New York Mets Opening Day Flashback: Gary Carter hits walkoff in 1985

FLUSHING, NY - OCTOBER, 1986: Gary Carter (Photo by Getty Images)
FLUSHING, NY - OCTOBER, 1986: Gary Carter (Photo by Getty Images) /

Looking back at 1985 and the New York Mets walk off win.

With opening day just two days away, it’s time to take a look back at one of the best opening days in New York Mets history. It was 33 years ago, and a future Hall of Famer made his debut with the Mets and paid off big time right away. It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship between the Mets and this player that led to a championship two seasons later.

The player in question is the late, great Gary Carter. During the 1984 offseason he was acquired in a mega trade involving four players coming back to Montreal in return for Carter’s services.

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His debut took place on April 9 1985 at Shea Stadium as the Mets opened the season against the St. Louis Cardinals. Dwight Gooden and Joaquin Andujar started the game but neither of them were particularly strong, giving up four and five runs respectively.

The Mets opened the scoring in the bottom of the first on a Keith Hernandez single and a bases loaded walk to Howard Johnson. The Cardinals got the runs back in the next frame with a Jack Clark home run and a passed ball in the top of the third. The Mets took the lead back in the bottom of the third on a George Foster solo home run. They plated one in the bottom of the fourth on a Keith Hernandez single and another in the bottom of the fifth on a Rafael Santana double.

New York took a 5-4 lead into the top of the ninth. After pitching the eighth allowing just one hit, Doug Sisk was back out to pitch the ninth inning and hold the fort for the win. After Ozzie Smith grounded out to open the inning, Willie McGee singled. Lonnie Smith was hit by a pitch and Tom Herr singled, loading up the bases. Unfortunately for Sisk, he lost the next batter, Jack Clark, on a walk to bring in the tying run. Jesse Orosco came in to finish off the inning and off to extras we went.

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Tom Gorman kept the score 5-5 after giving up a lone hit in the top of the tenth, and up came the Mets for the bottom half. The Mets scheduled hitters were Keith Hernandez, Gary Carter and John Christensen, who pinch hit for Darryl Strawberry earlier in the game.

The Mets never needed Christensen. After Hernandez struck out, this happened:

And the love affair with Gary Carter and Mets fans began, not to end until long after the 1986 World Series title. It all started on an Opening Day at Shea Stadium. What magic might happen on Opening Day 2018? We’ll find out soon enough.