Mets Rewind
Losing is no longer fun.
The following is a summary of events and memorable moments throughout the season. This is no an exhaustive reflection of this season, For more details of games, players and events from this season we encourage you to explore the sub sections — team roster, vault and timeline — listed below and throughout this section. In addition, as we continue to develop the Mets Rewind website new features and content will be added as they become available.

The 1966 New York Mets season began with a number of changes. After the 1965 season, the interim tag was removed from Wes Westrum’s managerial title. It didn’t take long for Westrum to begin overhauling his field staff, hiring Harvey Haddix as pitching coach and Whitey Herzog as third base coach.

Throughout the offseason the Mets made roster moves in hopes of fielding a roster of young and veteran talent. The team acquired Ken Boyer (3B), Ed Bressoud (2B), Dick Stuart (1B), Jerry Grote (C) and Jack Hamilton (P).

The Mets infused a handful of exciting young new players to the roster including Cleon Jones, Bud Harrelson, Ron Swoboda, Ed Kranepool, Tug McGraw, Nolan Ryan and Grote, all who would play key roles in the team’s future success.

Just days before Opening Day, on April 3, 1966, the Mets won the rights to sign Tom Seaver in a special lottery.

“George Weiss (then Mets GM) was against it,” Bing Devine told Peter Golenbeck in Amazin’. “Let’s be honest, he didn’t know anything about him.” Joe McDonald and Devine knew Seaver. He could help the Mets win – soon. “… I had to make a case, a big case, and I remember George Weiss finally shook his head and said, ‘If you people make such a big case of it, go ahead.’”

Westrum saw an opportunity to change the franchise’s trajectory, both on the field and off the field. He encouraged the team to believe they could win. Westrum had signs in the clubhouse that read, “If you think you can, you can.”

The Mets were scheduled to open the season at Crosley Field in Cincinnati but were rained out three days straight. The team returned home to play their season opener in New York against the Atlanta Braves.

Cleon Jones homered, but the Mets couldn’t hold the lead, losing 3-2, and their fifth consecutive loss on Opening Day. As the season began to hit full stride the Mets showed improvement, winning 14 games in June, setting a franchise record. In July, the Mets won 18 games and began flirting with the .500 mark.

The Mets fizzled in August and September, finishing the final two months with a 19-40. The Mets finished the season 66-95 in ninth place, setting franchise highs in wins. Westrum was so giddy, after the final game of the season, he led a champagne celebration in the team clubhouse.

The season recap published above is written by David Russell and published in his book, Fabulous to Futile in Flushing: A Year-by-Year History of the Mets. Do you love Mets history? Pick up this book online at your favorite bookseller and enjoy season-by-season historical recaps, Mets highlights and challenging trivia that will send you on a fun journey through the Mets rich franchise history.

1966 SEASON RECAP

RECORD

66-95

BATTING LEADERS

  • Average: Ron Hunt (.288)
  • Hits: Ron Hunt (138)
  • Home Runs: Ed Kranepool (16)
  • RBI: Ken Boyer (61)

PITCHING LEADERS

  • Wins: Jack Fisher/Dennis Ribant/Bob Shaw (11)
  • ERA: Dennis Ribant (3.20)
  • Starts: Jack Fisher (33)
  • Innings Pitched: Jack Fisher (230)
  • Saves: Jack Hamilton (13)

1966 Timeline

Let's take a look back at the highlights of this year in New York Mets franchise history.
Read More

1966 Vault

We have curated stories, photos, video and news clippings from the year in Mets history.
Dig In

1966 Roster

Here are the numbers for this year in New York Mets history including a team roster and season stats.
Roster and Stats