The Mets played their inaugural season in Major League Baseball in 1962. Managed by Casey Stengel, the team played its home games at the Polo Grounds in Manhattan. The ’62 season ended with the Mets in last place in the ten-team National League, 60 and one-half games behind the pennant-winning Giants.
The presence of the Mets marked a return of National League baseball to New York after a four-season hiatus. The team donned the colors of orange and blue, which had been worn by the departed Giants (orange) and Brooklyn Dodgers (blue) in previous years. The Mets played their first game ever on April 11 at St. Louis, where they suffered an 11-4 defeat to the Cardinals. Two days later, they had their first home game and lost to the Pirates, 4-3. At Pittsburgh on April 23, the Mets tasted victory for the first time with a 9-1 win over the Bucs. The month ended with the Mets at a 3-13 mark for a .188 winning percentage.
In May, the Mets continued to struggle on the field. They recorded nine wins in 26 games played during the month. At the Polo Grounds on May 12, the Mets swept a doubleheader for the first time ever with 3-2 and 8-7 wins over the Milwaukee Braves. They won two consecutive extra-inning games against the Cubs by identical 6-5 scores at the Polo Grounds on May 15 and May 16. At Milwaukee on May 20, the Mets again swept the Braves in a twinbill by scores of 7-6 and 9-6. The team lost its next 11 games to close out the month.
The Mets’ season got no better in June. As the temperatures got higher with the arrival of summer, the team sank further into the NL cellar. At month’s end, the Mets posted a 20-53 season record, dropping them 28 games behind the first-place Giants and a full six games behind the ninth-place Cubs. At Philadelphia on June 6, the team was defeated by the Phillies in both games of a doubleheader to extend their losing streak to 17 games. The skid was snapped two days later with a 4-3 win over the Cubs in a twinbill opener at Chicago. At the Polo Grounds on June 22, pitcher Al Jackson threw the Mets’ first one-hitter ever in a 2-0 doubleheader-opening victory over the Houston Colt .45s. They also recorded their first win on the west coast with a 10-4 victory over the Dodgers at Los Angeles on June 29.
For the Mets, the losses kept coming in July. The team went down to defeat 23 times while winning six games during the month. On July 6, a Mets player hit a grand slam for the first time ever as Rod Kanehl homered with the bases loaded in a 10-3 win over the Cardinals at the Polo Grounds. A ninth-inning home run by Marv Throneberry gave the Mets a 5-4 triumph over the Redbirds in the first game of a doubleheader the next day. To open a doubleheader at St. Louis on July 27, the Mets ended an 11-game losing streak with a 1-0 victory over the Cards.
The Mets’ losing ways continued through August. They had a .235 winning percentage for the month, which ended with the team 54 and one-half games behind the league-leading Dodgers. On August 4, the Mets swept a doubleheader with 9-1 and 3-2 (in 14 innings) wins over the Reds at the Polo Grounds. They snapped a 13-game losing streak with a 5-4 victory over the Pirates in a twinbill nightcap at the Polo Grounds on August 21. At Philadelphia on August 29, the Mets suffered a 3-2 defeat in 10 innings to the Phillies for their 100th loss of the season.
The Mets closed out their initial season with a 6 wins, 18 losses and one tie in September. They ended the year with a .250 winning percentage (40-120), the lowest for a major league team during the 20th century. At the Polo Grounds on September 23, the Mets defeated the Cubs, 2-1, in their final home game of the season. They got to the 40-win mark with a 2-1 victory at Chicago on September 29. One day later, the Mets finished off their initial season with a 5-1 loss to the Cubs at Wrigley Field.