This Date In Mets History: May 14 — Willie Mays Homers In First Game With Mets

On May 14, 1972, Willie Mays, playing his first game with the Mets, hit a go-ahead (and eventual game-winning) solo home run to lead off the fifth inning. It was his first hit with the Mets and it gave his new team a 5-4 lead over — you guessed it — his old team, the Giants.

Here's a newspaper clipping following the game:

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(click to embiggen)

While not yet related to the Mets, anyone who has followed this team since at least the late nineties will have a sense of where this one is going. On May 14, 1998, the Florida Marlins sent future Met Gary Sheffield, former (and future) Met Bobby Bonilla, Charles Johnson, Jim Eisenreich, and Manuel Barrios to the Los Angeles Dodgers for future Mets Mike Piazza and Todd Zeile. Eight days later, Piazza would be on the move again.

Birthdays

  • Dick Tidrow (1984) turns 65. Tidrow made eleven relief appearances with the Mets as a 37-year-old in 1984. He allowed nineteen runs in fifteen innings and his 9.19 ERA is the sixth-worst in Mets history among pitchers with at least that many innings pitched.
  • Takashi Kashiwada (1997) turns 41. Kashiwada played for the Yomiuri Giants from 1994 through 2004, excepting a pit stop with the Mets in 1997. He tossed 31 innings in 35 relief appearances, walking nineteen and striking out eighteen. Had he stuck around and succeeded in MLB, a product endorsement deal with Kashi would've been inevitable considering their brand appears in both his first and last names.
  • Brian Lawrence (2007) turns 35. Lawrence made six starts for the Mets in 2007 and spent the rest of the season with Triple-A New Orleans. He kicked around the minor and independent leagues before retiring in 2011. He now coaches the Normal CornBelters of the independent Frontier League.

Game Of Note

On May 14, 2000, Mike Hampton tossed a complete game in beating the Marlins, 5-1. Mike Piazza hit a grand slam off Brad Penny in the sixth inning to give Hampton all the run support he would need. Derek Bell went 1-for-3 to raise his OPS to .984. Hampton went 1-for-3 at the plate and finished the day with a .571 OPS, just seven points lower than shortstop Kurt Abbott.

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