Mets–Yankees rivalry

Mets–Yankees rivalry
New York Mets
New York Yankees
First meeting June 16, 1997
Yankee Stadium (I)
Latest meeting

August 4, 2016
Citi Field

Mets 4, Yankees 1
Next meeting TBA
Meetings total 107
Regular season series 63–46, Yankees
Largest victory 15–0, Yankees (June 14, 2009)[1]
Longest win streak
  • Mets: 6 (May 27, 2013 – May 13, 2014)
  • Yankees: 7 (June 30, 2002 – June 29, 2003)
Current win streak 1, Mets
Post-season history

The Mets–Yankees rivalry refers to the latest incarnation of the Subway Series, which is the interleague rivalry between New York City's Major League Baseball (MLB) teams: the New York Mets and the New York Yankees. The Mets are a member club of MLB's National League (NL) East division, and the Yankees are a member club of MLB's American League (AL) East division.

Until interleague play started, the two teams had only met in exhibition games. Since the inception of interleague play, the two teams have played each other in every regular season since 1997. From 1999 through 2012, they have played six games per season: two three-game series (one series in each team's ballpark). In 2013, the two teams met four times: a pair of two-game series. Both clubs have qualified for the postseason in the same season on four separate occasions: 1999, 2000, 2006, and 2015, and faced off in the 2000 World Series. Analysts of the game have commented that the rivalry is the best reason for interleague play.[2]

1962–96: Formation of the Mets, Mayor's Trophy and pre-interleague era

Casey Stengel's number 37 was retired by the New York Yankees in 1970.
Casey Stengel's number 37 was retired by the New York Mets in 1965.

Background and formation of Mets

The Mets–Yankees rivalry has its origins in the histories of the Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Giants, and Yankees, the three Major League Baseball teams of New York City from 1903–57.[3] For most of that time, the Giants played in Manhattan, the Dodgers in Brooklyn, and the Yankees in the Bronx.

Throughout their time in New York, the three teams chronicled a fierce intra-city rivalry. The Dodgers–Giants rivalry was formed by both teams' competition for dominance in the National League, exemplified by Bobby Thomson's Shot Heard 'Round the World in the 1951 National League tie-breaker series.[3] The Yankees, as the city's only American League team, would form the Giants–Yankees rivalry and Dodgers–Yankees rivalry around their multiple Subway Series competitions with the two teams, where the Yankees would compile a 10-3 record in the thirteen all-New York World Series.[3]

However, in 1958, both of New York's National League teams moved to California, the Giants to San Francisco to become the San Francisco Giants, and the Dodgers to Los Angeles to become the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Yankees were New York City's only Major League Baseball team until 1962, when the expansion Mets joined the National League. The Mets sought to create a fan base from fans of the departed National League teams, and adopted the Giants' NY insignia in the Giant color of orange set against a cap of Dodger blue. They played their first two seasons in the Giants' old stadium, the Polo Grounds, before moving into Shea Stadium in the borough of Queens.

Mayor's Trophy

Before the creation of Interleague play, teams from the National League never played teams from the American League in official games except during the World Series. The teams occasionally met in spring training exhibition games and from 1963 to 1983 they played annually in the Mayor's Trophy Game, an in-season exhibition game, where the Yankees posted a record of 10–8–1 over the Mets.[4]

1997–1999: Interleague regular season play begins

1997–1998: First official games

In 1997, Major League Baseball scheduled official regular season games between the American and National Leagues for the first time. On June 16, the Mets and Yankees played their first official game at Yankee Stadium, which the Mets won 6–0 behind Dave Mlicki.[5] The Yankees won the next two games for a series win. The Mets acquired Mike Piazza for the 1998 season and made a run for the playoffs, but were eliminated in the last regular game series of the season by the Atlanta Braves. The Yankees won that year's interleague series at Shea Stadium two games to one, and would also win the 1998 World Series, the first of three straight titles for them. David Cone won 20 games in 1998 for the Yankees, just 10 years after he accomplished the same feat for the Mets, becoming the only player to win 20 games for both teams.

These interleague games between the Mets and Yankees would come to be referred to as a Subway Series, extending the use of that phrase outside the historical context of an all-New York World Series.

1999: Both teams reach the playoffs

In 1999, Major League Baseball expanded Interleague play, allowing the Mets and Yankees to host a series at their home stadiums. At Shea, the Mets won their first series against the Yankees, 2 games to 1, though the regular season series was tied by virtue of a Yankees series win (2 to 1) at Yankee Stadium earlier that year. That year marked the first time both teams reached the playoffs in the same season, though the Mets needed an extra game for their first playoff appearance since losing the 1988 National League Championship Series.[6]

Both the Mets and Yankees reached their respective League Championship Series and played their respective rivals. The Mets were defeated by their division rival Atlanta Braves in their LCS,[7] while the Yankees defeated longtime rival Boston Red Sox in that year's ALCS. The Yankees then swept the Braves in the 1999 World Series for their 25th franchise title.

2000: World Series meeting

Main article: 2000 World Series

During the regular season on July 8, 2000, the Yankees defeated the Mets by identical 4-2 scores in both ends of an unusual day-night doubleheader. With the first game played at Shea Stadium and the nightcap at Yankee Stadium, it was the first time since 1903 that two teams played two games in different stadiums on the same day. Dwight Gooden won the first game with a six inning effort in his first start since returning to the Yankees. Roger Clemens won the nightcap.[8] However, in the second game of that double header, an event occurred that made the rivalry between the two teams more contentious. Clemens hit Mets' star Mike Piazza in the helmet with an inside fastball, causing Piazza to suffer a concussion and placing him on the disabled list.[9]

The Mets and Yankees returned to the playoffs that year and won their respective pennants, meeting in the 2000 World Series for their first championship contest. It was the Yankees' fourth appearance in five years and the Mets' first appearance since winning the title in 1986. It was the first Subway Series World Series since 1956. Game 1 went to extra innings in what was then the longest World Series game of all time, with the Yankees winning on a walk-off hit by former Met José Vizcaíno.

Controversy ensued in Game 2 when Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens faced Mets catcher Mike Piazza for the first time since the hit-by-pitch earlier that season. In the match-up, Piazza shattered his bat after fouling off one of Clemens' pitches, and the splintered bathead hurtled towards the mound. Clemens threw the bathead towards the baseline and nearly hit Piazza who had been running down the foul line. The incident caused both benches to clear. The Yankees won the game 6-5.

The Mets won Game 3, snapping the Yankees' fourteen-game winning streak in World Series play dating back to 1996 and Yankee hurler Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez's previously undefeated postseason record (6–0). However, this would prove to be the only high point for the Mets. Derek Jeter hit a home run on the first pitch of Game 4, immediately shifting momentum back to the Yankees who would win the game. Footage of this home run currently serves as the background for the title screen of YES Network's "Yankeeography" series. Despite no game in the series being decided by more than two runs, the Yankees would only require five games to beat the Mets. Al Leiter, a former Yankee prospect, would take the mound for the Mets in Game 5 and lose. The Yankees clinched their third straight World Series championship when Mariano Rivera got Mike Piazza to pop up for the final out of Game 5.

World Series MVP Derek Jeter said of the Mets: "In my opinion, the Mets were the toughest team we have played in my five years here. Every one of these games could have gone either way. They could have given up after [losing] the first two games, but they never quit. You can't say enough about the New York Mets."[10]

This World Series win was sense of revenge for Roger Clemens, because he won the World Series in the same stadium he lost it in 1986 while with the Red Sox. Members of the Mets' 1986 team threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the clinching game.[11][12][13]

The 12.4 television rating and 21 share of the 2000 World Series was the worst in history when it was played.[14] For the Mets, the 12.4 rating was less than half of what they were when during their previous appearance, when Game 7 drew a 38.9 rating and 55 share.

