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METS FANS SHARE THEIR MEMORIES OF GAMES FROM THE 1976 SEASON
April 10, 1976 Shea Stadium
Mets 1, Montreal Expos 0
rht
August 7, 2007
I saw this game on TV. Matlack was lights out; he didn't allow a baserunner past second!

The inning I remember I believe to be the 4th. One of the Expo batters (possibly Gary Carter???) hit a lead-off double. (It doesn't show up in the box score posted on this site for some reason.) With a runner on second and no one out, Jon proceeds to jam the next two batters forcing them to pop up. I think he even broke their bats in the process. Needless to say he got out of the inning unscathed.

April 11, 1976 Shea Stadium
Montreal Expos 7, Mets 6
Jason Lefkowitz
February 28, 2002
This was the first Met Game I ever attended.

mike in metuchen
October 5, 2006

I was 13 years old and at this game. It was overcast and it was the Met debut for the very overweight Mickey Lolich.

All I rememeber was that Lolich lasted only 2 innings and the Mets lost. Dave Kingman hit a HR that day.

Also in batting practice someone hit a screaming foul line drive down the 3rd base side and it nailed some guy next to me in the arm while he was reading his program. I picked up the still-spinning ball and brought home a souvenir!

April 15, 1976 Wrigley Field
Mets 10, Chicago Cubs 8
Ed Leddy
October 14, 2004
Kingman's second HR of the game landed on the porch of a house on Sheffield Street. I was recently in Chicago, and I paced off the distance from the porch to the back of the bleachers - approximately 220 feet. Add the width of the bleachers (25 feet) and the 365 feet from home plate to the LF wall, and we're looking at a 610-foot blast.

Most books report an estimated distance of 550 feet, which is, conveniently enough, 15 feet shorter than the 565-foot HR by Mantle recognized as the longest by Guiness Book of Records. Now you know the truth!

April 16, 1976 Three Rivers Stadium
Pittsburgh Pirates 3, Mets 1
Ed K
March 28, 2008
First time that the Mets ever played a regualer season game on good Friday and they lost it in Pittsburgh.

April 19, 1976 Busch Stadium
Mets 4, St. Louis Cardinals 3
Mike Melioris
May 1, 2003
This was the best game I ever saw in my life. On Easter vacation from 8th grade this was the Monday night game of the wee., This game went on into three in the morning! Unbelievable plays from both teams kept this game going and going until Del Unser hit a home run in the seventeenth inning. Boy, what a game! It was fun! In fact they started calling it Tuesday morning baseball. The screen they show the score at the end of the inning (on Television) actually was changed in the fourteenth inning to say "Tuesday Morning Baseball" from the normal Monday Night Baseball. I can say one thing even if it wasn't Easter Vacation I would have watched this game and been, you know, "sick" in the morning.

Several times during the telecast they showed Dave Kingman's monster 700 foot shot four days earlier in Chicago that he hit across the street. This game they gave Dave nothing to hit as he went one for seven. Del Unser was hit by a pitch his next at bat by Lynn McGlothen the next day as was NY Met starter Jon Matlack (later that day as it was a Tuesday night game and this game went into Tuesday morning) that resulted in a bench clearing brawl. It was believed to be retaliation for hitting that home run in the seventeenth inning that won the game.

This is my vote for the best played game of all times, great plays and strategy from both teams, not to mention a game that could have dragged out another couple of hours it seemed. Del Unser hero of the day!

rht
June 11, 2007

I think Del Unser lead off the 17th with that home run. I remember that as he was rounding the bases, the St. Louis fans were booing him fiercely.

April 27, 1976 Shea Stadium
Mets 6, Atlanta Braves 5
Joe Figliola
March 28, 2004
Since this was a bicentennial year, my seventh grade class went on a field trip to Liberty Village in New Jersey to see what life was like in 1776. I brought my radio with me because the Mets were playing an afternoon game against the Braves and we die-hards wanted to hear it on the way home.

We heard the early innings, and for some reason we lost the frequency. We got home around six-ish and I was surprised to discover that the game was still going on and the Mets were down a couple of runs to Atlanta.

With runners on and two out, Bruce Boisclair BARELY ticks a two-strike fastball from Pablo Torrealba (I think) before jacking a double to win the game. I also remember seeing Bruce's guest spot on "Kiner's Korner," where he was describing the pitches he was getting.

Although I did not see the entire game, I have the feeling that this game had about the same excitement as that Mets-Astros game in July 1975 that I wrote about it earlier. I do recall the fans really getting into it as well as this 12-year old being absolutely glued in to what Boisclair was doing.

Barry F.
June 9, 2004

Good memory, Joe. Yes, it had the same feel as that '75 game vs. Houston. By this time, I was living in Howell, N.J. We moved in October, 1975. I was in my living room watching this game and the Mets were down to their last strike, down 5-4. On 1-2. Boisclair hit a two-run double to win the game. In April, it really felt like the Mets would challenge the Phillies and Pirates for the division. But the Lolich bust and lack of offense (partially brought on by Vail's injury and Staub's departure to Detroit) put the Mets out of it fairly early. May 1976 was really the last exciting time for a Mets fan until the Steve Henderson game in 1980. In between was a lot of heartache and anger.

Peter C
October 13, 2005

I remember watching this game after school. I think it mught have been a 4pm start because I seem to remember seeing the whole game and maybe even keeping score. I thought it was very exciting to see Bosclair come through in the clutch. If you look at the Mets lineup this day, there was a lot of age on that roster, especially among the position players.

