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Fool's Gold

With the birth of a new year upon us, I feel it necessary, once again, to both reintroduce and reinvent myself to fit the needs of the blogging community.

Walk-offs have run (or walked) their course and it's time to focus on something new. You may recall that I dabbled in such a thought at this time in each of the last two years, but my foolish pursuit to chronicle the history of Mets walks lasted merely one day, and likewise, my intent to break down every Mets chalk-off turned into a brief endeavor.

I don't profess to be an expert in this blogging thing by any means, but I think it has been a worthwhile experience. About 34 months ago, I came across a blog that was very unique- PlunkBiggio, which was devoted to recording Craig Biggio's (since retired) hit-by-pitch count. It is rare to find such a cleverly done "niche blog" and in thinking about it, I decided that my niche just isn't clever enough.

My original intent was to change this blog to one about Mets Wok-Offs, and change the emphasis to one combining the Mets and chinese cooking, as I had developed a rather recent hankering for wonton soup (attributed to it being cold outside). But I came to a couple of realizations

1- Chinese food upsets my stomach

2- Such a blog would be ridiculous

To make a long story short, I have decided to retool my blog to focus not on Walk-Offs, or Wok-Offs, but on Wall-Offs. For those who don't understand the meaning, think of what happens when a ball (or human) hits a wall, and you'll understand the terminology. A few days ago, I was a little nervous that I had "hit the wall" as far as writing about walk-offs are concerned, and Nirvana! A new idea was born.

In watching games for the last quarter century, it has become clear that the most interesting type of Mets play to watch/write about/talk about is when a ball (or human) is about to either hit, or go over (or through) a wall. Baseball is a game of inches and a wall-off is a situation in which every inch is a vital one.

The Mets are a franchise that is well-known for making its fans suffer through torturous moments and there is nothing more torturous than the suspense in watching whether a ball (or human) will land on one side of the fence, or the other. I attribute my interest in such moments to one particular pivotal scenario in Mets history, which I'll get to in a moment.

Admittedly, chronicling these instances seems a bit excessive, but I think I can do it in an entertaining and informative fashion that you will enjoy. There is much interesting knowledge to be gleaned from the over/through in Mets history. In just a few hours of work, I was able to study them in fascinating detail, to the point where I was able to compile a list of those most significant and memorable to the Flushing faithful. They include...

* My all-time favorite wall-off came in the fourth inning of Game 5 of the 2000 NLCS when Todd Zeile hit a 3-run double off the top of the fence in right center field, doubling the Mets lead from 3-0 to 6-0. I was at this game, and recall well the description provided in Retrosheet's play-by-play account of the moment: "The upper deck swayed back-and-forth."

* The most significant wall-off in Mets history is best known as "Ball on the Wall" and has been well-chronicled in this space before. The name comes from the pivotal moment of the 1973 season in which Dave Augustine's would-be go-ahead extra-inning home run hit the top of the left field fence and caromed back into the play, where Cleon Jones was waiting to throw Richie Zisk out at the plate. The Mets would win the game in their next turn (by walk-off) and go on to win the NL East.

* The patron saint of the wall-off is former Met legend Rodney McCray. McCray's career is one highlighted both by a Mets walk-off, and by a non-Mets wall-off, when he ran through the outfield fence at Portland's Civic Stadium in 1991. McCray is the first inductee into the Wall-Off Hall of Fame, having successfully executed the first "Wall-Through" in baseball history.

As we commence a new season of work on this website, it seems only right that I offer up a chance to readership to contribute to this blogging endeavor. So if you have a story to share about your favorite wall-off, please feel free to do so here.


Anonymous said…
Seems like you missed one wall-off which didn't work out too well for the good guys...You noted Todd Zeile's HR in the NLCS, but what about his wall-off in game 1 of the World Series? To me, as a younger fan (23) that is the most memorable instance, as it caused excruciating pain, and was a wound that was later re-opened when Benitez blew the game, and was re-opened again, after the Mets lost the series
I think you should have gone in a completely different direction and redone your whole blog as "Matts Yallofs." You know, profess your love for the intrepid SNY host.
Anonymous said…
Does Endy's catch count? I mean, he did hit the wall, which would therefore mean he subsequently went "off" the wall, making it a quite memorable wall-off.
Anonymous said…
Surely Rodney McCray deserves some love here.
Anonymous said…
When Don Hahn and George Theodore collided in the outfield on July 8, 1973, didn't they hit the wall as well? Does that count?

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