If you’re a fan of Major League Baseball then you’re likely well aware of the sheer number of active rivalries within the league. But there are none quite as impactful nor as well-known as the inter-league rivalry between the New York Mets vs the New York Yankees.
The two teams didn't meet for the first time until 1997, but their battle for superiority in the Big Apple has only amplified their rivalry.
Until the inception of interleague play, the two teams had only met during exhibition games. They have since played each other in every regular season since 1997.
If you want to make accurate and up-to-date predictions on both teams, make sure to check out the World Series Odds.
With both franchises having such deep and interesting histories, their rivalry is a popular topic of discussion. Here’s everything you need to know!
A Brief Introduction
The New York Mets (established in 1962) are a far more recent baseball franchise that was created to replace two now-departed New York teams, the Giants and the Dodgers. The Mets are based in Queens and have won two World Series championships, with the most recent win in 1986. They are a member of MLB’s National League (NL) East division.
Established in 1903, The New York Yankees are the most successful American professional baseball franchise. Now based in the Bronx, the Yankees have won 27 World Series championships in total. The Yankees are also a member of East division of the MLB’s American League (AL).
Team Rivalry Origins
A Change In 1958
From 1903 through to the 1957 season, it’s safe to say that New York was a bustling hub for baseball. In addition to the New York Yankees playing in the American League, the New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers of the National League also called the city home.
During this time, the Dodgers played in Brooklyn, the Giants in Manhattan, and the Yankees played in the Bronx.
At this time, there was to be an impressive number of 13 all-New York matchups in the World Series, with the Yankees going an impressive 10-3 over their NL counterparts. There was a huge intra-city rivalry between the three teams.
Everything changed in the 1958 season when both of New York’s National League teams packed up and moved out to California. The Dodgers moved to Los Angeles to become the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Giants to San Francisco (the San Francisco Giants).
The Yankees remained New York City's only Major League Baseball team until 1962. This year saw the Mets join the National League. Taking advantage of their position, the team cleverly sought to create a loyal fanbase from various of the departed National League teams.
The Mets went on to eventually adopt the Giants' NY insignia in orange (the Giant color) set directly against a delightful cap of blue (for the Dodgers). These two colors adorn the New York City coat of arms and the flag.
The two teams didn’t play against one another until 1997 which is the year when inter-league play began. In Yankee Stadium, the Mets went on to win the first matchup between the teams – achieving a 6-0 victory.
The 21st Century
From 1999 through to 2012, the teams played six games every season. They are structured as two three-game series.
It was the 2000 season that stood as the climax to the crosstown rivalry as both teams met in the World Series. After having a regular season feud, the Yankees dominated the series and took the title in five games. Yet it was very close as no game was decided by over two runs.
As a result, the Yankees took control of the all-time series between both franchises, with an impressive 73-50 record to show for it. They play well both at home and in away stadiums.
In 2013, the teams met four times in a pair of two-game series. In addition to the 2000 season, the two clubs have qualified for the postseason on four occasions: 1999, 2000, 2006, and 2015.
As of 2022, the two teams have met 138 times.
Is There Really A Rivalry?
Yes, but not necessarily on the field. This is because they play in two separate leagues. This means that the two teams only play four inter-league games against one other each year unless they both make it through to the World Series.
In summary, there is no official professional rivalry between the New York Mets and the New York Yankees. There is a pretty big personal rivalry, however.
What About The Fans?
This is where the "rivalry" really exists.
Yes, the Yankees have seen more success than the Mets. But remember, they have been around for much longer! The Yankees are one of the most successful teams in all professional sports history so it’s only natural that their fans constantly brag about it.
These fans view the Mets as the "other" team in New York, and often make fun of or put the team down. This is enough to provoke an equally strong reaction from dedicated Met fans.
Rivalry is the best reason for interleague play, and the Mets and the Yankees have it in spades! This MLB rivalry is one of the longest-serving and most popularized rivalries currently in existence. That being said, there are no signs of it slowing down anytime soon.