The Mets were aided the St. Louis Cardinals for this series.[7][15] The Cardinals' sweep of the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS eliminated what had been a particularly difficult opponent during the season for the Mets.,[7] and the Braves had eliminated the Mets from the playoffs on the final day of the 1998 season and in the 1999 NLCS.[7]

2001–2008: The rivalry continues in the 21st century

Subway Series 2008, Johnny Damon with the Yankees (left) and Brian Schneider with the Mets
A Subway Series game at Shea Stadium on 6/27/2008, with Citi Field under construction beyond the outfield.
A full house at Yankee Stadium for a Subway Series game against the Mets on 6/16/2007.
Alex Rodriguez used play for the Yankees (2004-2016), but grew up as a fan of the New York Mets. He is currently a free agent.

The 2000 championship was the Yankees' last title until their 2009 World Series win. Since their appearance in 2000, the Mets would have several losing seasons until the emergence of David Wright and José Reyes.

In 2001, there was a moment of peace in the rivalry in the aftermath of the attacks in New York City. During the weekend of September 21–23, Shea Stadium hosted the first professional sporting event in New York City since the attacks when the Mets hosted the Atlanta Braves while Yankee Stadium hosted a special memorial service titled "Prayer for America."

On June 15, 2002, Roger Clemens faced the Mets for the first time at Shea Stadium since the Piazza controversy. Anticipation mounted about retaliation against Clemens. Mets manager Bobby Valentine chided Clemens by saying he wore a "skirt" when compared to past pitchers who threw hard at people like Bob Gibson and Don Drysdale because Clemens did not have to bat in the American League. When the game arrived, Clemens was forced to bat and Mets pitcher Shawn Estes attempted to hit Clemens in retaliation but instead threw a pitch behind Clemens, prompting the home plate umpire to warn both benches. Estes later homered off of Clemens as the Mets won the game 8-0.[16]

In 2003, the Yankees become the first team to sweep the season series, winning all six games, including a two-park day-night doubleheader. In 2004, however, the Mets win the season series for the first time, going 4–2 and sweeping the three games at Shea Stadium.

In 2005, the Mets signed Manager Willie Randolph, who coached with the Yankees for over a decade. Randolph played much of his career with the Yankees and also played for the Mets before retiring as a player. Because of his history with the Yankees championship teams of the 70s (as a player) and the 90s (as a coach), he holds a very cordial relationship with Yankee fans despite his tenure with the Mets organization, as noted by a Subway (a pun on the restaurant's name and the Subway Series) commercial featuring him and former Yankees manager Joe Torre, who had managed the Yankees during their most recent dynastic run. Torre had also been associated with the Mets as they were the last team he ever played for and the first team he ever managed. On August 2, 2008, less than two months after his abrupt and controversial dismissal as Mets manager, Randolph was greeted with a standing ovation by the Yankee Stadium crowd when he appeared in a Yankees uniform for the Old-Timers' Game.[17]

On June 26, 2005, the Mets won their first series at Yankee Stadium and were three outs from a sweep when Jason Giambi's bases-loaded single off of Braden Looper in the ninth drove home the tying and winning runs for the Yankees, who forced a season series split with the Mets.[18]

On May 19, 2006, in the first Subway Series of that year at Shea, the Yankees took the lead three times in the first four innings, but the Mets rallied each time against Randy Johnson and the game was tied 6-6 going into the bottom of the ninth. With two outs and runners on first and second, David Wright drives home the winning run for the Mets with a single off of Yankees' closer Mariano Rivera.[19]

On May 20, 2006, less than 24 hours after the Mets' comeback win, Pedro Martínez and Duaner Sánchez kept the Yankees scoreless for eight innings while the Mets score four runs off of Mike Mussina. In the top of the ninth, however, closer Billy Wagner, who pitched a perfect ninth the night before to get the win, gave up four runs to tie the game and force extra innings. In the top of the 11th, Andy Phillips singled in the go-ahead run for the Yankees while Mariano Rivera pitched two shutout innings for the win.[20]

History would be made at the 2006 Major League Baseball All-Star Game when two positions on both teams are manned by players from teams of the same city. David Wright and José Reyes started at third base and shortstop respectively for the National League while Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter started at the same respective positions for the American League. Both teams in 2006 finished at the top of their division in the same season for the first time in history. For the Yankees, this was their ninth straight division title, while the Mets won their first division title since 1988. Despite sharing baseball's best regular season record (97-65), they would have disappointing postseasons as both lost en route to the two teams that eventually met in that year's World Series, the Detroit Tigers and St. Louis Cardinals.

