity at 77% the Colt.45s win the day-half of their day-night doubleheader from the Mets 4-3.

The Colts get behind in the first inning on two unearned runs on errors by J.C. Hartman and starting pitcher George Brunet, but Brunet pitches through seven innings giving up no further runs and only three hits before he’s lifted for a pinch hitter while trailing 2-0.

Mets starter Jay Hook is lifted to start the seventh after shutting out the Colts for his six innings and allowing five hits. Manager Casey Stengel sends in rookie Ray Daviault and this is the turning point of the game. Daviault has two infield errors behind him as well a hit by Al Spangler in his first inning of work as Houston cuts the lead to 2-1.

Hal Smith opens the 8th inning batting for Jim Campbell and ties the game with the first Houston home run in the last nine games. Russ Kemmerer (4- 2) working his second inning in relief of Brunet gives the lead back to New York in the ninth on a triple by Joe Christopher and a base hit by Rod Kanehl.

With the Mets now leading 3-2 Stengel lifts Daviault to start the 9th and brings in another rookie Willard Hunter who promptly gives up singles to pinch hitter Bob Lillis and Johnny Temple. Out goes Hunter and number 37 lumbers to the mound and brings in Craig Anderson (3-17). Anderson forces Joey Amalfitano to hit into a double play but Norm Larker is walked on purpose and scores the winning run on a combination of Bob Aspromonte’s single that eludes Frank Thomas in left field for New York’s fifth boot of the game.

September 8, 1962 Colt Stadium
Houston Colt .45's 6, Mets 5
Walter Pullis
May 3, 2002
I have a sad memory of this game. Late in the season Casey brought some of his old-timer friends back as coaches. In this game Rogers Hornsby was the third-base coach. I remember that he didn't look well and could hardly move around. He died several months later.

This also was the doubleheader were Marv Throneberry got a boat as some kind of prize. The paid attendance was 1,200 at this doubleheader!

Feat Fan
April 1, 2004

Turk Farrell stuns the Mets with a home run, a 390 ft drive to left, his second of the year. I found a website that actually had Bob Murphy's radio call of the home run hit off Roger Craig.

Feat Fan
October 27, 2004

Only 1,638 showed up for the partly cloudy afternoon game but under the lights with the temperature “cooled” to 83 and the humidity up to 82% 6,568 gather for the night game. The evening was a hitters delight with a total of 25 hits and a 10th inning win for the Colts 6-5.

Oddly, the two starting pitchers gave up all 25 hits with Dick Farrell allowing 13 and Roger Craig (7-23) giving up 12. Only four of the 25 hits went for extra bases including Farrell’s second home run of the season.

After retiring the first seven in order Farrell was kicked around for four runs and four hits in the third inning and the .45s didn’t catch up until the eighth with a 5-5 tie. Farrell came out for a pinch hitter with two outs in the ninth with Hal Smith on first with a base on balls but Craig struck out Johnny Temple to send the game into overtime.

Jim Umbricht (2-0) set New York down in order in the 10th and picked up the win when Bob Lillis led off with a single, was sacrificed to second by Al Spangler, moved to third on an infield ground out by Roman Mejias and the .45s won when Lillis rode home on Craig’s wild pitch. Here is the unrealistic line on both starters: Farrell (9 innings), 5 runs, 13 hits, 9 strike outs, two walks – Craig (10-innings), 6 runs, 12 hits, 5 strike outs, 6 walks, one wild pitch.

Feat Fan
August 12, 2004

Only 1,638 showed up for the partly cloudy afternoon game but under the lights with the temperature “cooled” to 83 and the humidity up to 82% 6,568 gather for the night game. The evening was a hitters delight with a total of 25 hits and a 10th inning win for the Colts 6-5. Oddly, the two starting pitchers gave up all 25 hits with Dick Farrell allowing 13 and Roger Craig (7-23) giving up 12. Only four of the 25 hits went for extra bases including Farrell’s second home run of the season. After retiring the first seven in order Farrell was kicked around for four runs and four hits in the third inning and the.45s didn’t catch up until the eighth with a 5-5 tie. Farrell came out for a pinch hitter with two outs in the ninth with Hal Smith on first with a base on balls but Craig struck out Johnny Temple to send the game into overtime. Jim Umbricht (2-0) set New York down in order in the 10th and picked up the win when Bob Lillis led off with a single, was sacrificed to second by Al Spangler, moved to third on an infield ground out by Roman Mejias and the .45s won when lillis road home on Craig’s wild pitch. Here is the unrealistic line on both starters: Farrell (9 innings), 5 runs, 13 hits, 9 strike outs, two walks – Craig (10-innings), 6 runs, 12 hits, 5 strike outs, 6 walks, one wild pitch

September 9, 1962 Colt Stadium
Mets 7, Houston Colt .45's 7
Feat Fan
June 12, 2004
This game had just about everything except good pitching and a winner. The .45s and Mets send a total of ten pitchers to the mound – five each - and the game is halted at the end of eight innings because of curfew (no inning shall start after 7 p.m. on Sunday night). When the game was called each team had seven runs, ten hits and one error. This was the final game scheduled between the two teams in Houston which means next week they will attempt to play six games in three days due to earlier postponements.

