METS FANS SHARE THEIR MEMORIES OF THE AUGUST 20, 1998 GAME:
November 18, 2004
This game and double header is one that I will never forget so long as I live. I was 18 years old and my parents got me tickets to see the game because I wanted so badly to see Mark McGwire on his quest to break Maris' record.
They got me field level seats on the first base side and boy was I in for a treat. McGwire hit numbers 50 and 51 and I can still see him rounding first base after he hit number 50, pumping his right fist in the air as he ran by. He knew (at the time) that he was the first player in MLB history to hit 50 or more home runs in 3 consecutive seasons.
When I meet fellow Mets fans who say they were at this game though, there is always something that they seem to forget. Mike Piazza gave McGwire a moment for pause as if to say, ya, well I can hit 'em out too. Piazza had a MONSTER shot in the second game of the double header past the visitor's bullpen in left field that went over the trees behind the dugout. I can't remember if it left the stadium, but it was certainly the closest I've ever seen anyone do it at Shea Stadium. I remember thinking to myself, "Ya, eat some humble pie Mark, you're not quite there yet."
August 18, 2005
I traded in a ticket from a previous rain-out to see this double header. The Mets and Cards were playing back-to-back double headers on Thursday and Friday. Most will remember Game 1 as McGwire hit his 50th and Willie Blair had his best game as a Met.
However, I remember Game 2 more clearly for 2 reasons:
1. After a horrendous start to the game, including serving up a monster blast to McGwire right down the left-field line, Rick Reed battled the Cards and refused to lose. He gave the Mets offense a chance to get the win instead of collapsing, which he easily could have done. Reed was a warrior that day.
2. Piazza's monster of a home run over the bleachers in left. It was one of the most majestic shots I've ever seen (only his shot off of Mike Hampton at Shea which hit the top of the TV camera stand in center sticks in my mind as a more beautiful home run).