The teams' inverse success relationship was highlighted in 2007. On May 29, the Yankees were tied for last place and 14.5 games back of the Boston Red Sox while the Mets were in first place ahead of the Atlanta Braves by four games, with the lead being as high as seven in mid-September. A late season meltdown led to the Mets being eliminated from playoff contention, losing the NL East title to the Philadelphia Phillies on the last day of the season. On the other hand, the Yankees, though unable to finish first in the AL East for the first time since 1997, rebounded from their losing ways and clinched their 13th consecutive playoff berth.

In an article written in the New York Daily News on March 24, 2008, Alex Rodriguez said how he regretted signing with the Texas Rangers (the team the Yankees acquired him from) in the first place and wished he had signed with the Mets rather than Texas. Rodriguez grew up a Met fan and of former Met first baseman turned announcer Keith Hernandez.[21] Rodriguez stated how he listened to his agent Scott Boras about taking more money instead and did not want to make the same mistake of not being on a team he liked playing for by leaving the Yankees.[22]

On June 27 of that year, in the first game of a two-stadium, day-night doubleheader against the Yankees, Carlos Delgado scores 9 RBIs (including a grand slam) in a 15–6 victory for the Mets, setting a team record for most RBIs in a single game and tying the record for most RBIs in a single game by a visiting player at Yankee Stadium.

For just the second time, the Mets won the season series against the Yankees, 4–2, including the Mets' only sweep at the old Yankee Stadium. Ironically, the 2008 season marked the first time since 1993 that both the Yankees and Mets failed to qualify for postseason, the first time for the Yankees since that year and the second straight year where the Mets were eliminated on the last day of the season. It was also the last year both teams played at their old respective ballparks, Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium. Yogi Berra was present at the closing ceremonies of both stadiums. Both teams finished with the same record (89-73) that year.

2009 to present: New stadiums

The 2009 season was the first year that both teams played in their new stadiums, Mets at Citi Field and the Yankees at the new Yankee Stadium. The Yankees took it one step further opened their new stadium with their 27th World Series championship against the Philadelphia Phillies, the defending champions, becoming the first team to inaugurate two stadiums with World Series wins.

Year-by-year results

Year Yankees W Mets W Note
1997 2
1 The Mets won the first official game played between the two teams, but the Yankees won the series, played at Yankee Stadium
1998 2
1 Played at Shea Stadium
1999 3
First year of 6-game home-and-away format
2000 4
2Yankees sweep split-ballpark doubleheader on 7/9. The two teams went on to win League Championships, and met in the 2000 World Series.
2001 4
2 The Yankees lost the 2001 World Series to the Arizona Diamondbacks in seven games.
2002 3
2003 6
0First six-game season series sweep. The Yankees lost the 2003 World Series to the Florida Marlins in six games.
2004 2 4
First season series win for Mets
2005 3
2006 3
Both teams make the playoffs.
2007 3
2008 2 4
Final year for both teams at their old stadiums. Teams split split-ballpark doubleheader on 6/27
2009 5
1Teams both opened new stadiums. The Yankees won the 2009 World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies in six games.
2010 3
2011 4
2012 5
2013 0
First season for four-game format. Four consecutive games were played May 27–30, first two at Citi Field, the last two at Yankee Stadium. First season sweep for the Mets.
2014 2
2015 4 2 Both teams make the playoffs. The Yankees were eliminated by the Houston Astros in the 2015 American League Wild Card Game, while the Mets lost the 2015 World Series to the Kansas City Royals in five games.
2016 2

Notable players who played for both teams

Fan demographics

In 1998, the Independent Budget Office of the city of New York published a study on the economic effect of the city's two Major League Baseball teams. The study included an analysis of where fans of both the Mets and the Yankees resided. The study found that 39% of Mets fans lived in one of the five boroughs of New York, 49% in the tri-state area outside the city and 12% elsewhere. Mets fans were more likely to be found in Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and the Long Island counties of Nassau and Suffolk, whereas Manhattan, the Bronx, New Jersey, Connecticut, and the counties of Westchester and Rockland, as well as the upper Hudson Valley and the upstate New York region, leaned more towards the Yankees.[37]