Only 3,630 paid for this Sunday afternoon 90 degree game that lasted over four hours with only the individual statistics going into the record books.

The most interesting inning was the seventh and how the Mets scored the run that tied the game at 7-7. Jim Golden entered the game to start the inning and walked Joe Christopher and while striking out Frank Thomas and walking Elio Chacon Golden throws two wild pitches to move the runners up to second and third. With first base open Golden walks Choo Choo Coleman to load the bases and then is relieved of his duties and replaced by Don McMahon. Felix Mantilla then drives in the tying run with a sacrifice fly to Carl Warwick in center in a game that one inning later had an end but no winner or loser.

Ed K
June 10, 2006

First tie game in Met history.

Ed Koch
August 23, 2006

As Featfan noted, the failure to play this game to its conclusion meant the two teams needed to play three straight doubleheaders in NY later in the month to complete their 1962 schedules. One of those three days ended up rained out and thus the Mets ended up with a 40-120 record instead of a full 162 games of wins and losses.

Ed K
March 27, 2008

One other item of note: This game marked the last Major league appearance of Sherman "Roadblock" Jones. He had been sent to AAA by the Mets in May and recalled in September.

Sherman is remembered for being the originally scheduled starter for the Mets opener but was replaced by Roger Craig when Sherman temporarily hurt his eye with a cigarette lighter. Instead, he started the Mets home opener and lost that game.

September 14, 1962 Polo Grounds
Mets 10, Cincinnati Reds 9
Ed K
July 5, 2011
Choo-Choo hit the 6th and last Mets walk-off homer of the 1962 season in this game.

September 15, 1962 Polo Grounds
Cincinnati Reds 9, Mets 6
Rick Williams
January 10, 2002
It was my 13th birthday and my parents took me to see the Mets at the Polo Grounds. I can remember riding in the back seat of my Dad's car across the bridge from the Deegan over to the Polo Grounds and thinking how "small" the stadium looked. I was amazed that it could seat 55,000 fans because it didn't look very large. The pitching matchup was Jay Hook vs. Bob Purkey. Purkey was on his way to 23 wins and Hook was on his way to 19 losses. The both pitched that way that day! Mavelous Marv went deep, but the day belonged Fred Hutchinson's Reds. Robinson,Pinson,Coleman,Blastingame,Kasko,Cardenas Post were too much for Thomas, Throneberry, Drake, Coleman, Chachon, Mantilla! To this day I can't drive by Yankee stadium without looking across the river with fond memories of the Polo Grounds.

September 16, 1962 Polo Grounds
Mets 8, Cincinnati Reds 2
dave.gordon@interactivedata.com
May 20, 2005
I believe this is the first Met game I attended, and second game overall. I was 7 years old and already an avid fan. As I recall, the Mets were facing one of the Reds aces, either Joey Jay or Jim Maloney. The Reds scored twice in the top of the first and the guy behind us said "Well, that's the ball game". My first thought was "Can't be, it just started!", but my second thought, and even at age 7 I understood how bad the Mets were, was "He's probably right". But the Mets proved us both wrong. If memory serves me right, they scored 2 in the bottom of the first to tie it, 2 more in the 2nd, 1 in the 3rd, and 3 in the 4th to comprise all the scoring. I was thrilled. Can anyone dig up a box score of this one so I can see what really happened? Thanks a lot.

Rick
July 22, 2012

Much like the comment above, I believe this is the first game I ever attended. I was 8 years old and just becoming a baseball fan. I had remembered the score being 6-2 but I definitely remember it was against the Reds in 1962 with Marv Throneberry hitting a home run. My Dad took me and he worked 6 days a week so the game must have been on a Sunday, which this game was. He was a Dodger fan who had given up on baseball when they moved...the Mets were the perfect answer for both of us. They only won 40 all year, so we were pretty lucky to see one.

The Polo Grounds was pretty dilapidated by this time but all I remember is how bright the colors were in person (only black and white TV in our house then). The green of the grass, the blue and orange against the home whites, the clubhouse off in centerfield. Amazin'!!

50 years later and I'm still a Mets fan. My Dad died young and we didn't have too many days like this together. I commemorated the game and the day on a brick at Citi Field, right in front of the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, which would have meant a lot to my Dad.

