PEOPLE DIDN’T FOLLOW THE METS. THEY LOVED THE METS.
This is an excerpt from Jimmy Breslin’s classic book on the 1962 Mets, Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game?: The Improbable Saga of the New York Mets’ First Year. I sat down and read the entire 128-page book between innings of a recent Mets game. Breslin was funny, thoughtful, passionate and insightful in describing the original Mets. I was struck by the mix of hope and despair that the fan base experienced throughout the season.
METS WIN FIRST GAME IN FRANCHISE HISTORY
After starting their inaugural season 0-9, the New York Mets finally collected their first regular season franchise win, beating the Pittsburgh Pirates, 9-1, at Forbes Field.
Jay Hook pitched a complete game five-hitter to lead the Mets.
The Mets were feeling “giddy” after the game in the clubhouse which led to this opening lead by then Daily News reporter Dick Young:
The Mets had just won the first game of their young life tonight when Casey Stengel led them, with jaunty step, into the clubhouse and said cavalierly, ‘Nuttin’ to it!’ He was a new man; suddenly, he was 72 years young. The cross had been lifted from the manager’s back — the burden that had grown heavier and heavier, day by day, through the nine-game record-tying getaway slump, until he thought it would never end.
FLASHBACK: BONILLA’S FAST START
On Opening Day 1992, New York Mets outfielder Bobby Bonilla collected three hits in his Mets debut, including a pair of home runs. The second long ball came off St. Louis Cardinals closer Lee Smith in the 10th inning at Busch Stadium to propel the Mets to a 4-2 win.
After the game, Mets starter David Cone said:
“The Mets haven’t had a leader like Bobby Bonilla since Keith Hernandez.”