Skip to main content

Now Playing...

No, I don't have a story of a walk-off that made Chipper Jones cry...Perhaps tomorrow. Instead, I digress slightly...

Some Mets fans may get confused if you tell them that you saw Bob Gibson, John Sullivan, Frank Thomas, or Billy Baldwin play for the Mets. But they all did. Ok, so Gibson was a former Brewer and not the Cardinals Hall of Famer (who did serve as the team's pitching coach), Sullivan was a catcher, John P. and not John L. the heavyweight champ, Thomas was 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, big for his time, but not sized like the 6-foot-5, 260-pound White Sox slugger and Baldwin had an Oscar Gamble-style afro, and at least to my knowledge, doesn't have any brothers as colleagues.

Baldwin, an outfielder who came to the team in the Rusty Staub for Mickey Lolich swap, is our subject of choice for flashback today, as he fits what we were looking for- a September call-up who earned his way into our database.

Baldwin's Mets career lasted a grand total of nine games and he must have done something right because he served as a nice good luck charm. In his nine appearances during what was a red-hot September of 1976 for the Mets, the team went 7-2.
Tom Seaver got the start for the Mets on September 24, 1976, looking for his fifth consecutive victory. Seaver pitched pretty well in 1976, but his 14 wins was a low total for someone with an ERA entering that day of 2.39. In the third inning, future Met Jerry Morales, whom Seaver dominated for much of his career, brought home two runs with a single, giving the Cubs a short-lived 2-1 lead, erased when Ed Kranepool homered for the Flushing 9 in the bottom of the frame against future Met Ray Burris.

The Cubs took the lead in the fifth inning when, with two outs, Pete LaCock singled and Larry Biittner tripled him home. Seaver left on the short end of a 3-2 score as Burris shut the Mets down until the eighth inning. Felix Millan started the rally by doubling to left, advanced to third on Kranepool's single to right, and scored on an infield hit by Dave Kingman off reliever Joe Coleman. Leon Brown, pinch-running for Kranepool got picked off second base, thwarting a chance for the Mets to take the lead.

The Cubs threatened in the ninth against Bob Apodaca, but Skip Lockwood entered in relief, retiring Biittner with runners on the corners and two outs to squash that scoring threat. In the Mets half, Bud Harrelson led off by grounding out. With a host of players to choose from, manager Joe Frazier selected Baldwin to hit for Lockwood, perhaps in a moment of clairvoyance.
The 25-year-old lefthanded swinger responded by launching a home run that exited, stage right, into the Mets bullpen . The newspapers describe Baldwin's trip around the bases as a scurry, though I imagine he would have taken more time to savor his moment on the grand stage had he known that his major-league career had only three games remaining.

True Metwins know... Billy Baldwin, the actor, has appeared in 24 movies and has three others in pre/post-production. He has also worked as a narrator for programs on VH-1 and Lifetime, and has made the rounds on the "Celebrity Blackjack" television tour. Baldwin's athletic claim to fame comes from his time as a wrestler at SUNY-Binghamton, the school he attended before pursuing an acting career. Baldwin is a member of the Amateur Wrestling Hall of Fame


Anonymous said…
Don't forget the other Pedro Martinez.

Actually, go right ahead. I'm sure everybody else has.
metswalkoffs said…
5 games, 7 IP, 5 runs in 1996 and he's one of the most visited on the Mets Ultimate Database site, LOL

None of those 5 games was a walk-off win (only one was at Shea)

pitchers of that era seem so easily forgettable. why is it that I can't, for the life of me, recall "Perfect Met" Don Florence???
The Baldwins -- Billy, along with Alec and Steven -- are actually e natives of Massapequa Park, attending the old Berner High. I know this only because I attended with the younger ones. Don't remember if they were Mets fans -- but they should be!

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

They Don't Make Em Like The Mook Any More

"There are certain things that stay with you, your whole life in sports. Mookie flying is one of those things." -- Blogger's father, 1:10pm on Feb 9. During the 1987 season, Mookie Wilson was on first base in seven instances in which the batter at the plate hit a double. How many times do you think Mookie scored? I'll give you a hint: Every time. According to some recent reading I've done, The average runner scores from first base on a double around 40-45 percent of the time. Mookie's career percentage: 65 percent (45 of 69) The average runner goes first to third on about 27 percent of singles hit. Mookie's percentage: 50 percent (120 of 240) The average runner scores from second base on about 58 percent of singles hit. Mookie's percentage: 75 percent (162 of 215) How good was Mookie Wilson? Let me put it to you this way. The guy turns 54 years old today (and got an early present by being re-hired by the Mets as a minor league instructor). I'd take

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