Seven Weeks Until Opening Day!
This Week’s Flashback: 2001
Monday, April 9, 2001 vs. Atlanta Braves. Game 7 of regular season. Win by score of 9-4 to go 4-3 on the season.
Welcome newcomers to the Opening Day Flashback. I haven’t missed a Mets Home Opener in as long as I can remember, and each Monday I’m counting down to Opening Day 2013 by posting ticket stubs and other memorabilia from Opening Days gone past.
Last week I posted photos from Opening Day 2007, as the Mets hoisted, er, posted, their 2006 NL East Championship banner. This week we remember 2001, the last Opening Day the Mets celebrated a pennant. Hard to believe this was 13 years ago.
I had pretty sweet seats for this game – right behind home plate in the Loge section 6. I don’t remember how I managed to score these, and as you can imagine after the Mets made it all the way to the World Series they would gouge their fans for Opening Day – I paid $29 whole dollars for this seat! This ticket isn’t marked “Six Pack, or Eight Pack” so you can see I didn’t get in as part of a plan. Instead I remember tickets going on sale while I was on Christmas vacation in Utah the winter prior, and calling in to the Mets ticket line to try and get seats to the home opener. You can make out 2000 NATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPS on the watermark of the ticket stub.
The same mark is also on the Kahn’s magnetic schedule handed out on this date – Mike Piazza and Edgardo Alfonzo adorn this giveaway in their black and blue unis. We also got a mini-pennant, which I recall was pretty cool. It was a miniature version of the Championship banner that hung from the Shea Stadium center field flagpole. I don’t know where mine is, if I find it I will post it… The promotional schedule is printed on the magnet, and we see a video of the 2000 season would be handed out on May 5, an NL Champs Cup on May 19, a Hot Wheels car on September 2 and some sort of bobblehead doll on June 23rd, among other dates. Also called out is June 15-17, the New York Mercantile Exchange Subway Series, and Photo Fest on May 5th – I have pictures from that as well, which I will post another day. Photo Fest is the next tradition we should try to resurrect.
Here are some pictures from my seats. Check out The Wiz sign on the right field outfield wall. Anyone remember that slogan – Get Right? You can also see the skyline up above the right field scoreboard. This was pre- 9/11 and thus no ribbon over the Twin Towers.
This game marked the Shea Stadium debut of Tsuyoshi Shinjo, who homered, as well as Kevin Appier, the man we got to replace Mike Hampton (sigh). Kevin Appier was indeed the winning pitcher on this date, as 53,640 fans saw the Mets beat the Braves 9-4. Mike Piazza went 3 for 5 with two home runs and five RBIs. This would be a disappointing season, and a memorable one, for unfortunate reasons, but this sunny day in April was a fun one.