Mets Franchise Timeline: 1960s


August 2 - The Continental League disbands on promises that four of its franchises would be accepted to the NL and AL as expansion franchises.

October 17 - Mets franchise formally awarded by NL to group headed by Mrs. Joan Payson.


March 6 - The New York Metropolitan Baseball Club Inc., formally receives a certificate of membership from National League President Warren Giles. The Mets' name was judged by club owner Joan Payson as the one that best met five basic criteria:

It met public and press acceptance;

It was closely related to the team's corporate name (Metropolitan Baseball Club, Inc);

It was descriptive of the metropolitan area;

It had a brevity that delighted copy readers everywhere;

It had historical background referring to the Metropolitans of the 19th century American Association. Other names considered included Rebels, Skyliners, NYBs, Burros (for the five boroughs), Continentals, Avengers... as well as Jets and Islanders, names that would eventually find their way onto the New York sports scene.

May 8, - New York's National League club announces that the team nickname will be "Mets," a natural shortening of the corporate name ("New York Metropolitan Baseball Club, Inc.")

October 10 - In the first expansion draft in National League history, the Mets spend $1.8 million to draft 22 players at the Netherland-Hilton Hotel in Cincinnati.

October 28 - Ground is broken for Flushing Meadows Park.

November 16 - The circular Mets logo, designed by sports cartoonist Ray Gotto, was unveiled. It has gone virtually unchanged throughout the history of the club. The shape of the insignia, with its orange stitching, represents a baseball, and the bridge in the foreground symbolizes that the Mets, in bringing back the National League to New York, represent all five boroughs. It's not just a skyline in the background, but has a special meaning. At the left is a church spire, symbolic of Brooklyn, the borough of churches. The second building from the left is the Williamsburg Savings Bank, the tallest building in Brooklyn. Next is the Woolworth Building. After a general skyline view of midtown comes the Empire State Building. At the far right is the United Nations Building. The Mets' colors are Dodger blue and Giant orange, symbolic of the return of National League baseball to New York after the Dodgers and Giants moved to California. Blue and Orange are also the official colors of New York State.


April 11 - The Mets play the first official game in franchise history, an 11-4 loss to the Cardinals in St. Louis.

April 13 - Mets open the first of their two seasons at the Polo Grounds, losing to the Pirates 4-3 in the first NL game played in NYC since 1957.

April 23 - The Mets secure the first victory in franchise history with a 9-1 victory in Pittsburgh.

December - Stadium shell is completed.


February 4 - Mayor Wagner signs bill which formally changes the name of the still-under-construction ballpark from "Flushing Meadows Stadium" to "William A. Shea Municipal Stadium".

September 18 - Mets play final game at the Polo Grounds, losing to the Phillies 5-1 before only 1,752 fans.


January 3-4 - Mets move their baseball and office equipment out of the Polo Grounds.

April 16 - Shea Stadium is formally dedicated.

April 17 - Opening Day! A 4-3 loss to the Pirates in front of 48,736 fans. Pittsburgh's Willie Stargell records the first hit, a line-drive home run off Jack Fisher.

April 19 - First Mets win at Shea, 6-0 over Pittsburgh behind Al Jackson.

May 6 - First Shea night game (Reds 12, Mets 4). . .Hall of Fame executive Larry MacPhail, the father of modern night baseball, Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr., whose dad turned on the lights for the first-ever night game in Cincinnati in 1935, and Mets Board Chairman M. Donald Grant flip the switch.

May 31 - The Longest Day. . .Doubleheader vs. Giants ends with 8-6 SF win in the nightcap, in 23 innings. . ..A few thousand from packed house of 57,037 are left at the finish, eating giveaway hot dog rolls with the concession stands long since closed.

July 7 - Shea's first - and only - All-Star Game. . .NL wins 7-4 on Johnny Callison's three-run, ninth-inning homer off Dick Radatz. . .Ron Hunt, the Mets' first All-Star starter, goes 1-for-3.


September 2 - Casey Stengel's no. 37 is first Mets uniform number formally retired.


April 2 - The Mets win a special lottery for the rights to USC pitcher Tom Seaver.


April - Clear plexiglas placed on outfield wall sections in front of the bullpens. . .In stadium's first three years, solid green wall obscured fans' view of bullpens. Outfield wall painted light green, with distance numerals in dark green. New color scheme makes it impossible to see balls hit off the wall; outfield wall re-painted dark green in May 1967.


April 17 - Mets win home opener for first time ever as 52,079 see Jerry Koosman shut out Giants, 3-0.


April 10 - Tommie Agee belts the longest measured home run in stadium history, a shot into the LF upper deck. .The only fair ball ever to reach Shea's upper deck was commemorated with a white circle painted into the facing of Section 48 at Shea Stadium.

July 9 - The Imperfect Game. . .Seaver retires the first 25 Cubs to face him until Jimmy Qualls' ninth-inning single ends perfect game bid (Mets win, 4-0).

September 9 - The Black Cat game, as the fateful feline crosses in front of the Cubs' dugout just prior to Seaver's 7-1 win, capping two-game series sweep and putting the Mets within a half-game of first place.

September 10 - Doubleheader sweep over Montreal puts Mets into first place in NL East for the first time ever.

September 24 - Mets clinch NL East pennant behind Gary Gentry's 6-0 shutout of St. Louis.

October 4 - The Mets play the first postseason game in their history, a 9-5 victory over the Atlanta Braves in Atlanta. It is also the first Championship Series game in National League history.

October 6 - In first post-season baseball game in stadium history, Mets win NL Pennant with 7-4 win over Braves in Game Three of inaugural NLCS.

October 11 - The Mets play in the first World Series game in their history, a 4-1 loss to the Baltimore Orioles in Baltimore.

October 12 - The Mets win a World Series game for the first time in their history, a 2-1 victory over the Orioles in Baltimore.

October 14 - First World Series game at Shea. The Mets beat the Orioles, 5-0, with 56,635 fans in attendance. Tommie Agee's two circus catches lead the way.

October 15 - A 2-1 Mets walkoff win in 10 innings over the Orioles in Game Four of the World Series with 57,367 fans in attendance. Ron Swoboda catch highlighted the win.

October 16 - Behind Jerry Koosman the Mets won their first World Championship with a 5-3 win over Baltimore with 57,397 fans in attendance.

Please note: Backpacks may not be brought into Citi Field except as otherwise provided in the Citi Field Bag Policy. For a complete list of permitted bags please click the Read More button below.

Register for emails