Mar 23, 2018

Remebering Mets History (1975): Joe Torre Delivers the Opening Day Game Winner in His Mets Debut

Opening Day April 8th 1975: As a new season begins, there is always optimism. This year was no different for the New York Mets, just one year ago they were raising the NL Championship flag at Shea honoring the 1973 club.

1974 was a disaster but the Metes had addressed some hitting issues in the off season acquiring slugger Dave Kingman & veteran Joe Torre.

The Mets were after Torre for years, as the New York native was one of the NL's better hitters winning an MVP Award in 1971.

On this Opening Day Torre, batting clean up & playing third base, would serve as the hero making a spectacular debut.

Mets skipper Yogi Berra exchanged line up cards with The Philadelphia Phillies Danny Ozark, as an Opening Day tradition of Tom Seaver & Steve Carlton took the mound for their respective teams.

The two Hall of Famers would see lots of each other in these day, matching up the two bests for each team. Seaver would go on to win the 1975 Cy Young Award. 

On this day a crowd of just 18,527 showed up at Shea, as Opening Day was not the sellout it has become in more recent histories.


Starting Lineups



As for the pitching match ups, it was what was expected, both hurlers going the distance. Seaver went nine, allowing one run, an RBI double to Dave Cash. The run coming in after one of his two walks on the day. Seaver allowed six hits with nine strike outs. Steve Carlton was good too, allowing just four hits, with six strikeouts & two walks. 

In the home 4th, Dave Kingman hit his first HR as a New York Met, delighting the Shea crowd. It was the first of his 35 HRs on the year, coming in second in the NL to the Phillies Mike Schmidt. Kingman would hit 154 HRs a New York Met.

The score remained tied until the bottom of the 9th, here Felix Millan led off with a base hit. John Milner then walked as Carlton certainly was tiring. It was then up to home town boy Joe Torre.

In his first game as New York Met, Torre delivered the game winning walk off hit, with a base hit to left field scoring Millan,

Joe Torre would bat just .247 that season, playing in 114 games with 6 HRs & 35 RBIs. The next year he batted .305 in just as many games played.

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