When the Mets and Yankees first started playing Subway Series games way back in 1997, I was actually excited about it. I think everyone in New York was. Instead of talking about a rivalry that actually didn’t exist — because honestly, how can there even be a rivalry when the teams never play games against each other – There would finally be one.
Growing up, the Yankees and Mets didn’t play each other in anything other than the Mayor’s Trophy games which were exhibition games that didn’t mean much to anyone other than George Steinbrenner who, as we all know, overreacted to almost every single game no matter how insignificant back in the day.
Since interleague play began, I have been lucky enough to attend 16 Subway Series games (15 at Yankee Stadium and 1 at Shea Stadium – 15 regular series and 1 World Series) and the Yankees have won 14 of them. The only losses I witnessed in person occurred in 1999 and 2008. (I had tickets for the series at Yankee Stadium in June 2007 but gave them to a friend so I could go to a Duran Duran concert that night – I know, I know but they’re my favorite band of all time, okay? And my friend was texting me game updates during the show so I’d be abreast of the situation.)
So anyway, here they are, in chronological order, with blurbs about each game. Some may actually have game information in them and some may just be personal stories. All of the games were fun – even the losses – and I know I’m fortunate to have been able to attend so many of these games over the years even if I think the Subway Series has jumped the shark so to speak.
1997 – June 17 – Yankees won 6-3
If I remember correctly, I faked an illness so I could miss the latter part of my workday and go to this game. It wasn’t that big a deal, I was working at a golf course and never took any time off before then. I even worked on Greek Easter one year when my parents and brother went out to Long Island to spend the day with my Aunt and cousins. The golf course could afford to miss me for a couple of hours and I was happy to not have to deal with obnoxious golfers yelling at me because they couldn’t get out onto the course before sunset.
My brother recently found the t-shirts we got at this game. Mine is long gone and I have no idea where it went.
1998 – June 27 Yankees won 7-2
I remember this one well because we had seats behind the visitor’s dugout at Shea, about 10 rows back and the vendors kept blocking my view of home plate as they walked up and down the aisles. So I spend nearly the entire game, leaning forward with my arms on my thighs. Normally, this would be fine but it was hot, it was sunny and Stacey was wearing short shorts – I was young and thin back then. Can you guess what happened to my legs? That’s right, I ended up with vertical, white stripes on my thighs and my arms were burned. Oops. I had those stripes all summer.
Obviously, the game was great because the Yankees won and we were able to leave Shea with our heads held high while everyone – my brother, father and cousin – was laughing at my striped thighs.
1999 – June 6 – Mets won 7-2
Freakin’ Roger Clemens…
2000 – July 8 Yankees won 4-2
Freakin’ Roger Clemens again…
This was the infamous ‘Clemens beans Piazza’ game. It was the second game of a day/night split Stadium doubleheader and all I remember from that game was the sound that came from Mike Piazza‘s helmet when he was hit by the pitch. I honestly thought he could be dead. It was sickening and very scary.
My poor mother put her face into my shoulder when he fell to the crowd. She even couldn’t look. I had to assure her that he was probably going to be okay. And even my dad was visibly distressed after the beaning.
What a weird game that was.
2000 – World Series Game 1 – October 21 – Yankees won 4-3 F/12
Ahh, my first World Series game. This was an interesting night for many reasons.
- It was unseasonably warm for a night in late October – I was wearing a short sleeve t shirt.
- My friend accidentally spilled an entire beer into a 6-year-old girl who was sitting in the row in front of us.
- We were sitting so high up in the old Stadium that any time a bug flew into the lights and was killed by the heat, they fell either onto our heads or into our food and drinks. It was gross yet hilarious at the same time.
- I nearly got into a fight with an older lady in a Armando Benitez jersey.
- Before we even set foot into the Stadium, my friend Julie bumped right into the guy who played Ed on “Ed.” Remember that show?
I really enjoyed my first World Series game because it was a win and those are always nice. It was also a walk off, extra inning win which is even better especially with the way some Mets fans were mouthing off in the eighth inning.
2001 – July 8 – Yankees won 4-1
The thing I remember the most about this game was that it was a pitcher’s duel started by Glendon Rusch and Randy Keisler (Remember them?) and it remained a 0-0 game until the Mets scored first in the sixth inning. The Yankees answered with one run in the bottom of the frame and then broke the game open in the next inning with three runs.
