5 Most Memorable Mets Game Days in History
Even diehard fans can admit that the New York Mets are far from the most successful franchise in baseball history, which is why Mets ticket prices are among the most affordable in the majors. Even so, they have one of the most dedicated fan bases in pro sports. Even when the team struggles, their fans always believe in "next year." On occasion, fans' patience and loyalty have been rewarded with Mets game days that will live on in our memory for years to come. Let’s take a look at the five most memorable Mets game days in history, since their inaugural season in 1962.
October 16, 1969: Mets 5, Orioles 3
It was in this game that the Mets clinched their first-ever world championship after only eight seasons as a franchise. At the time, it was the fastest an expansion franchise had ever won the World Series. As long-time fans know, the team was dubbed the “Miracle Mets," as 1969 was the first year the Mets had a winning record after years of being a laughing stock. They also defeated an Orioles team that many believed was among the best of all time.
The Mets lost the first game of the series but quickly rebounded to win the next four games, including Game 5 at Shea Stadium. Of course, the Orioles showed some fight, scoring three runs in the 3rd inning. But the Mets responded a few innings later, ultimately scoring five runs – with help from home runs by Al Weiss and series MVP Donn Clendenon – to take a 5-3 lead and win the World Series for the first time.
June 1, 2012: Mets 8, Cardinals 0
For decades, the Mets were one of only a few major league franchises to never have a no-hitter. But on June 1, 2012, that finally changed. Johan Santana never quite lived up to the $137.5 million contract he signed, but finally giving the franchise a no-hitter just about made it all worth it. Santana’s no-hitter came at the most unlikely of times, as he had missed the previous season entirely after having shoulder surgery. The lefty was also yet to throw a no-hitter in his career, despite winning two Cy Young awards.
Against the defending national champion Cardinals, Santana wasn’t quite at his most dominant that day. He walked five batters and needed an exceptional catch in the 7th inning from Queens native Mike Baxter to keep the no-hitter intact. Baxter actually injured himself and left the game because he bruised his shoulder on the catch after crashing into the outfield wall. By doing so, he became a cult hero among Mets fans, and his catch is nearly as memorable as Santana’s no-hitter itself.
October 15, 1986: Mets 7, Astros 6
In order to reach the 1986 World Series, the Mets had to get through an epic NLCS battle against the Houston Astros. The Mets led the series 3-2 heading into Game 6 but had the Astros forced a Game 7, the Mets would have faced Houston ace Mike Scott – who was borderline-unhittable in two wins against the Mets earlier in the series – making Game 6 an elimination game for both team.
New York fell behind 3-0 in the 1st inning and was held scoreless for eight innings before scoring three runs in the top of the 9th to tie the game and force extra innings. The game remained tied at 3-3 until both teams scored a run in the 14th, continuing the epic affair. The Mets broke through again with three runs in the 16th. Houston responded with two runs in the bottom of the inning, but the Mets held on for the win in one of the most memorable games in baseball history, sending them to the 1986 Fall Classic.
September 21, 2001: Mets 3, Braves 2
This game will forever be remembered as the first major sporting event in New York City after the terrorist attacks of September, 11. President George Bush threw out the game’s first pitch and many first responders who were at Ground Zero following the attacks were in attendance. Needless to say, emotions were high, and it wasn’t yet clear if New York was ready to return to the normalcy of baseball after the attacks.
That day, the Mets faced the Braves, who were undoubtedly their biggest rival at the time. The Mets trailed 2-1 in the bottom of the 8th when Mike Piazza hit a two-run home run that put New York ahead. Shea Stadium exploded with emotion in a moment that turned out to be an important part of the healing process for New York City.
October 25, 1986: Mets 6, Red Sox 5
There’s perhaps no more memorable game in baseball history than Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. The Red Sox entered the game just one win away from ending their championship drought, and with two runs in the top of the 10th, they were poised to put the curse behind them. In fact, for a split second, Shea Stadium flashed a message on the scoreboard congratulating the Red Sox.
Alas, with two outs and no one on base in the bottom of the 10th, the Mets strung together three straight hits, setting up the famous ground ball from Mookie Wilson that got past first baseman Bill Buckner, allowing the winning run to score. The Mets went on to win Game 7 and capture their second-ever World Series championship. And the rest, as they say, was history.