Thanks, Ultimate Mets Database for the chance to remember.

September 20, 1962 Polo Grounds
Houston Colt .45's 5, Mets 4
Feat Fan
October 27, 2004
Houston sweeps a pair from the Mets at the Polo Grounds, 7-2 and 5-4. Bob Aspromonte's league- record 57-game errorless streak is snapped in the opener but he responds with a 5-for-6 performance in the nightcap. Jim Golden wins the lidlifter and drives in three to help himself. Hal Smith is the hero of the nightcap with a two- run homer in the seventh, a key double in the ninth, and the game-winning single in the twelfth. New York sets a major league mark for home losses with their 57th defeat at Coogan's Bluff.

Ed K
June 10, 2006

Mets finished the season two games short of a fill 162 game schedule. In order to make up prior rainouts, they would have needed to play Houston three straight doubleheaders at the Polo Grounds in September to complete the full schedule but the middle date (September 19th) was rained out. Considering that they had lost the doubleheader the day before the rainout, and then lost this doubleheader on the day after the rainout, it was probably just as well.

September 22, 1962 Polo Grounds
Chicago Cubs 9, Mets 2
Ed K
May 22, 2008
This is the game in which Casey put Richie Ashburn at 2B late in the game for the first time. Ashburn had only played outfield his entire major league career. A few days later, in the final game of the season (and Ashburn's career), Casey gave him a start at 2B.

I remember thinking at the time that Casey had run out of infielders but the boxscore does not seem to indicate it. There were only three pinch hitters and one other replacement during the game. Maybe Richie just asked to do it. The Mets were losing 9-2. Does anyone else recall the details?

September 23, 1962 Polo Grounds
Mets 2, Chicago Cubs 1
Bob P
June 2, 2005
Final home game of the 1962 season. The Cubs scored a run in the top of the first off Bob Miller but Frank Thomas tied it in the fifth with a home run and then Thomas won it for New York with a two out single in the bottom of the ninth.

September 28, 1962 Wrigley Field
Chicago Cubs 3, Mets 2
Bob P
January 31, 2004
The paid attendance for this game at Wrigley was 595.

September 29, 1962 Wrigley Field
Mets 2, Chicago Cubs 1
Ed K
September 3, 2002
The better of the two Bob Millers on the team was the Met's fourth starter in the rotation and didn't win a game until this one which was his final start of the season in the Mets next to last game that year.

Bob P
February 4, 2004

As Ed K says above, Bob Miller was the winner in this game for his only win and first complete game of the season in 21 starts. The win breaks a personal 12-game losing streak for Miller and he finishes the year 1-12.

The Cubs' only run came on a homer by Ernie Banks. Dick Ellsworth was the losing pitcher, his 20th loss of the year. Ellsworth bounced back to win 22 games in 1963.

September 30, 1962 Wrigley Field
Chicago Cubs 5, Mets 1
K. Butler
May 16, 2003
This was an unfortunate day for the Mets. In this, the worst season in modern-day baseball history, the Mets actually had a chance to win the season series against the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs did not have a great team by any stretch of the imagination that year, as witnessed by the fact that the Mets beat them 9 times, but there is no doubt that the Mets wasted a golden opportunity there. Well, that's my take on that game, which was won by the Cubs. Of course, if anyone has anything else to say, they are more than welcome, since I wasn't born until 1984. Oh well, Cubs All The Way!

Bob P
January 31, 2004

The final game of the first season...and how about this for typical: Joe Pignatano (who would later become a Mets coach under Gil Hodges) hit into a triple play in the 8th inning. It was the last major league at bat of Pignatano's career.

In an unrelated incident in Tampa, Florida, Dave Magadan was born on this day.

Ed K
August 27, 2005

Piggy's triple play was the first-ever hit into by a Met. It happened in his last MLB at bat in the 8th inning. He hit a Texas League fly to shallow right that Cubbie secondbaseman Ken Hubbs made a great catch of and threw to Ernie Banks at 1B who threw to Andree Rogers (the SS) covering 2B. Ashburn and Drake were the baserunners caught off 1B and 2B. Hubbs, of course, was Rookie Of the Year and a Gold Glover in 1962 but died tragically in a small plane crash in Utah at the age of 23 just before Spring Training started in 1964.

Ed K
May 22, 2008

One other item of note: It was the final game of Richie Ashburn's Hall-Of-Fame career and Casey started him at 2B. Ashburn had been solely an outfielder for fifteen years until Casey had let him play an inning or two at 2B late in a game earlier in the month. Ashburn retired and became a Phillies announcer for decades until dying of a heart attack while in NYC for a Mets- Phillies series.






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