On May 19, 1963, the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers had a classic pitcher’s duel at Dodger Stadium.The Dodgers scored on a sacrifice fly by Tommy Davis in the first inning. After that run, it was all Sandy Koufax and Roger Craig. Both pitchers posted one zero after another as the lone run held up to give Dodgers a 1-0 win.
Jim Hickman snapped a 2-2 tie in the eighth inning with a solo home run and Carl Willey pitched a complete game to the lead the New York Mets to a 3-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds at the Polo Grounds.
I grew up in Rahway, New Jersey. Life in my hometown was about as average as you could find in 1962. Rahway basically reflected the national average for race, religion, income and ethnicity for a community in small town America. It was a working-class city. Mothers were homemakers and fathers usually worked in one of the local factories. No group dominated and all groups were accepted, or at least tolerated. This American melting pot was reflected by my neighborhood and even more so by the young fellows who I called my friends.
“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” No, I’m not referring to A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. I’m talking about the 1962 New York Mets by Casey Stengel.
The closest I had ever come to seeing the color green was in a jumbo box of Crayola crayons. I had seen shades of green. New York City buses were two-tone green, dark Kelly green on the bottom and a pale green on top.
On April 29, 1967 — the day Atlantic Records released Aretha Franklin’s single “Respect” — the New York Mets were shutout, 7-0, by the Cincinnati Reds. The loss dropped the Mets into ninth place (7 ½ GB) in the National League just two weeks into the season.