The team was also totally devoid of speed. Bosclair was young and fast and he, as well as Mike Vail who had broken his ankle during the off-season semed to hold out some hope for the future. Of course that promise never materialized. There even seemed to be cause for optimism for the whole team. The Mets were closing out April on a 7-game winning streak and were in the midst of a 12-2 run through the beginning of May.

May 7, 1976 Shea Stadium
Mets 6, San Diego Padres 2
Jim McCoy
July 13, 2002
I was down from upstate with a group from my high school, and this was my first Mets game. In fact it was my first trip to the big city, but this was my favorite part. It was a duel between Randy Jones, who after a great start was anointed the Cy Young winner by August, and Koosman, who finished second in the voting despite arguably superior stats after a great second half. This was the first of two times that Kooz beat Jones at Shea this season.

Kong hit two home runs, but my most vivid memory was Koosman fanning McCovey. Stretch took a huge swing on strike three with the game still on the line, and Shea was rocking.

mike
July 16, 2002

I was 10 yrs old. My brother was 8. Our dad took us to this Friday night game and on the way to the game a huge thunderstorm hit around 6pm. We were dismayed and thought the game would be postponed. To our delight the skies cleared and it was a beautiful night made all the better watching my favorite players, Dave Kingman hit 2 home runs..

Bob P
August 8, 2004

Just to clarify an earlier post: Dave Kingman had two homers in this game--a two-run shot in the first off Randy Jones, and a three-run shot in the eighth off Mike Dupree. Jerry Koosman drove in the other Met run.

Kooz did indeed strike out Willie McCovey in this game, but big Stretch was called out on strikes for the first out of the sixth inning with a runner on second and the Mets leading, 3-1. Dave Winfield got the RBI two batters later to make it 3-2. Winfield had three of the Padres' six hits that night.

May 9, 1976 Shea Stadium
San Diego Padres 4, Mets 0
Kevin McLaughlin
June 16, 2010
I have two memories of this game. I'm not positive they are correct.

1. Brent Strom had a no hitter going for 5 or 6 innings before Joe Torre broke it up with a single up the middle.

2. Winfield's 1st AB: Fly out to Right. Not getting around on Seaver.

2nd AB: Fly out to warning track in Right. Hit well, but not pulling it on Seaver

3rd AB: HR over the Right Field wall off Seaver. So much for not being able to pull it.

May 15, 1976 Riverfront Stadium
Cincinnati Reds 2, Mets 0
Bob P
February 2, 2004
Tom Seaver gave up just five hits to the Big Red Machine in seven innings and struck out nine, but Reds rookie Santo Alcala pitched a complete game four-hit shutout for the win.

Alcala finished 11-4 for the Reds that year, but his ERA was near 5.00. He was traded to the Expos in 1977 and was out of the majors by the end of the '77 season.

May 21, 1976 Jarry Park
Mets 4, Montreal Expos 3
rht
August 7, 2007
I watched this game on TV. I remember this game because the Mets spoiled the single-handed heroics of one Andre Thornton, who had just been acquired from the Cubs.

In the first inning, with Pepe Mangual on first running on the pitch, Andre hits a two-run home run exuding cheers from the fans at Jarry Park! In the seventh inning, Wayne Garrett ties the game with a two-run homer of his own. However, Andre comes through with a clutch RBI single in the bottom of the inning to put Montreal ahead again. Then, in the top of the ninth just as things were looking bleak, Wayne comes through with a clutch two-run double putting the Mets up for good!

I don't remember the bottom of the ninth, but it appears that Andre had one last chance at heroics with two outs, but didn't come through.

May 22, 1976 Jarry Park
Mets 4, Montreal Expos 1
Jimrat
May 13, 2008
This was the 1000th regular season win in the history of the Mets.

May 27, 1976 Veterans Stadium
Mets 5, Philadelphia Phillies 2
rht
August 7, 2007
I watched this on TV. I think the game had been delayed because of rain as there were puddles in the outfield.

Wayne Garret comes up in the top of the ninth with two outs, the bases loaded, and down by one and strokes a two-strike pitch off of Tug McGraw for a bases-clearing triple in the gap. Roy Staiger follows with an RBI double to polish off the inning. I think this was the first time Tug blew a save against the Mets.

May 28, 1976 Shea Stadium
St. Louis Cardinals 6, Mets 0
Dan
September 7, 2000
My second ballgame ever at Shea, and my 10th birthday, and all the boys could muster up were six lousy singles.

For you movie trivia buffs, this is also the exact day that the film, "Dazed & Confused" took place on. Seems to be the theme for the day, no?

May 29, 1976 Shea Stadium
St. Louis Cardinals 3, Mets 2
flushing flash
January 7, 2002
My first Mets game, and I left after nine innings. True, I was only eight years old, but why would I leave before it was over? Years later I found out why. It seems the Mets were up 2-1 in the top of the ninth and the Cardinals had a runner on third with one man out. The next batter hit a high fly ball deep down the left field line but clearly foul (probably near where that triangle-shaped area with flowers is today).

The Mets left fielder at that stage of the game was a man called Leon Brown.

"Now Leon, was in trouble, but he chased that old ball down, and he made the catch but the runner scored, all because of Leon Brown."

