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Oh, The Weather Outside is Frightful

Thanks to Barry Federovitch for the suggestion regarding this particular entry

I made nearly 20 trips to Shea Stadium during the 2005 season and for every one, I brought either a jacket or umbrella. I have been to the Flushing ballpark enough times to know that one or the other is likely going to be needed, even during the warm summer months, because the weather, on a good day, can be nasty, and at worst, be putrid. And if I ever need a reminder of how bad it can get, here's a game worth remembering.

We talked about Opening Days in my last post, and I'm glad to say I was nearly four years from birth on April 6, 1971 when the Mets and Expos commenced the season in the combination of 40 degree temperatures, 40-mile-an-hour winds and a driving rainstorm in what New York Times writer Joseph Durso described as "a day not fit for man or beast or baseball player."

The good news for those in attendance was that this affair lasted only 96 minutes. The Mets struck first in the bottom of the first on an RBI single by Donn Clendenon, then added two more runs in the second on RBIs by Jerry Grote and Tommie Agee. Tom Seaver, whom the newspapers indicate was pitching wearing longjohns underneath his baseball uniform, was good enough to get the win, escaping trouble after allowing two runs in the third inning. Seaver and former Met Ron Swoboda, who had recently been traded to the Expos, didn't have kind things to say about each other that day (Swoboda's comments, apparently long since forgiven, were Mientkiewicz-esque), but the two never got the chance to face each other that day.

Seaver got through five innings, allowing only two runs. In the home fifth, with two outs and one man on base, the umpiring crew deemed the conditions unfit to continue. The game was halted, never to resume, and the Mets were 4-2 victors. There's no description of how the Mets or Expos players walked off the field (this game wasn't a walk-off in the true sense of the word), but I'm going to guess that they didn't necessarily walk, as the conditions were so disgusting. They probably sprinted for the clubhouse, and if I had to guess appropriate both to the season and the conditions, they probably did so like reindeer.

True Metdeer know...I have written about other Mets bad-weather wins in the past. The entries can be found at some of these links.


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