Skip to main content

'Ron'dezvous With Destiny

Those that listened to Billy Wagner's press conference last week might have heard him reference former Mets catcher Ron Hodges with whom he discussed the city and the idea of playing baseball for the Flushing 9.

I remember Ron Hodges as over the hill, slow and on his last legs as a major league player when I first started following the team, but apparently others, like Wagner think rather highly of him. It probably has something to do with both being from Virginia. Hodges from Rocky Mount and that name has farm town written all over it.

If you're old enough, you probably remember Hodges because of the famous "Ball on the Wall" game from 1973, in which Hodges got the winning hit (a link to which can be found at:, but that wasn't the only time that Hodges had a significant game-ending hit.

On September 20, 1975, the NL East race was close to decided and the Mets decided to stomp on the Phillies in much the same way that the Mets did to the Marlins at the end of the 2005 season. On a day in which Rusty Staub got five hits, the hero was Hodges, who had barely played in the bigs that season, spending much of it in Triple-A. Such was life getting such behind Jerry Grote, who started on this day too, but had to leave the game midway through when he got injured by an errant pickoff throw that hit him in the back.

Staub homered in the eighth, giving the Mets a 7-5 lead, but the Phillies tied the game in the ninth with two runs off Mets rookie pitcher Rick Baldwin. Ex-Met Tug McGraw shut New York down in the ninth and 10th inning, then ceded to Gene Garber after Bob Apodaca held the Phillies scoreless in the 10th and 11th.

Garber was the only Phillies pitcher to retire Staub but after getting the second out in the 11th, he allowed a hit to Ed Kranepool. This brought up Hodges, who was 3-for-19 for the season. Garber's first pitch ended up in the Mets bullpen in right field for a walk-off home run. The loss kept the Phillies six games back with nine to play. A few days later they were officially eliminated. So while Hodges didn't officially wreck the Phillies chances in the NL East, his contribution surely didn't hurt. Thirty years later, you could probably say the same thing.

True Metginias know...Others born in Virginia who got walk-off hits for the Mets include Billy Baldwin, Joe Hicks and Todd Hundley, with an honorable mention to World Series walk-off error-reacher J.C. Martin. We expect David Wright to join this list in the near-future.


metswalkoffs said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
metswalkoffs said…
Someone previously had a comment here stating that there was a factual inaccuracy in this post (said that the Phillies were NL East champs in 1975). That comment was incorrect (I think the poster got 1975 confused with 1976), so I have since deleted the original post.

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

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