"Had he left that ball and turned aside, he might not have been a clown, but he caught it and let the tying run score, yes he did that Leon Brown."

"He was bad, bad, Leon Brown, baddest man in the whole damn town, badder than old Dave Kong, dumber than a junkyard dog."

June 3, 1976 Shea Stadium
Chicago Cubs 2, Mets 1
Jon
March 4, 2011
The Mets left 12 men on base in this game, many of them by Kingman, who went 0-for-5 and whiffed twice, including the final out of the game with the tying and winning runs on 2nd and 3rd. He reportedly had a major tantrum following this game including smashing his hair dryer and throwing stuff out of his locker.

The next night in LA, Kong hit 3 dingers.

June 4, 1976 Dodger Stadium
Mets 11, Los Angeles Dodgers 0
joe o.
February 11, 2003
I was not quite 10 years old and couldn't stay up late for this West coast game that started at 10 or 10:30 pm. But I rememberthe back of the NY Daily News, something like, "KONG blasts 3 Hrs, with 8 RBIs!" At the time, I never heard of such a game for one player.

Batty
June 5, 2003

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has heard Tom Lasorda's post game interview from this typical Kong performance. It's hilarious!!! You can find it in a KAZAA search under the name of Lasorda and Kingman. The reporter starts off by asking Tommy "so what did you think of Kingmans performance tonight?" Lasorda's response is a classic baseball moment. He uses every f word in the book to portray his anger, great listening.

Feat Fan
April 20, 2004

The crowd at Dodger Stadium on June 4, 1976 saw perhaps the most awesome power display ever at that facility, fortunately the star performer wasn't a member of the Dodgers. New York's Dave Kingman crushed three homers and drove in eight runs to spark an 11-0 Mets win. Kingman hit a two run homer off of Los Angeles' Burt Hooton in the fourth, hit a three run homer off of Hooton in the fifth and slugged another three run homer in the seventh (off of Al Downing).

Kingman's blasts accounted for 8 runs and provided Tom Seaver with plenty of support. It was a Friday night game and we were living on Staten Island partying with friends while watching the game on WOR.

Joe From Jersey
December 11, 2005

You can hear Tommy Lasorda's now-famous or infamous tirade on a new 4-CD/book called the Great American Baseball Collection which I purchased from QVC. Jay Johnstone was selling it on that channel; I called up, bought it and got it in a few days. Also, I tend to recall that the day before vs the Cubs, Dave struckout in the 9th with the bases loaded and after the game; he proceeded to smash everything in his locker.

IntroMET
April 2, 2007

This was one of those late night west coast games. I stayed up just long enough to see Kingman's first homer. After finding out that he hit two more, I regretted going to bed.

The Tom Lasorda tirade noted in the above entries did not occur after this game. At this time, Lasorda was not yet the Dodger manager (and probably not handling post-game press conferences.) Walter Alston was still there with Tommy as his third base coach. He took over as manager in September that year.

His outburst over the "Kingman's Performance" question actually came on May 14, 1978. On that date, Kingman hit three home runs for the Cubs against the Dodgers. The CD "Baseball's Greatest Hits" lists an incorrect date for when this happened.

June 9, 1976 Jack Murphy Stadium
San Diego Padres 3, Mets 0
bruce
August 25, 2009
My first game that I really remember going to at 7 years old. I had the audacity to shout "Seaver you stink!" after he gave up a run in the 5th.

June 25, 1976 Wrigley Field
Mets 7, Chicago Cubs 4
Ed K
August 12, 2004
This was the game that Mike Phillips became the third Met ever to hit for the cycle!

June 26, 1976 Wrigley Field
Mets 10, Chicago Cubs 2
Ken Schlapp
January 10, 2004
This was a very special day at the beginning of my Met fanatasism. I was so enthralled with the Mets at the age of 7 that my whole family forgot about me watching this game in my aunt's basement, that they left for my cousin's wedding without me and I didn't even realize it. The only thing I can remember from the wedding is that John Milner hit a grand slam and that the Mets won 10-2. I've suffered from Met Fan Disease ever since and hold a special place for The Hammer in my memories.

Bob P
January 13, 2004

This was a Saturday afternoon game at Wrigley, the middle game of a 3-game series that the Mets swept.

After falling behind, 1-0 on a Rick Monday leadoff home run in the first, the Mets scored 6 in the top of the third inning. Felix Millan singled to tie the game and then Milner hit his grand slam to make it 5-1. Kingman followed with a home run (his 25th) and it was 6-1. Kranepool drove in two more with a bases loaded single in the fifth, and the other Mets runs scored on a triple by Del Unser and a homer by Mike Phillips, one of only 11 homers in his career.

Jerry Koosman allowed just two more hits after Monday's homer and Bob Apodaca came in to get the last seven outs.

June 28, 1976 Shea Stadium
Mets 5, St. Louis Cardinals 4
Gate Matarazzo
July 13, 2008
I remember this game very vividly as it was my first ever baseball game. We went with our little league on a bus and I couldn't wait to see Seaver pitch and Kingman hit; I was 8 years old. I remember Kingman hitting the homer early and I believe he scored the winning run on the Mad Hungarian's wild pitch in the 8th.

July 1, 1976 Shea Stadium
Mets 13, St. Louis Cardinals 0
Frederick
May 11, 2005
I went to this game on my 13th birthday. To have the Mets win by a score of 13-0 was too magical for words. Who says 13 is unlucky?