Wall Street Journal Report

In what The Wall Street Journal called an "Exclusive Poll" conducted in 2010, the newspaper compared the differences between Mets fans and Yankees fans.[38] The poll found:

Fans of other New York City teams

Historically, Yankees fans tend to root for the New York Giants (who once played in Yankee Stadium) and the New York Rangers (all three being the older, more established teams), while Mets fans tend to root for the New York Jets (who once played in Shea Stadium) and New York Islanders.[39] However, some Yankees fans root for the Jets (both teams have intense rivalries with Boston, as the fierce Yankees–Red Sox rivalry has led to the rivalry between the New York Jets and the New England Patriots and the New York Knicks and the Boston Celtics),[40] while some Mets fans root for the Giants as part of their hatred for their counterparts in Philadelphia (Phillies and Eagles), as well as the rivalry between the New York Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers in the National Hockey League.[41] In fact, the differing allegiances between Met and Yankee fans and their respective football team could be best seen in the Jets 30 point 4th quarter comeback over the Dolphins, which took place during the 2000 World Series. There were "Let's Go Yankees" chants, which were later countered by "Let's Go Mets" chants or "Yankees Suck".

There are also many Mets/Football Giants fans. These fans are offspring of Dodgers/Giants Baseball fans of the 1940s and 50s, who were also fans of the great NY Giants Football Teams of the 1950s (when they were NY's only pro-football team). However, that fan-base was cut dramatically when the Jets arrived in the 1960s. Many argue that this group of Mets/Giants fans were split into Mets/Jets fans because you could not get a seat at a Giants game in Yankee Stadium, while you could get season tickets to the NY Jets who now played in the Mets ballpark (Shea Stadium). And, to boot, it made sense to some because the Jets were an exciting team led by Joe Namath (even winning the Super Bowl in 1969...same year the Miracle Mets won the World Series), whereas the Giants were a dreadful team in the 1960s-early 70's. You now had two distinct groups....Mets/Giants fans and Mets/Jets fans.

Rivalry outside of baseball

Outside of Major League Baseball, the teams rivalry has shown passions from fans of both sides.

