The Mets moved into a new home venue in 1964. In the Flushing section of Queens, Shea Stadium opened across the street from the New York World’s Fair in Corona Park. The Mets shared the multi-purpose facility with the American Football League’s New York Jets. As for the baseball season, the Mets again finished in tenth place with a record of 53 wins and 109 losses.
After two losses at Philadelphia to start the season, the Mets played their first game at Shea on April 17. The team was handed a 4-3 loss by the Pirates in the Friday afternoon home opener. Two days later, the Mets got their first Shea win with a 6-0 victory over the Bucs. The Mets’ only other win during the month was a 3-2 triumph over the Pirates in the second game of a doubleheader at Pittsburgh on April 26.
The Mets recorded a total of 12 wins in May. Beginning the month with six road games, the team’s only win during this stretch was a 3-0 victory at Cincinnati on Al Jackson’s two-hit shutout on May 2. Against the Reds on May 6, the Mets suffered a 12-4 loss in the first night game at Shea. In the opener of Shea's first doubleheader on May 10, the Mets defeated the Cardinals, 4-1. The team got its 100th all-time win with a 4-2 triumph at San Francisco on May 15. They set a team record for runs in a 19-1 win at Chicago on May 26. In a doubleheader nightcap on May 31, the Mets closed out the month with an 8-6 loss to the Giants in 23 innings at Shea.
The Mets had a dismal June. The team won only eight of its 31 games (including a rain-shortened tie) and held a .289 winning percentage at month’s end. At Shea on June 5, the Dodgers paid their first visit to the new ballpark. Mets’ pitcher Galen Cisco tossed a four-hit shutout for an 8-0 win over the Los Angeles team. Against the Phillies at Shea on June 20, the Mets got pairs of homers from both Joe Christopher and Hawk Taylor in a 7-3 Mets victory. The Mets became victims of the first perfect game in the National League during the 20th century the next day as Jim Bunning retired all 27 batters for a 6-0 Phils win in a doubleheader opener. This historic loss began a five-game losing streak for the Mets just one day after ending an eight-game skid. The streak ended with an 8-4 victory over the Braves in Milwaukee on June 26.
In July, the Mets reached the 10-win mark with a 10-18 record during the month. The team experience a sign of hope as Ron Hunt became the Mets’ first ever starter for the National League in the All-Star Game. The mid-summer classic was held at Shea (for the only time) with Hunt playing in all nine innings of the NL’s win. Two days later, the Mets resumed the season with a 4-3 victory over the Cardinals at Shea. They swept a doubleheader against the Reds with 1-0 and 5-1 wins at Shea on July 12. The Mets closed out the month by winning both games of a July 31 twinbill at Shea, 3-0 and 6-2, over the Colt 45s.
The Mets had their best monthly record to date with a 12-14 mark in August. The team began the month with a 3-2 win over the Colt .45s at Shea on August 1. Following a period in which they lost nine of ten games, the Mets started a string of seven wins in eight games with a 12-4 triumph over the first-place Phillies on August 16 at Shea. This run climaxed with a doubleheader sweep of the Cubs at Shea (2-1 in 10 innings and 5-4) on August 23 in which Willard Hunter was the winning pitcher in both games. At Chicago on August 28, the team recorded a 12-10 win over the Cubs. The Mets ended the month with a 44-86 record, 34 and one-half games behind Philadelphia.
In September, the Mets staggered to a 7-21 won-lost record. The team’s only consecutive wins of the month came in a Labor Day doubleheader sweep, 7-5 and 6-4, over the Colt 45s at Shea on September 7. Over their next eleven games, the Mets’ only wins were a 4-2 victory over the Dodgers at Los Angeles on September 11 and a 4-0 triumph over the Giants at San Francisco on September 16. The Mets lost their last seven September games, two of which were 4-1 and 3-1 defeats to the Reds in a doubleheader on September 27 at Shea. These wins for Cincinnati temporarily put them into first place ahead of the faltering Phillies. However, the month ended with the Cardinals atop the National League. The Mets were 40 and one-half games behind front-running St. Louis team.
The Mets won two of their four games in October. The .500 winning percentage marked the first time ever that the Mets did not have more losses than wins for any specific month. The team found itself caught in the crazy National League pennant race over the season’s final weekend. At St. Louis, they made things even more interesting with 1-0 and 15-5 victories over the Cardinals on October 2 and October 3, respectively. These results dropped the Redbirds into a first-place tie with Cincinnati going into the season’s final day. The Mets then suffered an 11-5 loss that (paired with the Reds’ loss to the Phillies) clinched the title for the Cards.