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45,614 Fans in Washington See Mets Win

April 06, 1987

Professional baseball made its first appearance in the nation's capital in 15 years Sunday as the New York Mets defeated the Philadelphia Phillies, 1-0, before 45,614 fans at Washington's RFK Stadium.

The exhibition game, played in 38-degree temperature and a steady rain, was called by umpire John McSherry after five innings, a move that irritated many in the record crowd.

The attendance figure represented the largest single-game baseball crowd ever in Washington. The rain caused many ticket-holders to skip the event, and those who did attend were dressed in heavy coats and carrying umbrellas.

"This game wouldn't have been played except for the fact that they sold 40,000 tickets, and they didn't want to give out any refunds," Philadelphia third baseman Mike Schmidt said. "It's wrong, it's over, it's history."

Although the left-field fence was only 265 feet from home plate, neither team came close to clearing the 23-foot wall built to prevent an abundance of home runs.

Sid Fernandez pitched five innings, allowing one hit and striking out seven to get the win. Gary Carter's RBI single in the first inning provided the game's only run.

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