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Boston Bean Party

Belated congratulations to Houston Astros do-everything man, Craig Biggio, for surpassing Don Baylor as the modern record-holder for most times hit by a pitch. It is a mark that is painful to think about, but admirable because it takes a heck of a lot of courage to stand in at home plate and get plunked 268 times for the good of your team.

I have a feeling that Daryl Boston is aware of that because he is the holder of a significant Mets distinction. To this point, he is the only player in team history to win a game via a walk-off hit-by pitch.

It took Boston more than 500 big league games and 1500 plate appearances before he was tagged for the first time, in the second game of a Mets doubleheader with the Cubs, on June 13, 1990, by pitcher Mike Harkey. Boston made up for years of lost time by getting drilled again, two days later, against the Pirates. Those are not the HBPs of which we speak.

Boston would not get zinged again until nearly two years later (April 17, 1992) and it is the one that followed that one, on April 23 that is relevant to our cause, because it got the Mets a 1-0 13-inning victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. This was the result of a pretty good pitchers duel between Bret Saberhagen, Donovan Osborne, and the relievers that followed. The last hurler to the hill was Cardinals southpaw Juan Agosto in the unlucky 13th.

The key to the rally was a pair of one out singles by Dave Magadan and Junior Noboa, and a subsequent steal of third by Mr. Perfect Walk-Off Met, Rodney McCray. Fearful for some reason of pitching to Charlie O'Brien, Cardinals manager Joe Torre requested an intentional walk, to get a lefty-lefty matchup of Agosto vs Boston. The strategy failed, when on a 1-2 pitch, Agosto's pitch came too far inside, clipped Boston's jersey and somehow rolled down the inside of his shirt, to give the Mets their seventh win in their last eight games.

The moment was a hit (pun intended) with his teammates, as Saberhagen told reporters after the game that it was the funniest HBP he'd ever seen. It gave Boston four career HBP's, half of his final total of eight, and at the time, he only had seven fewer HBP's than Biggio did. Incidentally, the 1992 season was the last time that Biggio was hit fewer than eight times in a season (he was plunked seven times).

True Metstaceans Know... Three good pieces of trivia on this subject ...
1)Boston had only been hit once by a lefthanded pitcher prior to this walk-off HBP. The pitcher was former Met Doug Simons (no relation) , who was then with the Expos.
2)Craig Biggio has never been hit by a pitch in a Mets walk-off win, and
3) The Mets have as many walk-off HBPs as they do walk-off triples. Think about the difficulty of getting a walk-off triple and that should make sense to you.


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