I’m sure I don’t have to tell you the story that provided Yo La Tengo with our name, and even if I do, I won’t (but this guy will). But a question that has vexed historians from time immemorial (or 1962) is: On what specific day did this incident occur? In the coming months, during this, the 50th anniversary of the Mets’ first season, we will endeavor to provide an answer.
We have determined that the first possible day it could have taken place was April 25, 1962. In their 12th game ever, the Mets were defeated by the home team Cincinnati Reds 7-1. For the first time in their brief history, the three principals of the Yo La Tengo saga–Richie Ashburn, Frank Thomas and Elio Chacon–were all in the starting lineup. And yet we are going to dismiss April 25 out of hand. A careful reading of history reminds us that Ashburn and Chacon had multiple mishaps before the “yo la tengo” light bulb was illuminated over the collective head. Ergo their first time in the starting lineup together must predate the incident.