Skip to main content

Hendu Can Do

Before there was Cliff Floyd, there was Steve Henderson.It was 25 years ago today, June 14, 1980, that the Mets staged one of their most remarkable comebacks, in a history lined with improbable comebacks. Trailing the Giants 6-0 after 4 1/2 innings and 6-2 with two outs in the ninth, the Mets rallied for another amazing win.During the relatively dismal 10-year period that was 1974 to 1983, this was probably the win that left fans with the most hope.

The Mets, newly purchased by owners Nelson Doubleday and Fred Wilpon a little more than five months previous, were coming off taking 3 of 4 from the defending champion Pirates, and a sweep of the Dodgers. The slogan that year was "The Magic is Back!" and it was particularly fitting on this homestand, one filled with big hits in key spots.

Still, the Mets found themselves down four runs against Giants closer Greg Minton, with two outs and a runner on second base. Two singles and a walk got the Mets two runs and got Minton out of the game in favor of Allen Ripley.

Like Floyd on Saturday night, Henderson had struck out three times in this game, but after getting dusted inside on Ripley's second pitch, Henderson crushed the next one over the right field fence. The video "An Amazin' Era" shows Mets reliever Tom Hausman racing in to make a triumphant shoestring catch of the ball in the bullpen, Henderson, being lifted up by his teammates after touching home plate, and then getting a high-five from Wilpon (outfitted in very bizarre-looking checkered pants) who raced down to the field to congratulate him.

It was Henderson's first home run in more than 11 months and got the Mets back to within a game of .500. at 27-28. Joe Torre thought it was a win to build upon, telling the media after the game.

''It's a phenomenal thing. What makes it better is that it happened again.They don't quit. They didn't even get a hit until the sixth inning. The starting pitching was bad, but the relief men were sensational. What can you say? They believe they can win.''

Alas, the Mets would drop their next seven games (so much for wins catapaulting a team to great things). They would climb back to .500 a couple of times during the season, but a dismal finish left them with a 67-95 final mark and another season of disappointment. But on this one night, the magic was back, and it is one worth remembering.

True Metasticians know...Steve Henderson's three 3-run walk-off homers are the most in Mets history.

(one other thing: I have a call out to Steve Henderson and am hopeful that he will get in touch with me, so you might want to check back later today or tomorrow morning for a possible update.)


Scott B. said…
Saturday, May 9, 1992 - I take a girl to her first ever baseball game and she gets to see Dave Magadan hit a three run homer to win it in a walkoff...she wasn't to bright about baseball, so I guess some things are wasted on certain people...I thought it was da bomb to bring someone to their first game and see such a thing, but she was somewhat unfazed..go figure!
VP81955 said…
I remember the game, too. The Mets handed out small U.S. flags at the gate (June 14 being Flag Day and all), and sat in the loge level on the first-base side. The place went bananas after Henderson's home run, and the auxiliary message board in left (it was green and basically constructed for the Jets in those pre-DiamondVision days) flashed "Hendu Can Do." (What was peculiar about that day was that the Yankees played in Oakland that afternoon and also rallied to win on a ninth-inning homer -- Bobby Murcer, I believe.)

The next day, the Mets had a huge walkup crowd, due in part to the win and also the day's giveaway, and had to turn away a lot of people (some parts of the upper deck were unavailable because new seats were being installed, the red ones still used to this day).
Anonymous said…
I watched that game on TV - I was home from my first year of college. I remember jumping up and down in my parent's den. I always watched those miserable losing games to the finish for some reason, but this one was different. My sisters had gone to it, and they called me up the next day to tell me how incredible it was. Back in those days, we would bring thermoses of "funny lemonade" to the game - no one checked anything back then - spiked with vodka. You'd always get to move your seat, because the stands were pretty empty. When they won a game like that, it was really special, because of all the suffering you had to endure the rest of the time.

Popular posts from this blog

Walk-Offs in Movies, TV, and Other Places

Note: I'm leaving this post up through the end of the week, a) because I don't have time to pump out something new and b)because I was hoping to build a really good list of entertainment industry if you're looking for something new, check back on Monday or so... Of course, if there's a major trade or move, I'll adjust and try to post something... In the meantime, click on the "Table of Contents" link as well. It has been updated. SPOILER ALERT: Read at your own risk Caught the ending of "A League of Their Own" on one of the movie channels the other day and it got me to thinking that it would be fun to compile a list of walk-offs from movies, television, and other forms of entertainment. Here's the start, and only the start, as I spent about 30 minutes or so thinking it over Help me fill in the blanks by filling out the comments section. "A League of Their Own"-- Racine beats Rockford for the All-American Girls Profess

Best Games I Know: Phillies (Updated)

  The best wins against the Phillies in Mets history …   May 5, 2022 – Mets 8, Phillies 7 The Mets score 7 runs in the 9 th inning to overcome a 7-1 deficit and win in Philadelphia.   April 29, 2022 – Mets 3, Phillies 0 Tylor Megill and 4 Mets relievers combine on the second no-hitter in franchise history.   September 22, 2016 – Mets 9, Phillies 8 (11) The Mets tie it in the 9 th on a Jose Reyes home run and win it in the 11 th on a 3-run home run by Asdrubal Cabrera.   July 17, 2016 - Mets 5, Phillies 0 Jacob deGrom pitches a one-hitter. Only hit is a single by Zach Eflin in the 5 th inning.   August 24, 2015 – Mets 16, Phillies 7 David Wright homers in his first at-bat in more than 4 months. The Mets hit a team-record 8 home runs.   July 5, 2012 – Mets 6, Phillies 5 The Mets score 2 runs with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9 th to beat Jonathan Papelbon. The winning run scores on David Wright’s bloop down the right field line.   August 13

The best Mets ejections I know

When you think of the Mets and famous ejections, I'm guessing you first think of the famous Bobby Valentine mustache game, when after Valentine got tossed, he returned to the dugout in disguise. You know it. You love it. I remember being amused when I asked Bobby V about it while we were working on Baseball Tonight, how he simply said "It worked. We won the game." (true) But the Bobby V mustache game of June 9, 1999 is one of many, many memorable Mets ejection stories. And now thanks to Retrosheet and the magic of , we have a convenient means for being able to share them. Ever since Retrosheet's David Smith recently announced that the Retrosheet ejection database was posted online , I've been a kid in a candy store. I've organized the data and done some lookups of media coverage around the games that interested me post. Those newspaper accounts fill in a lot of blanks. Without further ado (and with more work to do), here are some of my findings