Friday, October 2, 2009
#9) JACK FISHER
We will begin with the man that got the first start in Shea Stadium history. Jack Fisher is listed as number 9 in the checklist since that was his position in the batting order that first game. However he was on the mound to throw the first pitch in the park's existence. "I had a pretty good idea that it would be a strike." he would reflect years later. Jack joined the New York Mets when he was selected from the San Francisco Giants in a special draft in 1963.
Another tradition was began that first game in Flushing. "I asked Casey (Stengel, the Mets manager) if it was okay to warm up in the bullpen (instead of on the field) to get away from all the hustle and bustle of all the writers," Jack recalled, "I guess I started something."
"I remember one day, when I was pitching against the Dodgers late in one game, the crowd was at such a fever pitch that I could literally feel the sound waves hitting my chest," Fisher told the New York Times in 2008. "I never felt that way anywhere else but at Shea."
He would pitch four seasons with the Mets compiling a 38-73 record with a 4.58 ERA. Fisher was traded with Buddy Booker, Tommy Davis, and Billy Wynne to the Chicago White Sox for Tommie Agee and Al Weis on December 15, 1967.
Today he owns a local establishment in his hometown of Easton, Pennsylvania. "Fat Jacks", the sports gathering place that bears his nickname, is a very popular destination.
On April 17, 2008, the New York Mets commemorated the first team to play at Shea Stadium by inviting back Jack, along with Ron Hunt, and Tim Harkness to change the sign in left-center field counting down the number of remaining games to be played there.
Jack Fisher signed this card (adding the awesome inscription) during a private signing with Billy Jack Labarre on September 5, 2009.