Firstman: Yankees-Mets faceoff caps a long, weird history

From SABR member Diane Firstman at The Village Voice on March 24, 2015:

Since baseball inaugurated interleague play in 1997, the Yankees and Mets have dueled 98 times during the regular season, with the Bronx Bombers holding a 56-42 edge. This season offers an added bonus: two additional games resulting from the teams’ divisions being matched in interleague play in 2015, leading to the earliest-ever face-off between the clubs, from April 24 to 26 in the Bronx.

If the annual Subway Series has become more hype than novelty — though very lucrative hype; witness the inflated prices on StubHub and other secondary ticket sellers — remember that there was a time when watching New York’s teams do battle in games that count was an unrealizable dream. (Thirteen previous “Subway Series” had matched the Yankees against either the New York Giants or Brooklyn Dodgers in the World Series, but the Mets and Yankees never faced off until 2000.) Before 1997, the Mets and Yankees only played each other down in Florida during spring training, with one exception during the teams’ early years: the annual Mayor’s Trophy Game.

The Mayor’s Trophy Game actually dates back to 1946, when the New York Giants and Yankees agreed to play a best-of-three exhibition during the season to benefit sandlot baseball programs, with the winner to receive a trophy from Mayor William O’Dwyer. The best-of-three format lasted one more year before switching to a single-game event each season, with the Yankees opposing either the Giants or Dodgers until both teams left for the West Coast after 1957.

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Originally published: March 25, 2015. Last Updated: March 25, 2015.