July 2, 1976 Shea Stadium
Mets 2, Chicago Cubs 1
Brian Otten
September 7, 2001
Who remembers Medallion Day?!!

My best Mets memory as a child, July 2, 1976 - Koosman beat the Cubs and an eight-year old boy goes home with a Mets "Bicentennial" Medallion on his birthday.

Has anybody actually still got a medallion from "Medallion Day"? I imagine bats from "Bat Day" as being a dime a dozen, but who has kept any of those silver Met-logo emblazoned beauties? I wonder where mine is now?

July 3, 1976 Shea Stadium
Mets 3, Chicago Cubs 2
Jimmy
December 6, 2006
This game was memorable to me because it was the only time I got to see Tom Seaver pitch as a Met at Shea. I became a fan in 1975 and Seaver to this day has always been my favorite Met. Also this day was Met Medallion Day (the next day the Mets had a huge Bicentenial Banner Day Doubleheader against the Cubs that I was at some neighbor's BBQ and I got into a fight with my brother playing running the bases) I remember the Mets winning on a single by Harrelson in the 10th (but perhaps I am wrong since the box score does not list an rbi for Harrelson but lists only two of the Mets 3 runs as rbi's) Our whole family would go to the game and sit in the mezzanine (don't recall where). My brother who sadly grew up to be a Yankee fan tells people, "My father abused me as a child" He took me to Shea.

mike
July 20, 2008

I was at this game; it was the first time I saw a game from the field seats. It was an awesome experience. I still have the Mets medallion I got from this game.

buddy3
October 20, 2008

Actually, Jimmy, Bud Harrelson did win this game for the Mets, but not with a single. In the bottom of the tenth inning, Bud led off with a TRIPLE to right. It was a long fly ball that went over the outfielder's head, landing in front of the Mets' bullpen. The ball must have gone at least 350 feet in the air - a rare display of power from Buddy. He later scored the winning run, I believe on a bad pickoff throw to first.

marc
July 24, 2013

This was the first Mets game I ever went to and the only one my father took me to before he died.

I remember Tom Seaver pitching and the Mets Medallion that I still have.

July 6, 1976 Astrodome
Houston Astros 1, Mets 0
JFK
May 11, 2012
Take a look at this box score. Richard gives up 8 hits, 10 walks, PB on a strikeout and 2 wild pitches and the Mets still got shut out over 10 innings.

July 10, 1976 Fulton County Stadium
Mets 4, Atlanta Braves 2
Ron I
April 15, 2013
My first Mets game (fan since the 69 season). Was in awe when Ed Kranepool stopped so I could take his picture next to the dugout.

King Kong Kingman hit 2 home runs and it was great to see them win. Mickey Lolich pitched like he did when he was the Tiger's ace.

What a great day!

July 11, 1976 Fulton County Stadium
Atlanta Braves 9, Mets 8
Bob P
January 31, 2004
The Braves employed an interesting marketing strategy in this game played right before the all- star break.

First, 34 couples were married before the game at home plate, then they brought out a ring and there was professional wrestling (no, the couples were not involved).

Finally, the game started, and it was pretty entertaining too. The Mets led 4-1 after six, then the Braves scored five in the seventh. The Mets came back to take an 8-6 lead going to the bottom of the eighth, but the Braves took the lead for good on a two-out, bases clearing double by future Met Willie Montanez.

Despite all that excitement, only 14,661 fans paid their way in. Another oddity about the game: Jon Matlack, Jerry Koosman, and Tom Seaver all pitched in this one. Matlack started, Kooz and Seaver came in to face two batters each. Many teams would use that strategy back then in the game right before the all-star break....kind of an "everyone in the bullpen can pitch" mentality.

Mike A
June 3, 2008

Read somewhere in a story about the early days of maverick Braves owner Ted Turner, that he came up with this promotion. Called it 'Wedlock & Headlock Day'.

There was even a picture of the Mets & Braves players lined up opposite each other holding their bats up to let the newlyweds pass through. Pretty hilarious!

Ron I
September 28, 2012

My second Mets game (first game was day before). I was really stoked because Seaver and Koosman were used in relief of Jon Matlack, because next day was the beginning of the All-Star break. That was a once in a lifetime chance to see all three in one game!

Got to see all my favorite pitchers in just two games!

July 15, 1976 Shea Stadium
Mets 3, Houston Astros 1
Joe Rosenthal
April 10, 2003
This was the third Mets game I attended in 1976. July 15, 1976 was two days before my seventh birthday, but I remember parts of the game vividly. I sat behind the Astros dugout with my parents in one of the first ten rows. Kingman's home run was monstrous. I remember it went out near the light brown brick wall that used to be in left. There was talk at the time that Kingman might hit 60, but then he got hurt. Koosman was magic that night on his way to a 20+ win season. It was a beautiful night all the way around. I remember Bob Watson hit a towering popup for the Astros that I was sure was going to hit a plane that was flying overhead at the same time.

July 17, 1976 Shea Stadium
Houston Astros 1, Mets 0
Tom H
July 12, 2006
This was my first major league game, and I went with my Mom. I was a six year old Yankees fan, but my mom wasn't willing to drive to the South Bronx in 1976 (can't blame her) so we went to Shea. My only vivid memory of the game came from the Old Timers Day ceremony. Joe DiMaggio, in his Yankees uniform walked onto the field through the center field gate. He was accompanied by Mickey Mantle, Duke Snider, and Willie Mays (in a Mets uniform).

