By Ed Odeven
True story: The first MLB game I ever attended in person featured two Hall of Fame starting pitchers, Tom Seaver and Steve Carlton. Opening Day 1983, New York Mets vs. Philadelphia Phillies at Shea Stadium. April 5.
It was my ninth birthday. What a treat! And I didn’t have to go to school that day, either.
My dad, paternal grandfather and younger brother joined me in celebrating my birthday at the ballpark.
The game featured several all-time greats. Pete Rose batted leadoff for the Phillies. Joe Morgan was their No. 2 hitter, Mike Schmidt hit cleanup and Tony Perez fifth.
The Mets gave the starting nod to Mike Howard, a third-year big leaguer, in right field that day. It turned to be his final MLB appearance. A guy named Darryl Strawberry, a rookie right fielder, soon became a fixture in the lineup.
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