Love at First Swing


What do Benny Ayala, Mike Fitzgerald, Rick Cerone, Jose Vizcaino, Todd Pratt, Mike Bordick, Bubba Trammell, Kaz Matsui, Mike Jacobs, Robinson Cano, Rajai Davis and Aaron Altherr all have in common?

All of them hit home runs in their first at-bat as a member of the New York Mets.

Here are some additional interesting facts about this list:

  • Three of the 12 players — Robinson Cano, Rajai Davis and Aaron Altherr — accomplished the feat in the same season (2019).
  • As of July 2020, only one player is on the current roster: Robinson Cano.
  • Four of the players — Benny Ayala, Mike Fitzgerald, Kaz Matsui and Mike Jacobs — homered in their first major league at-bat.
  • Two players — Mike Bordick and Kaz Matsui — homered on the first pitch of their first at-bat with the Mets.
  • Three Mets players hit their first HR vs. Nationals, two vs. Cardinals and Phillies and only one against an American League opponent.
  • In games where a Mets player hit their first HR in their first at-bat, the team has won 10 of the 12 games.

Benny Ayala stepped off a plane at LaGuardia airport just hours before first pitch and raced across the street to Shea Stadium. One day earlier he was playing for the Tidewater Tides in Norfolk, Virginia, now the 23-year old rookie was starting his first major league game for the New York Mets in place of Cleon Jones, who injured his knee a day earlier.

The photos displayed on this website are original photography or photos are royalty-free images purchased by Mets Rewind from and are used for editorial purposes only.

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National League baseball in New York was redefined on March 6, 1961 when the New York Metropolitan Baseball Club Inc. formally received a certificate of membership from leave president Warren Giles. Of the 30 Major League Baseball clubs today, the case could be made that no other team has a more compelling franchise history than the New York Mets. From Casey Stengel to Yogi Berra, Marv Throneberry to Tom Seaver, Willie Mays, Tug McGraw, Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, Keith Hernandez, Bobby Valentine, Pedro Martinez and Matt Harvey, the Mets are loaded with character(s). Then there are the Amazin’ seasons — 1962, 1969, 1973, 1986, 2000, 2006-2008 and 2015 — full of miracles, joy, hope and heartbreak. Mets Rewind is designed for that purpose: To share team history in a distinct and entertaining format. We hope you — the baseball fan — enjoy the content. We encourage you to share your memories.
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