Sunday, January 19, 2014

How It All Began

Note: While not every one of these photographs will be from a franchise's first game, I am endeavoring to find one of each team's first season of play.

Yankees' first game: April 22, 1903, as the New York Highlanders, vs. the Washington Senators at National Park, lost 3-1. These Senators moved to become the Minnesota Twins in 1961, and were immediately replaced by a "new Senators" who became the Texas Rangers in 1972. Neither has any connection to the current Washington Nationals, who now play at Nationals Park (not the same park, and note the S on the end).

Yankees' first home game: April 30, 1903, vs. the Senators at Hilltop Park, won 6-2.

Yankees' first game under the name "Yankees": April 10, 1913, vs. the Senators at National Park, lost 2-1.

Yankees' first home game under the name "Yankees": April 17, 1913, at the Polo Grounds, vs. the Senators, lost 9-3.

Yankees' first game at the original Yankee Stadium: April 18, 1923, vs. the Boston Red Sox, won 4-1.

Giants' first game: October 11, 1925, vs. the Providence Steam Roller (there was no S on the end), at the Providence Cycledrome, lost 14-0. The Steam Roller went out of business in 1931.

Giants' first home game: October 18, 1925, at the Polo Grounds, vs. the Frankford Yellow Jackets, lost 14-0. The Yellow Jackets, based in Northeast Philadelphia, went out of business in 1931, and have no connection to the Eagles, who started 2 years later.
Rangers' first game: November 16, 1926, at "the old Madison Square Garden," vs. the Montreal Maroons, won 1-0. The Maroons went out of business in 1938.


Knicks' first game: November 1, 1946, vs. the Toronto Huskies at Maple Leaf Gardens, won 68-66. In fact, this was the first game ever played in the NBA. The Huskies only lasted that first year, and have no connection to the Raptors, who began play in 1995. (No, that low score does not mean Pat Riley was coaching the Knicks then. It means that this was before the 1954 institution of the 24-second shot clock. And this photo is from the 1946-47 season, but it's against the Detroit Falcons, who also didn't last very long.)

Knicks' first home game: November 11, 1946, at "the old Madison Square Garden," vs. the Chicago Stags, lost 78-68. The Stags went out of business after the 1950 season, and have no connection to the Bulls, who began play in 1966.

Giants' first game at Yankee Stadium: October 21, 1956, vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers, won 38-10.


Jets' first game: September 11, 1960, as the New York Titans, at the Polo Grounds, vs. the Buffalo Bills, won 27-3.


Mets' first game: April 11, 1962, vs. the St. Louis Cardinals at Sportsman's Park, lost 11-4.

Mets' first home game: April 13, 1962, vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates at the Polo Grounds, lost 4-3. It was a Friday the 13th.

Jets' first game under the name "Jets": September 8, 1963, vs. the Boston Patriots, at Fenway Park, lost 38-14. The Pats became "the New England Patriots" when they moved to suburban Foxboro in 1971.

Jets' first home game under the name "Jets": September 22, 1963, at the Polo Grounds, vs. the Houston Oilers, won 24-17.

Mets' first game at Shea Stadium: April 17, 1964, vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates, lost 4-3.

Jets' first game at Shea Stadium: September 12, 1964, vs. the Denver Broncos, won 30-6.

Nets' first game: October 23, 1967, as the New Jersey Americans, at the Teaneck Armory, vs. the Pittsburgh Pipers, lost 110-107.

Knicks' first game at "the new Madison Square Garden": February 14, 1968, vs. the San Diego Rockets, won 114-102. The Rockets moved to Houston in 1971.

Rangers' first game at "the new Madison Square Garden": February 18, 1968, vs. the Philadelphia Flyers, won 3-1.

Nets' first game under the name "New York Nets": October 25, 1968, at the Long Island Arena in Commack, vs. the Kentucky Colonels (Louisville), lost 99-92.


Islanders' first game: October 7, at the Nassau County Veterans Memorial Coliseum, vs. the Atlanta Flames, lost 3-2. This was also the Flames' first game. They moved to Calgary in 1980.

Yankees' first game at the renovated original Yankee Stadium: April 15, 1976, vs. the Minnesota Twins, won 11-4.

Giants' first game in New Jersey: October 10, 1976, at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, vs. the Dallas Cowboys, lost 24-14.

Nets' first game in the NBA: October 22, 1976, vs. the Golden State Warriors, at the Oakland Coliseum Arena, won 104-103.

Nets' first home game in the NBA: October 27, 1976, at the Nassau Coliseum, vs. the Washington Bullets, won 96-93.

Nets' first game as "the New Jersey Nets": October 18, 1977, vs. the Detroit Pistons, at Cobo Hall, lost 110-93. This was the night that Reggie Jackson hit 3 home runs to help the Yankees clinch the World Series.

Nets' first game in New Jersey: October 21, 1977, at the Rutgers Athletic Center (now the Louis Brown Athletic Center) in Piscataway, vs. the New Orleans Jazz, lost 111-103.

Nets' first game at the Meadowlands: October 30, 1981, at the Brendan Byrne Arena (now the Izod Center), vs. the Knicks, lost 103-99.

Devils' first game: October 5, 1982, at the Brendan Byrne Arena in East Rutherford, vs. the
Pittsburgh Penguins, a 3-3 tie.

Jets' first game in New Jersey: September 6, 1984, at Giants Stadium, vs. the Steelers, lost 23-17.

Devils' first game at the Prudential Center: October 27, 2007, vs. the Ottawa Senators, lost 4-1.

Mets' first game at Citi Field: April 13, 2009, vs. the San Diego Padres, lost 6-5.

Yankees' first game at the new Yankee Stadium: April 16, 2009, vs. the Cleveland Indians, lost 10-2.

Giants' first game at MetLife Stadium (then still known as New Meadowlands Stadium): September 12, 2010, vs. the Carolina Panthers, won 31-18.

Jets' first game at MetLife Stadium: September 13, 2010, vs. the Baltimore Ravens, lost 10-9.

Nets' first game as "the Brooklyn Nets": November 3, 2012, at the Barclays Center, vs. the Toronto Raptors, won 107-100. They were originally scheduled to play a few days earlier, but their premiere was postponed by the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

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