Rivalries in sports are often determined by divisions. The more teams play each other, the more they grow to hate them. It’s like taking a road trip with anyone. Eventually, by the second rest stop, you can’t stand each other. This is how the New York Mets feel about a lot of teams in the National League East.
The Mets have always been a member of the NL East but changes have occurred to it since 1962 when they were first formed. Some teams have exited the division. Others have entered it. This has made some rivalries diminish. Others have flourished.
Who are the top 5 Mets rivals of all-time? It’s these five clubs.
5) Mets rival: The case for the St. Louis Cardinals
The Mets and St. Louis Cardinals had plenty of battles back in the day. Before there was a National League Central, the Cardinals were in the NL East with the Mets. This meant many more games against each other. Over time, the two grew to become decent rivals.
From a trade aspect, the Mets have certainly gotten an upper hand. The Keith Hernandez trade in 1983 was an absolute victory for New York. It helped lead to a championship in 1986. Even lesser yet effective moves, like the deal for Bernard Gilkey, went in favor of the orange and blue squad.
On the field, the Mets and Cardinals have also gone to war in the postseason. It’s in the postseason when rivalries really begin to take off. It wasn’t until the Cardinals left the NL East and went to the newly formed NL Central in 1995 that it was even possible for these two to face each other in the postseason.
These two have managed to face off against each other twice now in the playoffs. The first was in the 2000 NLCS with the Mets winning the series 4-1 before heading to the World Series. Six years later, in 2006, the two teams went to a Game 7 in the NLCS. One of the most heartbreaking losses in Mets history was the end result.
There will be a rubber match between these two eventually. When they do meet in the regular season, it’s often a big game because of the lingering history but also because the teams have tended to be contenders in recent years.