2. April 5, 1983
Tom Seaver, the man they call “The Franchise” holds a special place in the heart of all Mets fans.
Heck, my dog is named after him. No kidding.
During one particular stretch from 1975 to 1983, the Mets won on Opening day in nine consecutive seasons. Of those wins, three were credited to legend that is Tom Terrific.
For his career, he finished with 311 wins, 3,640 strikeouts, 61 shutouts, and a 2.86 ERA. He was certainly terrific, which explains his 1992 record-breaking induction into the Hall of Fame with his name 98.84% of ballots. That was, until Ken Griffey Jr. broke the mark last year.
Still, Seaver will be remembered in folklore for the championship he helped bring in 1969, but also a more infamous reason.
This date marked his return to the Big Apple after being unceremoniously traded to the Reds in 1977. It was the return of a symbol: A symbol of New York’s greatest successes back in orange and blue.
On the hill, Tom Terrific tossed six shutout innings on his way to beating fellow Hall of Famer Steve Carlton and the Philadelphia Phillies 2-0.
The first batter of the day was a legend himself, Pete Rose. After slinging a strike on the first pitch, Seaver wound up and fired another, leaving Rose to remark:
“I didn’t know he could throw that hard anymore”
Per ESPN, 10 years prior in 1973, Seaver and Carlton met on Opening Day for both the Mets and Phillies, making this the second time it’s occurred.