Tom Sullivan
December 29, 2008

I don't recall this being an Old Timers Day. I do remember Ceasar Cedeno taking Seaver downtown into the left field loge in the first inning for the game's only run. Andujar threw a complete game shutout for the 'stros.

Keith Mandra
July 10, 2009

I went to this game with my parents when I was 15. I do remember it being Old Timers Day. We sat down the 3rd base line in field reserve seats. I actually remember the 1st inning home run hit by Cedeno. Other than that hit, Seaver pitched a gem, but Andujar shut the Mets down. I was so disappointed that the Mets could not muster up a couple of runs to win the game for Seaver.

July 19, 1976 Shea Stadium
Atlanta Braves 4, Mets 2
Lou D.
May 6, 2002
This was the Monday night game where Phil Niekro hit a line shot in left field. Dave Kingman dove for the ball and injured his thumb. He was out for the next month or two. I remember as I was sitting in the mezzanine. Kingman wound up losing the NL Home Run title to Mike Schmidt by one.

rht
June 11, 2007

I was at this game with my Dad in the upper deck along the right field side. (Gee, it seems every time I've attended a game with seats along the right field side, bad things happen to the Mets!) As of this writing, this was my last time at Shea.

Other than the Mets losing and the injury to Kingman, I remember a play involving Mike Vail. I remember one inning where there was, I guess, a runner on second. I watched Mike Vail, who was in right field, imitating throws to the plate in between pitches. Lo and behold! The batter (who it was I don't remember!) hits a single to right and Mike throws the ball over the head of the catcher for an error.

July 20, 1976 Riverfront Stadium
Mets 2, Cincinnati Reds 1
Bob
September 20, 2002
This was the first Mets game I ever attended. My family lived in Winston-Salem, NC, at the time and Kahn's hotdog packages had order forms for the World Champion Reds games. My Dad and I ordered tickts and went to the game. I was a little disappointed that my favorite player, Dave Kingman, was injured and could not play. But I was delighted when the Mets scored two in the first. Pete Rose led off the bottom of the first with a home run, but Jerry Koosman settled down and pitched a masterpiece. I had a Mets pennant and cap. I was very shy as a child and as we got on the bus after the game a Reds fan said, "You're on the wrong bus", and, much to my Dad's delight, I said loudly, "He's right. This is the losers' bus."

Tom S.
December 24, 2003

This was the first and only game that my father ever took me and my brother to. (My father was European-born and could never figure out why we found baseball so fascinating.) We were hoping to get ourselves some autographs - I would cover the Reds' dugout and my brother would hang by the Mets. I remember how crowded it was by the dugout as I searched for Reds players. I saw Rose and Morgan and thought how big their heads looked, like those Mardi Gras figures that parade in the streets in New Orleans. I did get Johnny Bench and Pedro Borbon to sign my Reds yearbook.

As for the game, I could not believe that Concepcion could hit two homers in a single game, but I did get a chance to boo Mickey Lolich. (How could the Mets trade Staub anyway?) One observation that my father made after seeing how big the field was and how small the players look: how could a batted ball not find a space to land in such a vast outfield? I think about that every time that I go to a game - whether it is a major league game or a Little League game.

July 23, 1976 Jarry Park
Montreal Expos 3, Mets 2
billy a
November 6, 2006
First game since Mets traded Wayne Garrett and Del Unser to Expos for Pepe Mangual and Jim Dwyer. Typical Met luck, Unser hits GW HR in bottom of 11th. Unfortunately, this was par for the course for the rest of the decade.

July 24, 1976 Jarry Park
Mets 10, Montreal Expos 4
Dan H.
October 5, 2006
I was up in Montreal with some friends during the Olympics this week, and attended this game. I don't recall too much about the game, except for the exciting atmosphere in Jarry Park: the music, food and crowd interactions were really a lot of fun. The park was small, but the fans loved the Expos, and it was a shame they moved into giant cold Olympic Stadium the following year.

July 25, 1976 Jarry Park
Montreal Expos 2, Mets 1
rht
November 25, 2007
I believe Andre Thornton hit a sacrifice fly to score Ellis Valentine from third in the bottom the ninth to win it for the Expos.

I think this was the game where Jerry Koosman in the middle of the game stood motionless in his windup position on the rubber for about a good 30 seconds. The umpire was forced to call ball on him. He then stood another 20 seconds before finally winding to make the next pitch. I'm guessing but it seems that he and his catcher were not on the same page? It was just weird.

July 29, 1976 Shea Stadium
Pittsburgh Pirates 2, Mets 1
Stu Baron
February 27, 2002
This was a Thursday afternoon game following morning showers, probably a getaway game, attended by a sparse crowd of 12,588...In one of his best games as a Met, hefty lefty Mickey Lolich (no doubt the prototype for David Wells), tossed 8 innings, allowing 8 hits and 2 walks while striking out 4, the only run scoring on a fourth-inning groundout by a young Dave Parker.

Alas, with the Mets historically typical poor run support, Lolich left, trailing 1-0, for pinch hitter Mike Phillips, who fanned for the 2nd out of the ninth, before singles by Ed Kranepool (batting for Leon Brown) and Bruce Boisclair and a walk to John Milner loaded the bases for Joe Torre. Joe was hit by a Bob Moose pitch to drive in the tying run, but the '76 Mets couldn't stand such success, as two singles and a double play grounder by future Mets coach Bill Robinson in the top of the 10th off Skip Lockwood gave the Bucs a 2-1 win.

