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Giants Top Mets on “Willie Mays Night” at Polo Grounds

May 3, 1963 - A young man named Jack Fisher and an older one named Duke Snider turned out to be the heroes of “Willie Mays Night” at the Polo Grounds tonight. Jack Fisher pitched a six-hitter and stopped the Mets, 5-3, with only perfunctory help from the idolized Mays and not too much more from the other Giants. Fisher struck the key blow himself, a 2-run double that broke a 2-2 tie in the seventh. Snider, accounting for all the New York scoring with 2 home runs and a double, gave the Met-oriented crowd of 49,431 its happier moments. Before the game, Willie, who robbed Vic Wertz of a World Series homer at the Polo Grounds in 1954 with one of the greatest catches in the ballpark’s history, was honored for such performances as a Giant — New York or San Francisco. He was also honored for “true sportsmanship, prestige to help combat juvenile delinquency,” and for being “one of the greatest ballplayers of all time.” Mays, presented with a mountain of gifts before the game, had to settle for a run-scoring double in four trips. This was the largest crowd of the season anywhere in the majors, and that fact alone indicates how amazing the Mets have become. They were not so amazing, however, that they could stand up to the league champions. This was the fourth straight victory for the Giants. For the Mets, this was their first home loss since April 10. After the game, Willie said: “This was even a greater thrill than last time.” He had been honored once before at the Polo Grounds, back in 1954 after his 2-year hitch in the Army. But somehow, being given a night by an opposing club and enemy fans was even a better testimonial. Before the game, Willie made a nice speech. In part, he said, “This is the first time I’ve been this nervous in baseball. This is my second ‘day,’ and both times they have been in the city of New York. Every time I come here, I feel this is my home. I really appreciate all that everyone has done to make this night possible. Thank you.”


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