PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — The Mets got their first piece of hard evidence this spring of just how much last year’s run to the World Series has re-energized the fan base.

According to a team spokesman, more than 1,500 packed into the grounds of Tradition Field on Friday, when Mets pitchers and catchers held their first official workout.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

It is the largest turnout ever for the start of camp in Port St. Lucie, where the Mets began training in 1988. The crowd dwarfed last year’s turnout of roughly 700 fans.

Gates opened to the public at 9:30 am. And although the Mets did little more than the mundane chores of spring training -- the players stretched before pitchers fielded comebackers and sprinted to cover first base — the crowd swelled to four or five deep along fence lines surrounding the practice fields.