See also




    1. Fitzpatrick, Mike (June 14, 2009). "Yankees rough up Santana, rout Mets 15–0". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
    2. Matthews, Wallace (June 25, 2012). "Subway fair? No, series is still great".
    3. 1 2 3 Bock, Hal (October 5, 1999). "Back to the future: a New York baseball turf fight". Associated Press.
    4. "Yankees-Mets Spring Series". The New York Times. December 6, 1989. p. D30.
    5. Chass, Murray (June 17, 1997). "The First Brag Belongs to Mlicki and the Mets". New York Times. p. B9.
    6. Battista, Judy (October 5, 1999). "The Mets Eliminate Cincinnati, The Doubts and the Frustration". New York Times. p. A1.
    7. 1 2 3 4 The subway series: the Yankees, the Mets and a season to remember. St. Louis, Mo.: The Sporting News. 2000. ISBN 0-89204-659-7.
    8. Mets-Yankees season series recap at, URL accessed January 1, 2011. Archived 01-01-11
    9. Interleague Play Memorable Moments (Photo 3 of 8) at, URL accessed January 1, 2011. Archived 01-01-2011
    10. Schmuck, Peter (October 27, 2000). "Threepeat". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved October 15, 2011.
    11. "Yanks' fans celebrate as Mets' mourn". USA Today. October 27, 2000. p. 6C. Briefly: Members of the New York Mets' 1986 World Series championscatcher Gary Carter, first baseman Keith Hernandez, outfielders Lenny Dykstra and Mookie Wilson and pitcher Ron Darlingtook part in the ceremonial first pitch.
    12. Graves, Gary (October 27, 2000). "Mets invoke grit of 1986 champs.". USA Today.
    13. Salisbury, Jim (October 27, 2000). "Ex-Phillie Dykstra Still a Mets Dude". Philadelphia Inquirer. p. D1.
    14. Fendrich, Howard (October 27, 2000). "Subway Series the Lowest-Rated". Associated Press.
    15. Chass, Murray (October 17, 2000). "From Wild Card to World Series". New York Times.
    16. Quinn, T.J. (October 19, 2000). "Still Steamed Over Beaning Rocket Feels Red Glare Of Angry Mets". Daily News. New York.
    17. Hoch, Bryan (August 2, 2008). "Randolph returns for Yanks 'reunion'".
    18. "Sunday, June 26, 2005 8:09PM, Yankee Stadium II".
    19. "Friday, May 19, 2006 7:10PM, Shea Stadium".
    20. "Saturday, May 20, 2006 1:25PM, Shea Stadium".
    21. "Alex Rodriguez". Jockbio. 1975-07-27. Retrieved 2010-08-04.
    22. Harper, John. "A-Rod regrets saying no to Mets, parts with Scott Boras to avoid same mistake". New York Daily News.
    23. "K-Rod, Bruney trade barbs over antics". June 13, 2009.
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    25. Brandon C. (June 20, 2010). "New York Yankees 4, New York Mets 0: What A Grand Win".
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    27. 1 2 Shpigel, Ben (July 4, 2011). "When All Seems Lost, Mets Rally to Win". The New York Times. p. D1.
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    29. 1 2 Roger Rubin (July 3, 2011). "Jason Bay delivers RBI single in 10th as Mets come back against Mariano Rivera & Yankees, 3-2". New York: NY Daily News.
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    31. "Derek Jeter All-Star decision causes stir". July 12, 2011.
    32. Rubin, Adam (June 23, 2012). "Frank Francisco: Yanks 'chickens'".
    33. "NY Mets' 'Little Jerry Seinfeld,' chicken mascot for weekend, finds a new home for life". New York: NY Daily News. Retrieved 2013-04-22.
    34. "New York Yankees vs. New York Mets – Recap – June 24, 2012 – ESPN". 2012-06-24. Retrieved 2013-04-22.
    35. "Dueling home openers Monday at Mets' Citi Field and Yankee Stadium offer historic perspective on New York baseball". Daily News. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
    36. Nightengale, Bob (December 6, 2013). "Crosstown traffic: Curtis Granderson joining Mets". USA Today.
    37. "Home Base for Mets and Yankees Fans". The City of New York Independent Budget Office. 1998-09-28.
    38. Hollander, Sophia. "How Yankees Fans Are Different From Mets Fans: A WSJ Poll –". Retrieved 2013-04-22.
    39. Helyar, John (May 19, 2006). "Yankees, Mets coexist despite their differences". ESPN.
    40. Steinberg, Dan (February 2, 2008). "Baseball's Fault Lines Show Stress In Arizona". The Washington Post. p. E11.
    41. Mucha, Peter (January 5, 2001). "A City's Hopes Fly High on the Wings of Eagles". Philadelphia Inquirer. p. A1. New York teamsthe Mets, Rangers, Giants and Knicksrank among Philadelphia's most loathed rivals.
    42. Withers, Tom (April 2, 1996). "For the '96 Mets, an upbeat start". Associated Press. New York Governor George Pataki and New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani threw out ceremonial first pitches, and actress Glenn Close sang the national anthem.
    43. Breen, Virginia; Mbugua, Martin; Siemaszko, Corky (April 1, 1998). "Mets win Opener in Extra Innings& Heat". New York Daily News. p. Sports.7. Mayor Giuliani, the city's No. 1 Yankee fan, was greeted by mixed cheers and boos as he made his way to his box seat at Shea. But his smile never wavered...'I'm a Yankee fan overall, but I root for the Mets in the National League, certainly against the Phillies,' Giuliani said.
    44. Steinhauer, Jennifer (September 22, 2001). "Changing His Pinstripes". New York Times. p. B10.
    45. Thomson, Katherine (June 22, 2010). "Jerry Seinfeld: Lady Gaga 'Is A Jerk.'". The Huffington Post. Retrieved Feb 15, 2011.
    46. "New Jersey Governor Chris Christie declares loyalty to New York Mets".


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