My Mets Opening Day Memories
My name is Russ Cohen and I’m an opening day fanatic. I’ve been to many and I have a streak going from 1988 to today. That includes me driving from Virginia, driving from the jersey shore, leaving my wife sick on the couch and going, plus many other alterations in my personal schedule and it’s all worth it. I must also say that Aaron Cano has been there almost every time. He missed one.
I’m only counting some memories from the streak.
*1987 - In the winter I was on line about 50 people away from the ticket window when they announced opening day was sold out and now there was an opening day 2. Sigh. I don’t count this aberration.
1988 - Expos vs. Mets - Rock Raines led it off. Ron Darling pitched a complete-game shutout. One of the best openers ever. 1-0 win.
1989 - Cards vs. Mets - Dr. K all the way. 8 K’s in 7 innings. A Hojo to go! 8-4 win.
1990 - Pirates vs. Mets - Horrible. Wally Backman a Pirate? Seriously? Andy Van Slyke drove in 4. 12-3 loss.
1991 - Phils vs. Mets - Gooden 8IP, 7K, Von Hayes on the Phillies (chuckle). Hubie Brooks hitting cleanup? 2-1 win.
1992 - Expos vs. Mets - Once Wally Whitehurst was in for Gooden, after 6, it was over. 4-0 loss.
1993 - Rockies vs. Mets - First game against new team. Gooden complete-game shutout. David Nied got shelled. Supposed to be future Rockies ace.
1994 - Cubs vs. Mets - When Fernando Vina is your big memory (he got 3 hits) it’s all downhill. Cubs 9-5 win.
1995 - Cards vs. Mets - Bret Saberhagen got shelled. Rico Brogna, GW homer. Hits folk hero status. We met Jerry Hunsicker at a season ticket event. He pushed Rico hard.
1996 - Cards vs. Mets - Bobby Jones for the opener? Thought that was weird. 3IP. 6ER. Comeback win. Franco save 7-6.
1997 - Giants vs. Mets - Mark Clark starts. In my mind worst opening day pitcher in team history to that point. Jeff Kent gets revenge, homers, 5-1 loss.
1998 - Phils vs. Mets - Gregg Jefferies getting some boos. Curt Schilling dealing. Bobby Jones surprisingly good. Turk Wendell win. Most exciting player that day.
1999 - Marlins - Mets - Livan Hernandez vs. Jones. I never cheered Rickey. Bobby Jones homers and gets 8-1 win.
2000 - Cubs vs. Mets - In Tokyo? My first-ever post on Baseballology thanks to Doug Cataldo! Hampton walked the house. 5-3 loss. Home opener. Al Leiter opens, Armando Benitez closes. 2-1 win.
2001 - Braves vs. Mets - Kevin Appier getting the start? Why? Mike Piazza homers twice. WOW. Shaky Benitez to close. Mets 9-4 win.
2002 - Pirates vs. Mets - Al Leiter was stellar for six! Jay Payton homers. We loved Jay. Mets win 6-2.
2003 - Cubs vs. Mets - Kerry Wood. Impending doom. The bad start for Tom Glavine set a bad tone with some in my house forever. Corey Patterson homered twice and had 7 RBI. We were stunned.
2004 - Braves vs. Mets - Steve Trachsel dragged out the day. Kaz Matsui, what a signing, two hits. Hampton booed out, shelled for 7. Mets 10-6 win.
2005 - Astros vs. Mets - Glavine better. Can’t go deep. Andy Pettitte gets booed. Cliff Floyd drives in two looks good. 8-4 win.
2006 - Nats vs. Mets - Glavine better than Livan Hernandez. David Wright homers but Xavier Nady homers twice, 4-4, who saw that coming? Billy Wagner exciting save (did I just say that?) Mets win 3-2.
2007 - Phils vs. Mets - Utley and Howard go deep. Not good. John Maine drew the short straw. Hamels came out of the game! 7-run 8th. Mets have had a lot of good opening day 8th innings! 11-5 win.
2008 - Phils vs. Mets - Oliver Perez. Ugh. Jamie Moyer throwing marshmallows. Carlos Delgado bomb. 5-2 loss. Last opener at Shea.
2009 - Padres vs. Mets - Mets season ticket deal almost keeps us out. EXPENSIVE. Cano uses connections. Big Pelf. I see a the first-ever homer at Citi go over my head. I’m on ESPN. Homer breaks the finger of a guy behind me. I take a picture of it. Heath Bell gets save. Disappointing opener.
2010 - Marlins vs. Mets - Johan Santana, there’s a real opening day name. Gets a win with six-strong. David Wright homers again! Jason Bay triple. Maybe I was wrong about this signing? Well we know the answer. 7-1 rout.
2011 - Nats vs. Mets - R.A. Dickey getting respect! Jordan Zimmerman throwing darts. Not much to cheer about. 6-2 loss.
2012- Braves vs. Mets - Johan made it. Pitched five scoreless. Ramon Ramirez the star? David Wright with the lone RBI and 1-0 win. Wright is quite possibly the Mets best-ever opening day hitter.
2013 - Padres vs. Mets - Mets can’t lose to them again? Jon Niese gets the nod. Ok, he’s no Seaver but...Colin Cowgill hits a grand slam. Really? It hit over the orange. Mets rout 11-2.
2014 - Dillon Gee on the mound. I’d have started Wheeler. Insert memory.
I realized as a youngster the excitement of opening day. I’ve called out of work for it. It’s my holiday. The Mets mostly win on this day. 32-20 all time.