Mets to spend Independence Day in Canada for fourth time
By Richard Heaton
Some Mets fans are sour that the team is spending Independence Day in Canada. What fans don’t know is they already played three July 4th games in abroad.
Tonight the New York Mets will spend Independence Day playing against the Toronto Blue Jays in Toronto. There have been quite a few fans who disliked the idea that the team was on the road, let alone in another country on one of the biggest American holidays.
However, this isn’t the first time that the Mets spent Independence Day outside of the United States.
Before the Nationals began playing in the capitol, they were the Expos and were based in Montreal. Because the Expos were in the same division, we played them often, including a few games in Canada per season.
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It just so happens that a few of those northern trips happened to fall on July 4th. In total, the Mets played three July 4th games in Montreal, with the most recent taking place more than 20 years ago.
Game One: 1973
The first time the team spent Independence Day in Canada was in 1973 on a Wednesday night. This was a game that many fans who saw it wish they could forget.
Tom Seaver started and after the first inning, the Mets had a 3-0 lead. By the end of the 7th inning, the team was winning 5-0.
The Expos would go on to score seven runs in the 8th and the Mets lost by a score of 7-5. Seaver gave up five of the runs and Willie Mays hit one of three home runs that night.
Game Two: 1991
Their second Independence Day trip to Canada was much better than their first. It was a Thursday night game and the Mets scored one run in the 1st inning and held a 1-0 lead for the first six innings.
The Expos tied the game in the 7th but they scored one in the 8th and three in the 9th to win by a score of 5-1.
That night, Wally Whitehurst gave up one run over eight innings. Before this season started, Wally made 48 appearances with the team, but only one start. Wally consistently pitched one or two innings per game, but this game was one of just three times in his entire career where he pitched at least eight innings.
Game Three: 1996
The team’s best foreign Independence Day game came on a Thursday night in 1996. Robert person pitched seven scoreless innings in one of his best games as a Met and Dave Mlicki closed it out with two scoreless innings.
Todd Hundley hit his 21st home run of the season that day and the Mets won by a score of 4-0.
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If history is any indication, then maybe the Mets can do well tonight in Toronto, it’s been nearly 50 years since they lost a game in Canada that fell on July 4th.