Thursday, April 18, 2013

This Week in Mets History 1-14: King Kong, Tom Terrific and Pedro Martinez

Frank Gray
MM Editor

The New York Mets are finishing up a frigid and dismal road trip today in Colorado. With such cold moments from this series to remember, now seems as good of a time as any to warm ourselves up with warm memories from yeas past.

This week, we reminisce about Tom Seaver notching a historic win, Dave Kingman hitting a blast that should be consider breaking and entering, Pedro Martinez and Gary Sheffield reaching milestones on the same date,  David Wright leading the Mets to a home run derby in Philly and much more.

April 14, 1976 - The Mets visit the rival Chicago Cubs in Wrigley Field. Mets RF Dave Kingman launches a home run that measured 530 ft. What was more impressive was that his moonshot hit a house! The house and the Cubs both survived, however, as they beat the Mets 6-5 that day.

April 17, 1964 - After two years in existence, the Mets have a home of their own. The team says goodbye to the Polo Grounds and hello to the sparkling new Shea Stadium. The first game in their new home drew 50,312 fans as the Mets hosted the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates defeated the home team 4-3 as Willie Stargell becomes the first player to homer in Shea Stadium history.

April 17, 2006 - After years of dominating batters in Montreal and Boston, Pedro Martinez accumulates 200 career wins while playing for the Mets. At the time, he becomes only the 103rd MLB pitcher to record 200 wins. In front of 36,867 fans, the Mets defeat the Atlanta Braves 4-3.

April 17, 2009 - Being recently released by the Detroit Tigers, Gary Sheffield finds himself in Queens seeking the illusive 500th home run of his career. He finally finds it at Citi Field as a pinch hitter and as a Mets player. He becomes only the third player to homer as a teenager and as a 40 year old, joining Ty Cobb and former Mets great, Rusty Staub.

April 19, 2005 - The Mets have always had unique games in Philadelphia. A game on this date was  no different. The Mets blasted their way to a club record seven home runs. The barrage of long balls features Mike Piazza, Jose Reyes and Doug Mientkiewicz, among others, with David Wright sealing the deal with a grand slam in the seventh. The Mets crush the Phillies 16-4.

April 20, 1967 - It is said that every mighty tree begins as a seed. The same is true for great players. On his way to a Hall of Fame career, Tom Seaver recorded 311 wins in his Major League career. Most of them (198) were with the Mets. On this day, against the Chicago Cubs, he recorded his very first one. Seaver goes 7 2/3 while giving up only one run en route to career win number one.

April 20. 2006 - Just days after Pedro Martinez etches his name into the history books, Julio Franco gets his turn in the historical spotlight. The Mets are on the road in San Diego. Julio Franco launches a pinch hit home run as the Mets defeat the Padres 7-2.  Franco becomes the oldest player in MLB history to hit a home run at 47 years and 240 days old.

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