for Vladimir Horowitz
by the New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals
June 20, 1969
Papers of Vladimir and Wanda Toscanini Horowitz
Gilmore Music Library
On June 20, 1969, Vladimir Horowitz attended his first and only baseball game, visiting Shea Stadium to watch the New York Mets take on the defending National League champions, the St. Louis Cardinals. The great pianist received autographed baseballs from both teams. The Mets' ball is signed by Tom Seaver, manager Gil Hodges, and coach Yogi Berra, among others. The Cardinal baseball bears such familiar names as Bob Gibson, Joe Torre, Lou Brock, and Curt Flood. Horowitz returned the favor by autographing a miniature piano for Hodges. In addition to the autographed baseballs seen here, the Horowitz Papers include numerous photographs of Horowitz with the players.
New York won the game, 4-3; Nolan Ryan was the winning pitcher, and Gibson the loser. (Perhaps too focused on his preparation for the game, Ryan did not sign the Mets' ball.) The Mets, who had been notoriously unsuccessful since their inception in 1962, went on to win their first World Series in October 1969.