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The New York Mets played their first regular season game on April 11, 1962, an 11-4 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. The losses piled up quickly through the first campaign eventually giving way to a historic mark of futility, as the team finished 40-120 under manager Casey Stengel.
The Mets would loss 100+ games in five of their first six seasons (1962-1965, 1967). But in those early days fans didn’t seem to mind losing. Most baseball fans were just excited to have a National League franchise back in New York.
The Mets third season offered another burst of excitement as the team opened their new ballpark in Queens, originally called “Flushing Meadow Park Municipal Stadium.” The stadium was eventually named Shea Stadium in honor of William A. Shea, the New York attorney who brought National League baseball back to New York.
The Mets began to show signs of improvement in 1967 when future Hall of Famer Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman and Danny Frisella made their major league debuts. One year later, in 1968, the Mets added Nolan Ryan (injured the entire 1967 season) and Jim McAndrew and began shoring up their offense with addition of Tommie Agee. The Mets would finish the 1968 season 73-89, their best single season record in the team’s short history.