2002 – June 30 – Yankees won 8-0
Best memory of this game actually happened after it ended. There was a very drunk Yankee fan and his equally as drunk girlfriend walking down the ramp and as we were making our way out of the Stadium, he was changing the words to “New York, New York.” He sang “Goose Egg, Goose Egg!” He was basically making fun of the Mets the entire time and I was actually impressed with his song lyric changing ability considering the fact that he could barely walk.
2003 – June 29 – Yankees won 5-3
This game was fun for me because I brought my friend Shiro from Japan to the Stadium. He was very excited to see Hideki Matsui and thrilled to be at Yankee Stadium for the first time.
I also predicted nearly everything that happened in this game. It was actually quite scary.
Before my brother and best friend met us, I told Shiro, “Weaver will give up three runs in the first inning but it’s all he’ll give up and Matsui will hit a home run for you.”
And the Yankees ended up winning 5-3. Jeff Weaver surrendered three runs in the top of the first inning and Hideki Matsui hit a home run in the third inning as a part of a five-run inning for the Yankees. After Matsui hit his home run, Shiro turned to me and said, “You are scary.”
2004 – June 27 – Yankees won 11-6
This was a game I originally had tickets for because it was part of my ticket plan that turned into the second half of a separate admission doubleheader. It started off really well for the Yankees. After keeping the Mets scoreless in the top of the first, the came out swinging and scored six runs in the bottom of the frame. Mike Mussina got the win and those two games were the only ones the Yankees won that season against the Mets. It was a rare 4-2 Subway Series victory for the team from Queens.
I remember after the Mets swept the series in Shea, my coworker put a broom in my cubicle but my boss took it out before I got in. She was probably afraid for him and thought I’d try to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine.
And what I didn’t understand was that the Yankees swept the entire series (three games in Shea and three games in Yankee Stadium) the previous year and that thought – to be a broom in someone’s cubicle – never even crossed my mind.
Freakin’ Mets fans.
2005 – June 26 – Yankees won 5-4
I was a big Jason Giambi fan so this game was great for me because he hit the walkoff single to win it. And because I predicted it would happen. I know, with all of these things I seem predict correctly, I should be a psychic or play powerball all the time.
Plus, I was with my dad, best friend and brother and we always had good luck with that combo at games.
2006 – July 2 – Yankees won 16-7
2008 – May 18 – Yankees lost 11-2
Now, this game, I had to look up because I had a total mental block and could not remember what the heck happened at all. And after looking it up, I realized I had that block for a good reason. It was one of those “Oh, it’s only 5-2, maybe the Yankees have a chance to win” games until the eighth inning when the Mets scored six runs and broke the game open.
2009 – June 14 Yankees won 15-0
The thing I loved about this one was that I was expecting a bad game. I remember not being excited about even going though I was very happy I would be going to be a Sunday afternoon game instead of a Sunday Night ESPN game because those are the worst. They’re long and I usually end up getting home really late from them.
2010 – June 20 – Yankees won 4-0
Oh, another Yankee win that was a shut out with Johan Santana as the losing pitcher.
2011 – May 22 – Yankees won 9-3
This was one of those ‘frustrating first, fun later’ games because the Yankees were down 3-1 from the second inning until the bottom of the seventh when they suddenly exploded for eight runs.
A-Rod had four hits that day but I’m sure people booed him anyway…
2012 – June 10 – Yankees won 5-4
This was a funny one because with the game tied 4-4 going into the bottom of the 9th inning, I saw that John Rauch was coming in to pitch. Now you may or may not know this but Rauch has a pretty heinous tattoo on his neck so I said to my friend Dave, “I really want Martin to hit a walk off so I can make my recap title, ‘Martin Tattoos Rauch, Yanks Win Series’.”
Not even three seconds later, Rauch delivered the pitch and Russell Martin sent it into the left field seats to end the game. I was laughing so hard, I nearly choked. Dave couldn’t believe what happened. And the Mets fans who were hootin’ and hollerin’ after Rafael Soriano‘s blown save in the top of the ninth, had to leave the Stadium with their heads down because their team was swept out of the Bronx.
It was pretty hilarious.
Even though I’m not a big fan of the Subway Series anymore because I feel like it’s not as fun or as special as it was 10-15 years ago, I am still slightly disappointed that I will not be attending any of the games this week. (Unless some fairy godmother comes along and gives me free tickets.) And it will be a little odd to watch the games at home knowing I won’t be attending. But, this may be good news for Mets fans. Without me there, the Yankees may be in trouble.