Two things made this game memorable for me (16 at the time)...Lolich's mound opponent was lefty Jim Rooker, with whom I became acquainted socially later in my life; and I got the late great Willie "Pops" Stargell's autograph after the game by rolling up my program and slipping it through the chain link fence behind the visitors bullpen as the Pirates boarded their bus.

July 30, 1976 Shea Stadium
Mets 3, Philadelphia Phillies 2
BILLY
January 11, 2005
The only thing that really impressed us was Johnny Oates. I was 11 and my brother was 9. We were sitting on the Phillies side getting autographs. Johnny came over, signed our Mets yearbooks, talked to us. He let us try on his catcher's mitt. That was the coolest. God bless you, Johnny Oates. A little thing like that left a great memory.

July 31, 1976 Shea Stadium
Philadelphia Phillies 2, Mets 1
Tim Keller
October 4, 2002
I was 11 years old and attended this game. I remember Milner's home run was just inside the right field foul pole in the first. I also remember that after Tug McGraw finished his first inning of relief he started to walk toward the Mets dugout instead of the Phillies. The media made a big deal about it.

August 1, 1976 Shea Stadium
Philadelphia Phillies 7, Mets 6
Jim K
October 23, 2008
This was Banner Day at Shea! My friends and I made a banner saying how great Dave Kingman was (I was nine and naive). The first game went into extra innings and we had to wait for what felt like eternity to get on the field. As we were parading, some one asked us for our number. I thought we were going to win a prize. The man took our number, handed it to another man, who handed it to someone else who subsequently threw it in the trash with the rest of the losers. We then walked through the Mets bullpen (saw Bob Apodaca up close) and through the tunnel connecting the dugout and the bullpen, Jerry Grote ran past me, prompting me to yell "Hey Jerry!" raising my hand for a High Five (if that's what they called it then). With eyes fixed straight ahead, he kept running, leaving my high five suspended in mid air. Mets were swept in the double header, but that didn't matter. I was on the field.

August 2, 1976 Shea Stadium
Montreal Expos 5, Mets 4
TheOnlyLivingBoyInBrooklyn
March 14, 2002
If memory serves right, this is the first game my dad took me to and the Met's first Jacket Day. When you are 8, the mighty high upper decks at Shea make the field seem much further away than it already is! Got there to catch both teams take batting practice. Couldn't figure out why you didn't hear the voices of Kiner, Murphy and Nelson coming over the PA. Reckoned if you could hear them on TV, you should be able to hear them at the ballpark. Seaver vs. Woody Fryman. Mets lost of course. Somehow they became my team and I almost got heat stroke from standing in my front yard the next day, in NYC August heat...proudly wearing my vinyl Mets jacket.

Makes me all misty-eyed for the blue and orange shingles that used to grace Shea.

ange
June 1, 2008

I, too, remember that as being the first jacket day at Shea. It was actually a night game, and those jackets they gave away were the hottest pieces of vinyl I ever put on! They didn't breathe! I went to the game with families from the Little League, and remember Torre having a good game and my father saying that Torre finally woke up! Anyway, those jackets were all white with the Mets lettering across the front; I can still feel the sweat!

PC
August 11, 2009

Jacket Night, and a Tom Seaver start at Shea, drew a tremendous crowd. I was 10, and this was maybe my fourth game ever.

Went with my dad, one of my dad's friends from work, and his son -- and we sat in the most hellacious traffic jam. Didn't arrive until after four innings. Parked who knows where.

I guess I still got a jacket. Remember it being white. And I was so pumped to see my first Seaver start in person, so disappointed I missed four innings, but thought I was going to see the Mets win.

Said to dad that it looked like we could pull this one out, and I recall the dread of Morales' big pinch hit. Didn't remember it was off Lockwood. I just knew Seaver was robbed, and so was I. Still remember how empty that felt.

Sean
August 31, 2011

My first ever game. My dad took me, just me and him. I was 6. Can remember sitting way in the upper deck and getting the white raincoat which sat in my closet for at least a dozen years after. My only memory of the game is Roy Staiger hitting a home run. That fact, and also remembering the game was against the Expos, and approximately the year gave me enough info to find the actual date of my first ever game using the net to research. Pretty cool discovery! I also remember staying up to see the lights on the Verrazano bridge coming home. Still watching the Mets, and coming to games with my dad since!

Johnny
October 19, 2011

I was at this game, too. I remember going with my entire family. The white unstylish vinyl jacket they gave away. I was a kid and was excited I'd be getting a free Mets jacket. I remember being disappointed that we didn't get the royal blue Mets jackets walking in. Can someone confirm, I think I remember from this same game, Mets manager Joe Frazier going ballistic and getting ejected for throwing bats onto the field or was that a different game?

Mark Corrao
September 26, 2013

I too was at this game. I remember all the hype for the promo give-away "Jacket Day - now you can wear an authentic NY Mets jacket, just like the players wear!" My father picked my brothers and me up and we sat in a traffic jam, people actually parked their cars in travel lanes on the elevated highway and walked to the game. We parked by the junk yards and missed a few innings. We got our white vinyl jackets and being only twelve stated, "These are not just like the players wear!". I remember Seaver pitching and stating to my dad that Seaver threw fast! It wasn't my first Met game, but one I remember well. A few weeks later a hurricane blew into the region and I remember wearing my white raincoat outside to escape the rain.

