May 14, 1972: Willie Mays' Mets Debut

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Date: May 14, 1972
Mets starter: Ray Sadecki
Mets: 5
Giants: 4
Winning pitcher: Ray Sadecki
Key player(s): Willie Mays, Rusty Staub
Key play: Staub's grand slam in 1st, Mays' home run in 5th

The Mets and Giants faced each other on a rainy Mother's Day at Shea Stadium. Willie Mays, acquired in a trade three days earlier, made his first appearance in a Mets' uniform against his former team. Willie excited the crowd with a home run that put the Mets ahead to stay in a 5-4 win over San Francisco.

Mays led off the bottom of the first inning with a walk. Giants' starter Sam McDowell also walked Bud Harrelson and Tommie Agee to load the bases with none out. Rusty Staub then hit a grand slam home run to give the Mets a 4-0 lead.

Ray Sadecki held the Giants scoreless on three hits for the first four innings. He began the fifth with a walk to Fran Healy and Bernie Williams followed with a run-scoring triple. Chris Speier doubled to score Williams and Tito Fuentes then hit a two-run homer to tie the game. Sadecki retired the next three San Francisco batters with no further scoring.

The Giants had Don Carrithers on the mound to start the bottom of the fifth. Mays led off by blasting a home run over the left field wall, regaining the lead for the Mets. Carrithers also issued two walks in the inning, but got Cleon Jones to hit into a double play to end it with no more runs.

Jim McAndrew came in to pitch for the Mets in the sixth. McAndrew held San Francisco to three hits over four shutout innings. Jim struck out Bobby Bonds for the final out in the ninth to end the game. The Mets' victory was secure, as was the fact that Mays had a game-winning homer in his debut with the team.


  • The save for McAndrew was his only one of the season.