Monday June 16th 1997: This was a hictoric day in New York baseball history, as for the first time the two New York teams met in regular season play. There was excitement in the air for many fans while other baseball purists rather not see inter league play during the regular season. There was incredible media hype, way more over the top than it's usual New York ridiculousness.
But on this night 56,188 came to the Bronx to see Joe Torre's second place AL New York club (37-30) host Bobby Valentines fourth place Mets (37-30).
Andy Pettitte (8-3) took the mound & threw the first pitch to Lance Johnson & the regular season subway series era was under way.
With all the New York glitz, the high profile managers & all the All Stars the AL team had to show case, it was a quiet no named pitcher who stole the show, securing his spot in Mets as well as New York baseball history.
Dave Mlicki (2-5) went about his business & threw a complete game shut out, scattering nine hits with two walks, while striking out eight. Mlicki allowed a lead off hit to Derek Jeter but retired the next three batters in a row. In the 3rd inning , it would be the only inning he didn't allow a base runner. In the 8th inning it was the first time during the entire game he allowed more than one base runner in an inning, allowing singles to Pat Kelly & Paul O'Neill. Mlicki then got Cecil Fielder to ground out & Tino Martinez to fly out.
In the 9th, Mlicki had his roughest inning, Charlie Hayes led off with a single but was thrown out at second base by Bernard Gilkey, as he was trying to stretch it to a double.
Mark Whiten then singled, Chad Curtis grounded out but Joe Girardi the singled up the middle to put two on. Mets Manager Bobby Valentine stuck with Mlicki & he struck out Jeter looking for the third out, sealing the shut out victory.
Quotes: Mlicki remembers striking out Jeter for the final out on that big night "like it was yesterday. I remember the excitement in the Stadium, all the Met fans chanting, ‘Let's go, Mets' in the A.L. New York teams Stadium. I thought that was really cool."
Huskey took off for second & Hundley came running down the line from third stealing home plate safely. It was an exciting 3-0 lead for the Mets. Half the crowd were Mets fans & they were loving it cheering loudly in that other New York ballpark.
In the Mets 7th, Matt Franco & Luis Lopez both singled & Bernard Gilkey walked to load up the bases. John Olerud came through once again, with a base hit bringing in two more runs, making it 5-0 Mets.
The Mets fans now cheered even louder in the Bronx.
In the 9th, the Mets added their sixth run on a Bernard Gilkey sac fly off reliever, Grame Loyd.
Dave Mlicki would pitch four seasons with the Mets going 66-80 with a 4.72 ERA. His best performance as a Met was that night in the first subway series game. He still gets a lot of e-mails, face book traffic, phone calls & mail about that night, especially around the time of year the subway series is played.
Quotes: Mlicki told the Daily News in 2009: "I remember the day after, my wife Annie and I were out to breakfast at a diner and people were talking about the game and no one had any idea I was sitting there. It's what people want to talk about."