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Julio Metchado

It's been nearly five years since the last time that Julio Franco both hit a home run and stole a base in the same game (June 24, 2002 against the Mets), so what he did in Friday's win over the Diamondbacks was a good while coming.

But it's been more than 18 years since Franco last had a walk-off home run and a stolen base in the same game.

In fact, in the career of a man who can say he's older than (Shea Stadium) dirt, such an instance has only happened once.

The magic moments took place on April 28, 1989 when Franco, in a past life, was a member of the Rangers, facing the Red Sox.

The stolen base was the easy part. That came in the first inning, against future Met catcher Rick Cerone. The home run was a little tougher in that it required the Rangers rallying from a 3-run deficit in the 8th inning against Bob Stanley and Lee Smith. Then, it needed for the game to get rather lengthy, which it did, stretching into the bottom of the 12th inning before Franco clubbed a 2-2 pitch from Rob Murphy over the centerfield fence. The walk-off win made the Rangers, then managed by Bobby Valentine, 16-4 for the season.

It would seem to be asking a little bit too much for Franco to somehow duplicate his efforts at the Flushing ballyard this season, though I have to admit this season has been one filled with improbability thus far, and it wouldn't shock me if the chance presents itself.

True Metlios know...The last Met with a walk-off home run and a stolen base in the same game is Carlos Beltran, who turned the trick last May 23rd in that 16-inning win over the Phillies.

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