Richie Ashburn, a former All-Star with the Phillies, has the distinction of being the first hitter in New York Mets history, he flew out to centerfield against Larry Jackson of the St Louis Cardinals on April 11, 1962. He would later score the first run in franchise history when Charlie Neal singled him home in the third inning of the same game.
In the Mets inaugural season, a season in which they set the record for futility by losing 120 games, Ashburn was one of the few bright spots. In 135 games as the Mets primary leadoff hitter, he hit .306 with 7 home runs and 28 RBIs and was selected to be the team’s first All-Star.
Unfortunately for the Mets Ashburn was at the end of his career and 1962 would be his only season with the Mets, as he retired from playing following the season.
He would be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1995.
While with the Mets Ashburn wore number 1.
Richie Ashburn also played for the Philadelphia Phillies from 1952 to 1969 and the Chicago Cubs in 1960 and 1961.