I had tickets to opening day at Shea in 1966 for myself and my high school girlfriend. Neither of us had a driver's license yet so we took the train from Huntington Station. The starting right fielder was a rookie by the name of Cleon Jones. He showed great promise when he hit a home run. He also showed a great arm on a play at the plate in the ninth and would have had the runner if home plate was about 5 rows up in the stands. Alas the Mets once again snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
I also got to teach my girlfriend my unique scoring system. Whereas a ground out to second would normally be recorded as "4-3" I would show it as "GO" for ground out. Having to run to the men's room I carefully instructed my girlfriend how to score if I missed a batter. Upon return I saw she entered "DK". Puzzled as to what that meant she informed me it meant "don't know". A nearby fan told me the Braves Denis Menke had ground out. As a Bible verse says "love covers a multitude of sins".
Although improved there were still some early Mets moments like a game at Shea that summer against the Reds. On what should have been a game ending strike three the pitch eluded the Mets catcher (was Jesse Gonder still around?) and the Reds went on to win the game.
The year ended with the Mets in 9th place escaping last place for the first time. What made it even sweeter was seeing the Mets finish ahead of the Yankees who finished last only two years from being in the World Series.
They also had only 600 fans show up for a September game at the Stadium.
Mets fans were loyal through the good, the bad and the ugly.