In 1983, a positive atmosphere was developing around the Mets. The season featured the return of Tom Seaver, the arrival of Darryl Strawberry, the acquisition of Keith Hernandez and the emergence of Jesse Orosco. Furthermore, the Mets were voted Organization of the Year with the success of their minor league affiliates. Still, the parent club suffered another last place finish with a 68-94 won-lost record.
The Mets started off slowly with six wins in 17 games in April. The team won on Opening Day for the ninth consecutive season by defeating the Phillies, 2-0, in Seaver’s first game back on April 5 at Shea Stadium. At Shea on April 20, they swept the Pirates in a doubleheader with 6-0 and 7-5 victories to stop a six-game losing streak. The Mets dropped their next four games before a 2-1 win over the Reds at Cincinnati on April 27. When the month was over, the team stood in fifth place in the National League East Division.
In May, the much-anticipated debut of Strawberry took place. Darryl’s first game with the orange and blue was a 7-4 victory over the Reds in 13 innings on May 6 at Shea. Two days later, Strawberry singled for his first hit as the team defeated the Reds, 10-5, at Shea. The Mets lost four of seven games on a road trip to Houston and Pittsburgh between May 9 and May 16. They split eight games on an ensuing home stand against the Padres, Dodgers and Giants. At San Diego on May 29, the Mets ended a four-game skid with a 3-2 victory over the Padres. They closed the month with a 16-28 record on the season and in the division basement.
The Mets’ struggles continued in June. The team had a .419 percentage for the month with 13 wins and 18 defeats. However, a trade with the Cardinals that brought Hernandez to New York enhanced the hopes of Met fans. After five losses in their first eight June games, the Mets came away with a 4-2 win over the Expos in 17 innings at Shea on June 10. They defeated the Cubs, 4-3, in 10 innings on June 14 at Shea. The deal for Hernandez came one day later. Against Keith’s former St. Louis team, the Mets won four of six games at Shea between June 20 and June 23. They ended the month by losing three of four at St. Louis. The Mets remained in last place, eleven and one-half games behind the division-leading Expos.
The Mets had yet another dismal month in July with 10 wins and 19 losses. They lost four times in a month-opening five-game series at Philadelphia. Following the All-Star Break, the Mets went 2-4 on a home stand against the Astros and Reds. On an ensuing road trip to Houston, Atlanta and Cincinnati, the team had three wins and seven defeats. They scored four runs with two outs in the ninth inning for a 5-4 win over the Braves at Shea on July 25. One night later, they recorded a 2-1 victory in 10 innings over the Braves at Shea. The team swept a doubleheader with a pair of 12-inning triumphs against the Pirates, 7-6 and 1-0, on July 31 at Shea. The Mets ended July still at the bottom of the Eastern Division.
The Mets finally had a winning month in August. The team won 16 games while dropping 13 for a .552 percentage. The Mets won two of three against the Expos at Shea between August 2 and August 4. They swept the Cubs in a pair of three-game series from August 5 to August 7 (at Chicago) and August 12 to August 14 (at Shea.) At San Francisco, the Mets won all three games of a series against the Giants between August 19 and August 21. The team had two wins and three losses in five-game series against the Dodgers at Shea from August 29 to August 31. They ended August with a 55-78 record on the season.
Over the rest of the ’83 season, the Mets again lost more than they won. The team recorded 13 victories in their final 29 games. At Shea on September 3, the Mets recorded a 4-3 win over the Padres in 15 innings. They had a 6-5 win over the Phillies two days later at Shea. The Mets lost three of five games at Montreal and Philadelphia between September 9 and September 13. The team had a 2-5 record on an ensuing home stand against the Cardinals, Cubs and Pirates. The Mets concluded September with a road trip on which they won three and lost five. On October 1 and October 2, they swept a season-closing three-game series against the Expos at Shea.
- Strawberry was named National League Rookie of the Year
- Hernandez won a National League Gold Glove Award
- Johnny Murphy and William A. Shea were inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame