METS FANS SHARE THEIR MEMORIES OF THE APRIL 11, 1962 GAME:
April 30, 2002
Roger Craig gave up the Mets' first run in history on a balk. A guy was on third, and as Craig was going into his motion and then he dropped the ball.
February 13, 2004
Roger gave up the first run but it didn't happen like that. The Cards had runners on first and third when Stan The Man blooped a single into left and drove in the first run. With runners on on first and second, Craig made a move to first but Hodges wasn't covering the bag. So Craig held on to the ball for a balk. Boyer then grounded out, driving in the second run. I know the myth sounds better but Craig had enough woes with the Mets and doesn't need this added to it. I think the story of the balk came from Breslin's "Can't Anybody Here Play This Game?"
January 10, 2005
Jeff, the story about the balk is no myth - many of us have recordings of Lindsey Nelson calling the play. He has Roger Craig checking the runner at third, set into his windup and then drop the ball. Lindsey goes on to say, "The New York Mets have given up their first run in history on a balk."
January 13, 2005
Actually, since my post about Craig's balk, I was corrected by another fan who told me that the recording Joseph refers to was recreated--that is, Lindsey did it in the studio, imagining the play, with fake crowd noise in the background. The recording I have of it comes from the record album produced in 1970 called "The Miracle Mets" by Fleetwood.
February 10, 2005
Jim, I also have the 1970 "Miracle Mets" album and thought the crowd noise on some play-by-play sounded fake but never imagined the calls themselves were recreated!
Since Bob Murphy opened the broadcast, it would seem logical that he would be the one to have called the first three innings on radio.
May 31, 2005
The first run of the game was scored on an RBI single by Musial. Craig balked on the next play, but no run scored (although it did enable the Cards to knock in the second run on a groundout).
August 23, 2006
I had that "Miracle Mets" record when I was a kid and listened to it a lot. I remember that Nelson broadcast about the balk and was confused by it when I found out that it was not the way the run was allowed in this game. But I was wondering something. Could that balk have happened in the first SPRING TRAINING game in Florida that year? I don't know if this was really the case, but I think it's possible.
November 4, 2007
You can actually listen to the first game via a Podcast. Download Daniel Humprey's Baseball Historian Episode 16. Craig did balk, didn't drop the ball. Hodges didn't cover and Craig couldn't throw.
July 13, 2008
I guess for the final say... I just listened to this game and the 1st run scored on Musial's hit. THEN Craig balked, advancing runners to 2nd and 3rd.
October 15, 2010
Yeah, I wonder why the producers of that record decided to play fast and loose with history. And why Lindsey agreed to go along with it!
December 28, 2010
Jeff, Matt and Michael are dead on. While Craig did balk, he didn't drop the ball, and in any event, the first run had already scored. I believe that the whole "balked-in-first-run" myth started with Jimmy Breslin in "Can't Anybody Here Play This Game," published in 1963. It's incredible that the myth acquired such momentum that the recording fakery took place just seven years later. This is only one of a number of myths which surround the Original Mets.
If you want to really get to grips with sorting out the facts from the myths, might I suggest my newly-published book, A Year In Mudville: An Oral History of Casey Stengel and the Original Mets. This 418-page book is based on interviews with players, reporters and fans (including several who post on Ultimate Mets), and you can get your copy on Createspace.com or amazon.com, or if you want to read it on your iPhone or iPad, you can get it from the iBookstore. Email me for more info.