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Hi-Ho, Silver

Today we are here to honor the silver anniversary of one of the most exciting teams in Mets history, the 1983 team.

I'm not kidding. Let me explain.

There are three ways to win a game in your last at-bat.

Via walk-off: You score the winning run in the bottom of the last inning.

Via walk-up: You score the winning run in the bottom of the next-to-last inning.

Via walk-down: You score the winning run in the top of the last inning.

I recently completed the logging of every Mets walk-down win, so I have a complete database of every Mets last at-bat win. If you were to rank the Mets seasons by last at-bat wins, you'd have the following list.

Most Mets Last At-Bat Wins
Single-Season (includes postseason)

26- 2000
23- 1969
23- 1983

Let's make another list. This is a list of most last at-bat wins at home.

Most Mets Last At-Bat Wins At Home
Single Season (includes postseason)

17- 1983
16- 2000
16- 1971
16- 1969

And one last last, that of most walk-off wins by season.

Most Mets Walk-Off Wins
Single Season (including postseason)

14- 1971
12- 1983
11- 1963, 1969, 1986, 1995, 2006

If we were to play the game "Which year doesn't belong" on these lists, 1983 would be the first selected.

The 1983 Mets went 68-94. When you list the positives of the season, they are

- The trade of Neil Allen for Keith Hernandez
- The recall of Darryl Strawberry
- The return of Tom Seaver

But beyond that, this team offered a preview of the excitement that came over the next several seasons. Regulation was a problem (the Mets were 56-90 in games lasting nine innings or less), but the Mets excelled in extra innings, going 12-4, a key to their last at-bat success. Among their most notable wins:

* They beat the Reds 7-4 at Shea on May 6, in Strawberry's major-league debut. They tied the game on a two-run, two-out home run in the ninth inning by Dave Kingman, and tied it again on a two-out 10th inning home run by Hubie Brooks before winning on George Foster's three-run home run in the 13th.

* They beat the Expos 4-2 in 17 innings on June 10, on a Kingman walk-off home run. Neil Allen helped his trade cause (he'd be dealt five days later) with three shutout innings.

* Strawberry's two-run home run in the home eighth gave the Mets a 7-5 win over the Astros on July 10.

* Mookie Wilson's home run gave the Mets their second straight walk-off win over the Braves, 2-1 on July 26.

* They won in Montreal in extra innings on August 8, scoring the winning run on an errant pickoff attempt by former Met Jeff Reardon.

* In one of the most exciting doubleheaders in Mets history, the team completed a walk-off sweep of the Pirates on August 31, winning the nightcap, 1-0 in 12 innings, when Mookie Wilson scored from second base on George Foster's groundout.

* In the season finale, they won, 5-4, appropriately, on Rusty Staub's two-run, two-out double off Reardon.

The 1983 Mets also lost their share of games in exciting fashion. Bo Diaz beat them with an infamous grand slam on April 13, setting the tone for the early struggles that followed. They even lost one game to the Phillies on a walk-off error by Keith Hernandez.

The bottom line is that if you watched a game played by the 1983 Mets, there was a great chance that you would see something quite exciting. It might not have always been a pleasant result, but you'd get enough of those to satisfy you over the next several seasons.

So wherever you are, Gary Rajsich, Junior Ortiz, Ronn Reynolds, Mike Howard, and Scott Holman, we salute you, along with the other, more recognizable members of the 1983 team, and we thank you for a season's worth of Metmorable moments.

The Mets fan who likes silver knows...If you were going to pick the dullest team in Mets history, top honors would probably go to the 2003 team. That squad had seven last at-bat wins, fewest in any season in Mets history.


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