The 3 worst pitchers to start for the Mets on Opening Day

Mike Pelfrey
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The New York Mets have been known to have some great pitchers throughout their history. And some of the greats – like, obviously, Tom Seaver – have been handed the ball with the honor of starting the season. However, there have also been those who haven’t been as deserving of such an honor.

Some of the selections to start Game 1 have been a bit head-scratching. But who actually were the three worst pitchers to start opening day?

Jack Fisher was handed the ball for the upstart 1966 New York Mets

The early years were brutal for the New York Mets. And 1964 was no different. But they had begun moving away from importing aging, recognizable stars and getting younger. Part of that movement was to bring in young arms. One of those young arms was Jack Fisher.

Fisher came up at 20 years old with the Baltimore Orioles and struggled during his four seasons with the Birds pitching to a 30-39 record and 3.92 ERA. He was traded to the San Francisco Giants where he spent one season going 6-10 with a 4.58 ERA.

The Mets plucked Fisher from the Giants in a special draft following the 1963 season. He joined a pitching staff that included some names familiar to Mets fans…well…OLDER Mets fans…Tracy Stollard, Galen Cisco, and fan favorite Al Jackson. They all could have achieved success on a different team, but they all suffered the growing pains of the early Mets.

In 1965, Fisher would win a mere eight (8) games and suffer a league-leading, and nothing to be proud of, 24 losses…still a team record. He also gave up a league-leading 111 earned runs, the second consecutive year he led the league in that category.

And, yet, Fisher was tabbed to start the Mets 1966 season opener. Fisher actually pitched a great game, holding on to a 2-1 lead heading into the top of the ninth inning against a hard-hitting Atlanta Braves team that included Hank Aaron, Joe Torre, and Rico Carty. The Braves would take the lead on an unearned run thanks to an errant throw from right fielder Cleon Jones. Fisher would pitch a complete game but the Mets would lose 3-2.

Fisher had his best season as a Met in 1966, pitching to a record of 11-14 with a 3.68 ERA. In his four seasons with the Mets, Fisher would go 38-73 with a 4.12 ERA. Following the 1967 season (when he would again lead the team in losses with 18) he would be included in the trade with the Chicago White Sox that brought Tommie Agee and Al Weis to the Mets.