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Showing posts from June 19, 2005

Totally Self-Indulgent Little League Walk-Off Ramblings

WARNING: This is a long entry, has only a little to do with the Mets and is extremely self-indulgent (it is slightly humorous). Regular programming on this blog will resume on Monday...Anyway, if you read further, don't forget that you've been warned... I've taken a lot of crap at work recently because I shared a significant number of details of my Little League career with my colleagues. They laugh when I tell them that my career high batting average was .250 (4-for-16 in my career year, including a "disputed" hit), and how my biggest thrills were going 2-for-2 in a 19-0 win over the Wildcats and Carl Schurz Playground legend Tim Murphy, and turning an unassisted double play at first base on the mud field that is located under the 59th Street Bridge. I happen to have a really good memory, and I get a little carried away sometimes. It occured to me that it might be worthwhile to share my tales on paper rather than verbally, as a writing exercise, and that's

Bring in Yoshii!

Anyone out there who knows whatever happened to Masato Yoshii? I do, now. I'm going to write about him today because I wanted to do something related to a Mets-Yankees walk-off, and my mind is still unable to comprehend the way that the Mets first regular-season walk-off win against the Yankees ended. The Mets don't have the best track record with Asian-born pitchers (see: Satoru Komiyama, Mr. Koo, Jae Seo, Hideo Nomo and Kaz Ishii), but Yoshii had a few moments of Mets glory. One of those was on June 28, 1998, when he matched up in an outstanding pitcher's duel with Orlando Hernandez on a Sunday night at Shea. Yoshii lasted seven innings, allowing just one run and two hits, striking out 10 primarily with his fastball and better-than-usual splitter. Yoshii even had a no-hitter going for 4 2/3 innings before Derek Jeter broke it up. The only Yankees run came on a Scott Brosius home run in the seventh inning, with the Mets holding a 1-0 lead (despite not managing a hit aga

Let's Hear It For Mr. D'Agostino

I believe it was in the winter of 1982, that for my seventh birthday, my dad gave me two books. One was called "Baseball's 100," and its author, Maury Allen, ranked the best players in baseball history to that point. The other was "This Date in New York Mets History" by Dennis D'Agostino. If you wanted to measure the impact that "This Date in New York Mets History" had on me, the closest thing I could equate it to would be that which L Ron Hubbard's "Dianetics" had on Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes (except I'm not jumping up and down on Oprah Winfrey's sofa anytime soon). "This Date in Mets History" is 222 pages long and I have read every word on every page, probably 222 times. It was there that I learned such valuable lessons like that I share a birthday with Bob Apodaca (January 31), that Bill Sudakis was known to his Metsmates as "Suds," that one series sweep by the Phillies in 1980 was known as "The

His Old Friend, John

On June 21, we remember John Stephenson as being the final out of Jim Bunning's perfect game, on that date in 1964. On all other days, we tend not to remember John Stephenson's baseball career at all. Today we do, and we reminisce about one of his two Mets walk-off moments, with a little treat for those who read all the way through. Again it's the Dodgers that we're talking about, as the Mets opponents on August 24, 1965. It's a Dodgers team that would go on to be world champs, and yet somehow the Mets took three of the four games in this matchup (with Tug McGraw outpitching Sandy Koufax in the series finale). They took this one in the same Metsian fashion in which they took the game referenced in our previous post, with a three-run rally in the ninth inning. An error and two singles loaded the bases for the pinch-hitting Stephenson, who brought home all three runners with a double to right center field. That gave reliever Dave Eilers his first major-league win.

Win Like Flynn

I don't really have a specific reason for writing about the Mets walk-off win over the Dodgers on June 5, 1978, but I wanted the challenge of picking a game, almost at random, and seeing if I could make it interesting for readership. The thing is, the game that day does a pretty good job, without my creative interpretation. So we'll simply tell you that this was a pretty unlikely walk-off, one in which the Mets trailed 8-2 after 3 1/2 innings on a Monday night at Shea Stadium. The bullpen combo of Paul Siebert, Dale Murray, and Skip Lockwood did its job that day, setting down the last 16 Dodgers as the Mets chipped away at the lead, scoring once in the fourth, twice in the fifth and once in the sixth. They didn't score in the seventh or eighth though, and trailed by two runs against Dodgers lefty Terry Forster going into the ninth. But in their usual Metsian way, they made things a little exciting for everyone, dragging out this comeback win. With one out, Willie Montane

Testing some new Blog add-ons

The following is a test of some new software I just downloaded. Here's a fan's eye view of a walk-off moment, a picture from the stands taken by Mets fan, Richard Simon.This is the celebration shot from Cliff Floyd's walk-off home run that beat the Angels on June 11. You can read the post related to this walk-off, as it is called "Cliff Notes"

Re-introduction

We're getting a lot of hits today and we attribute that to a nice link from the folks at "The Hardball Times." Thought it might be a good idea to briefly re-introduce what I'm trying to do (for those too lazy, or lacking time to check out the archives), so in summary... The Mets have a long history of amazing walk-off wins. I thought it would be an interesting summer project to chronicle them. What you'll read below are snapshot flashbacks of games from the past and present, with material culled from newspapers, magazines, books, interviews, and personal experiences. If you're a Mets fan, you'll probably find some pleasant memories here. If you're just a baseball fan, you'll probably find some fascinating stories. Either way, welcome, and enjoy...

Dyer Straits for No-No Nolan

The walk-off time machine takes us back 34 amazing years to June 20, 1971 and our focus is again on Father's Day, but more specifically, Game 1 of a doubleheader between the Mets and Phillies at Shea Stadium. The two teams were coming off a 15-inning marathon, the day before, in which the Mets won in walk-off fashion (we'll tell the tale of that game eventually), so manager Gil Hodges needed to figure out how to get through this day without overtaxing his bullpen any more than it already had been. The problem for Hodges was that he had his most inconsistent pitcher on the mound, a flamethrower from Texas who had struck out 16 Padres less than a month prior, but who also had a three-start stretch early in the season in which he walked 22 batters in 23 innings, and had dropped his last three decisions. This was the kind of pitcher who would load the bases, then strike out the side, as he did in the first inning on of this game. In fact, this moundsman looked pretty sharp throug