- Faith and Fear in Flushing - http://www.faithandfearinflushing.com -

Hit Us With Their First Shot

So, what do these fellows…

Felipe Alou
Orlando Cepeda
Carl Everett
Jose Guillen
Brian L. Hunter
Julian Javier
Derek Jeter
Eddie Kasko
Jason Kendall
B.J. Surhoff

…have in common? (Aside from each of them likely providing a better closer for Our Beloved Detroit Tigers [1] than Jose Valverde?)

That’s what we asked a few days ago [2] — what’s the Met-related thread that connects ten seemingly disparate players, and how, specifically, does each player therein connect to that thread? We were curious because we had two copies of the A+E Home Entertainment/MLB Productions release, New York Mets 50 Greatest Players [3], to give away and we made that eleven-part question our barrier to receipt.

Congratulations to the two Mets fans who cleared the barrier and won our contest: Tom Zapata and Menachem Jerenberg. They discerned the connective tissue of our quiz was that the aforementioned players registered the first regular-season hit ever against the New York Mets for each of the franchises — in their current incarnation — that made the 2012 postseason. They also matched the player with the franchise for which he got the hit.

In chronological order, here are the hitmakers and their respective hits (all of which came in the first inning of the games in question):

• Julian Javier singled for the St. Louis Cardinals off Roger Craig on April 11, 1962, at the first Busch Stadium/old Sportsman’s Park (the first hit against the Mets by any member of any team, as the Cardinals were the Mets’ first opponent).

• Eddie Kasko singled for the Cincinnati Reds off Craig Anderson on April 24, 1962, at Crosley Field.

• Orlando Cepeda singled for the San Francisco Giants off Jay Hook on May 26, 1962, at Candlestick Park.

• Felipe Alou singled for the Atlanta Braves off Jack Fisher on April 15, 1966, at Shea Stadium.

• A younger, healthier [4] Derek Jeter singled for the New York Yankees off Dave Mlicki on June 16, 1997, at renovated Yankee Stadium. (Mlicki ultimately did OK [5], though, you might remember.)

• Brian L. Hunter singled for the Detroit Tigers off Mark Clark on June 30, 1997, at Tiger Stadium.

• B.J. Surhoff singled for the Baltimore Orioles off Mlicki on August 29, 1997, at Camden Yards.

• Carl Everett singled for the Texas Rangers off Steve Trachsel on June 10, 2003, at the Ballpark in Arlington. (Major league debut for Jose Reyes as well.)

• Jose Guillen doubled for the Washington Nationals off T#m Gl@v!ne on April 22, 2005, at Shea Stadium. (Only the second Mets win among these ten games and an event so transcendent that the brand new blog Faith and Fear in Flushing offered in-depth [6] coverage [7].)

Thanks again to A+E Home Entertainment/MLB Productions for providing promotional materials. New York Mets 50 Greatest Players is available here [3] and highly recommended.

Stay tuned for one more quiz — and a very grand prize — coming soon.