Monday April 1st, 1996: It was Opening Day at Shea, as 42,060 Mets fans came to Shea hoping for a good season.
The '1995 Mets had finished second in the NL East, but with a 69-75 record. Dallas Green, would start out the season as Mets manager, but after going 59-72 was let go & Bobby Valentine began his successful run as Mets manager.
Jones took the mound for the Mets, as they hosted Tony LaRussa's St Louis Cardinals. Andy Benes got the start for St. Louis.
The Mets were always a good Opening Day team & this year was no different. In the home 4th, Rico Brogna singled to lead off the inning.
In the home 7th, after the 7th inning stretch the Mets had one of the best Opening Day comebacks in history. They scored four runs on five hits, off Cardinal relievers Rick Honeycutt, Cory Bailey & Tony Fossas.
Jose Vizciano & Rey Ordonez both singled off Honeycutt with one out. The Mets, Chris Jones then delivered an RBI base hit up the middle off Bailey.
Rico Brogna then hit a sac fly to short right field. Lance Johnson scored easily but Gilkey was thrown out at second base, ending the inning. Johnson's run put the Mets ahead for good.
Mets reliever, Doug Henry held the Cardinals down in the 8th & John Franco notched the first of his 28 saves of the year.
Todd Hundley set a Mets record for HRs & for most HRs by a catcher in a single season with 41. Pete Alonso has since broken the record.
Lance Johnson, a short time Met, set a club record that still holds, with 227 hits. He also batted .333 on a club that had three batters in the teams main line up that hit .300.