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This Date In Mets History: April 17 - Shea Stadium Opens For Business

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The early days of Shea Stadium. (Flickr user rbglasson)
The early days of Shea Stadium. (Flickr user rbglasson)

On April 17, 1964, the Mets played their first ever game in a ballpark built just for them, dropping Shea Stadium's inaugural home opener 4-3 to the Pittsburgh Pirates. 50,312 watched Mets starter Jack Fisher carry a 3-2 lead into the seventh, only to have reliever Ed Bauta blow the save and eventually lose the game in the ninth.

Birthdays

  • Gary Bennett (2001) turns 40. Bennett was acquired from the Phillies for Todd Pratt and singled in his only plate appearance with the Mets.

Games Of Note

On April 17, 1970, shortstop Bud Harrelson clubbed a home run against the Phillies, which is noteworthy only because Harrelson hit a scant seven homers in 5,516 career plate appearances. He hit as many home runs as Nolan Ryan pitched no-hitters. He hit five fewer home runs than Rey Ordonez.

On April 17, 2006, Pedro Martinez won his 200th big league game as the Mets beat the Braves, 4-3. Martinez struck out eight over 6.2 innings while Duaner Sanchez and Billy Wagner secured the victory.