Since July 1 marks Bobby Bonilla Day, it’s only appropriate to look back at the first time I ever saw the Amazin’s away from Shea Stadium. A game where Bobby Bonilla went hitless, Doc Gooden went the distance and the Mets loss. Again.
On July 1, 1993, I saw the Mets take on the expansion Florida Marlins. As a 10-year-old visiting distant family during the summer, it was one of the coolest sights seeing my team in their road uniforms.
While watching the team warm-up from our right field nosebleed seats, I couldn’t help but wonder if they flew down to Miami on American Airlines like I had a few days earlier. I was also in awe of seeing the gigantic aqua color scoreboard and old-school clock in left field and the sheer number of seats in this football stadium. I definitely wasn’t in Flushing anymore.
A Former Mets Pitching Coach On The Hill
The pitching match-up on this evening was Doc Gooden against knuckleballer Charlie Hough. The same guy who would become Mets pitching coach at the end of the Bobby Valentine era. Needless to say he was more successful on this night than his stint with the Blue and Orange.
The Doctor is In…Sort of
Doc Gooden’s performance in this game is the perfect example of how much the game has changed over the last 26 years. Gooden pitched a complete game, while striking out nine. He also hit a solo home run off Hough. However, he took the loss after giving up seven earned runs. In today’s game, seven earned runs would mean a quick exit for a starting pitcher. Unless of course, it means going to the 2019 Mets bullpen!
Stars of the Game
The Marlins Orestes Destrade and Jeff Conine earn stars of the game recognition for driving in six runs combined. That said, as a Mets fan, it was cool seeing Doc hit a homerun. Jeromy Burnitz and Chico Walker also had homeruns for the Mets.
Future Mets Carl Everett and Gary Sheffield played in this game for the Marlins.
On the Road?
I recently wrote about my first game and enjoyed a Facebook dialogue with followers of the 5-4-3 blog about first-game pitching match-ups. That said, do you remember the first time you saw the Mets play on the road? What was that like?