Bill
July 7, 2012

My first Mets game. My mom drove to the park and ride in Secaucus, then a bus to the Port Authority and the #7 train to Shea. Final was 5-4 Expos I believe. I remember telling my mom that it was a good game and that's all that mattered.

The jacket was a bit of a disappointment. It was white with "Mets" in script across the front. The M and the ets on mine weren't even close to lining up.

The #7 was packed and extremely hot going back to NYC. Best night ever at that age. Sat way in the upper deck on the 3rd base side. You could see the ball being hit before you heard the crack of the bat.

August 3, 1976 Shea Stadium
Mets 9, Montreal Expos 8
STEVE FLOHR
June 3, 2008
This was my first Mets game ever. My dad took me. I was 9 years old. I'll never forget the 2-run homer that Kranepool hit in the bottom of the 8th that put the Mets on top for good. I was a Mets fan before, but this cemented the deal and I've been a die-hard Mets fan ever since. My favorite player in those days was Dave Kingman.

August 4, 1976 Shea Stadium
Mets 4, Montreal Expos 0
d-man
August 7, 2007
First Mets (or any baseball) game I ever went to. Never even thought to look up the box score until just now.

I was a nine year old kid, my mom surprised me by picking me up from a day camp I was at, and told me the local recreation department was having a trip to the game. Put me on the old beater school bus with a friend of mine, and off we went. What memories!

I'll always remember sitting up in the nosebleed upper deck seats when Jerry Grote hit a triple into the rightfield corner that completely disappeared from my view. My first taste of Shea Stadium!

Peter C
October 7, 2008

I was taken to this midweek day game by my grandfather. A superb performance by Koosman, but what I remember from this game is Ed Kranepool dropping a perfect bunt down the third base line in the 3rd inning and reaching first without a throw.

August 5, 1976 Three Rivers Stadium
Mets 7, Pittsburgh Pirates 4
Ed K
August 26, 2003
This was the game that Staiger batted out of order but the Pirates did not catch it. I do not recall the full details but I think the batting lineup cards did not match because of a last minute change or something like that.

August 10, 1976 Shea Stadium
Mets 5, San Diego Padres 4
Jim McCoy
August 23, 2001
I was down from upstate with a group from my high school, and this was my first Mets game. In fact it was my first trip to the big city, but this was my favorite part.

It was a duel between Randy Jones, who was on a long winning streak and had already been anointed the Cy Young winner, and Koosman, who finished second in the voting despite arguably superior stats. Jones' streak stopped here.

Kong hit two home runs, but my most vivid memory was Koosman fanning McCovey. Stretch took a huge swing on strike three with the game still on the line, and Shea was rocking.

Bob P
August 13, 2004

Jim, a couple of corrections to your earlier post:

Willie McCovey did not have an at bat in this game. Also this was Randy Jones' third consecutive loss to drop his record to 18-7. He did have a seven game winning streak in May and June.

Kooz improved to 14-7. One of the reasons the Cy Young voting was discussed at length after that season was that after starting the year 18-4, Jones wound up 22-14. Kooz started the year 11-7 but his final record was 21-10.

In this game, after the teams traded early four- run innings, Jones and Koosman tamed the bats the rest of the way. The Mets scored the winning run in the bottom of the eighth on singles by Joe Torre, Roy Staiger, and John Milner.

August 14, 1976 Shea Stadium
Mets 2, Cincinnati Reds 1
Jim from Connecticut
October 5, 2006
My 2nd major league game! Pat Zachry started for the Reds and walked the first 3 batters he faced. I remember Torre coming to the plate and my Dad saying, "He's going to hit the first pitch". He did and lined one deep into the RCF gap that Geronimo tracked down and made a great play. The Mets went on to win 2-1. I remember Foster hit a low line drive for an out that was traveling about 180 mph that Harrelson caught at SS. I don't think Johnny Bench played.

August 15, 1976 Shea Stadium
Mets 1, Cincinnati Reds 0
mike
July 16, 2002
I remember going to this game. Even though the Mets won the game I was disappointed that Sparky Anderson chose this day to rest most of the Big Red Machine regulars. Instead of Morgan, Bench, and Perez I got to see Flynn, Plummer, and Driessen. Oh well, such is life.

Joe Lanzisera
July 22, 2002

This was my first trip to Shea and my first baseball game ever. I remember that it was unbelievably hot and sticky. I remember that Ed Kranepool knocked in the winning run - it may have been a homer. It's been a non-stop love affair ever since.

Bob P
July 4, 2004

The only run in this game came in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI single by Bruce Boisclair.

Jerry Koosman pitched a five-hit shutout and struck out eleven. The Reds, who had a 13.5 game lead over the Dodgers coming into the game, rested Pete Rose and Joe Morgan this Sunday afternoon. Future Mets George Foster and Doug Flynn had two hits each for Cincinnati.

Roger
March 31, 2007

This was my first game. I remember being so excited I couldn't sleep the night before, I was ten years old and have been to many games since. I was a little disappointed that Rose and Morgan were not playing but seeing my Mets in real life for the first time was something I'll never forget.

Ed K
July 16, 2008

An interesting footnote: Bud Harrelson scored the winning run and a few hours after the game got married!

September 3, 1976 Shea Stadium
Mets 1, Philadelphia Phillies 0
Friz
October 22, 2000
This was my first Mets game. I believe it was Seaver beating Carlton. Can someone out there confirm? Thanks.

Bob P
May 27, 2003

Friz, if you are still reading this board, I can confirm that at your first Mets game Seaver beat Carlton, 1-0. The Mets scored the only run of the game in the 4th inning on an RBI single by the legendary Roy Staiger. Seaver pitched a 4-hitter and struck out 8, and allowed just one hit after the third inning. Carlton wasn't too shabby either: he allowed five hits and struck out six in six innings. The only reason he came out so early was that the Phils had first and third and two out in the top of the seventh, and Danny Ozark sent up Seaver's nemesis, Tommy Hutton, to bat for Carlton. Seaver struck him out.

Mr. Roboto
August 14, 2011

Bob P., you forgot to mention the most important thing about Seaver's strikeout of Hutton in the seventh. It was Tom's 200th of the year, giving him that total for nine consecutive seasons.

September 5, 1976 Shea Stadium
Philadelphia Phillies 3, Mets 1
Bob P
January 31, 2004
The Phils won this Labor Day weekend game thanks to Larry Christenson, who gave up hits to the first three Mets batters in the game then settled down to allow just five more hits. He also hit two home runs in the game. Christenson finished his career with 11 home runs.

September 8, 1976 Wrigley Field
Mets 11, Chicago Cubs 5
Buzz
April 25, 2005
I remember this game for the boxscore only. I was 10 years old on vacation with my family in Wildwood, NJ and already a huge Mets fan but I couldn't watch the Mets on TV down there because they only showed Phillie games. My only knowledge of how the Mets did was to check the boxscores the next day. (This was well before the days of Sports Center and endless highlights.)

Well when I checked the boxscore for this particular game not only did I see a Mets win over the Cubs but I saw that this guy Mazzilli (who I'd never heard of) had pinch hit and his boxscore read 1 1 1 3 which meant he'd hit a 3-run homer. I thought to myself, "Wow this guy hit a 3-run homer in his first at bat in the bigs!" but I soon came to realize that it wasn't his first AB but his second, still not too shabby.

September 13, 1976 Three Rivers Stadium
Mets 5, Pittsburgh Pirates 0
Bob P
July 4, 2004
This game was a pitcher's duel between Tom Seaver and Larry Demery for the first six innings. Tom allowed five hits and Demery just three. But the n the Mets exploded for six hits and a walk in the seventh and scored the only five runs of the game.

Seaver struck out twelve and retired the last seven batters he faced. The heart of the Pirates batting order--Richie Zisk, Willie Stargell, and Dave Parker--were a combined 1-for-12 with seven strikeouts.

September 16, 1976 Shea Stadium
Mets 4, St. Louis Cardinals 1
Donald Stokes
January 17, 2006
This was the game when Jerry Koosman FINALLY became a 20-game winner. He struck out H. Cruz to end the game. John Stearns jumped into Koosman's arms. He became the second Met pitcher to win 20 games in a season.

September 19, 1976 Shea Stadium
Mets 7, Pittsburgh Pirates 6
Billy E.
July 16, 2008
I was at this game. I was 11 years old at the time and was on a bus trip courtesy of Martz Trailways from Wilkes-Barre PA. Anyway, what I remember is it being a warm Sunday, and Dave Kingman launching 2HRS, both to leftfield and Skip Lockwood coming in and just blowing hitters away, something like 7K's in 3 innings! Ever see a short relief specialist do that now? Lockwood to me is one of the most underrated Met relievers of all time, certainly better than those two clowns Benitez or Franco or others too numerous to mention.

Joe Z
April 1, 2014

I remember this game very well. I was 13 and Willie Stargell was my favorite visiting player so me and my father went to see this game. The Mets were having a pretty good year and the Pirates always drew a good crowd, this was before the nightmare of 77. We had great seats behind home and it couldn't have been any better, Stargell homered and the Mets made a great comeback powered by my favorite Met at the time Dave Kingman's 2 bombs. As the previous fan posted, Lockwood was awesome that day too and it was a great win and a great day to be 13 and a Mets fan.

September 20, 1976 Shea Stadium
Mets 5, Pittsburgh Pirates 4
mike
September 6, 2008
I think this was the game Lee Mazzilli knocked the pirates out of the pennant race when he homered to win the game for the Mets.

September 24, 1976 Shea Stadium
Mets 4, Chicago Cubs 3
Stephen Scanlon
August 7, 2007
I wrote my memories of Billy Baldwin on this game. It was my first night game, and it was quite a thrill to see the game won by a pinch hit walk off home run by Billy Baldwin. It was his only one as a Met, and it was memorable.

September 28, 1976 Shea Stadium
Mets 5, Montreal Expos 4
Brian Thumm
August 7, 2007
This was my first Game. Now I am a Yankee Fan. Go figure.

carmine
May 15, 2009

Remember this game as it was one of the only games I went to as a child. Kranepool was hitting rockets all game, and drove a few out to the wall. Then in the bottom of the ninth he won it with a HR. Great game, great memory.

October 1, 1976 Veterans Stadium
Philadelphia Phillies 2, Mets 1
Karmine
December 13, 2010
If Kooz would have won this game he would've had more wins than Randy Jones and thus Kooz would've won the 1976 Cy Young Award, not Jones.






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