Skip to main content

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
26-1986
24-1997
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.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Cliff Notes

Alright, so it's 2 days later and the challenge for me now, after reading through about a dozen game stories and listening to talk radio, is to provide a fresh perspective on walk-off #324. If you're going to be a serious reader of this blog, you know what happened already, so let's look at what made this particular walk-off stand out. It would seem that the place to start is with the idea that everything broke just right on both sides of the ball. Particularly, I'm talking about Carlos Beltran's catch in the 7th inning, where he went over the center field fence to rob Jose Molina of a home run. Every no-hitter seems to have one defensive gem that makes it possible and perhaps that's true of great walk-off moments as well (We'll be looking into that!) Marlon Anderson's home run required a remarkable combination of events. It was only the sixth inside-the-park home run at Shea Stadium by a Met and the first since Darryl Strawberry in 1989. It required t

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 walk-offs...so 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

The greatness and the frustration of Nolan Ryan the Met

I was looking over dominant pitching versus opponents and over various stretches in Mets history and came upon one I found interesting. In his first six starts in 1971, Nolan Ryan went 5-1 with an 0.77 ERA. In 46 2/3 innings, he allowed 19 hits and struck out 47. Opponents hit .121 and slugged .172 against him. And oh yes, he walked 37 batters (!), or more than 7 per 9 innings. As you go back through those six starts, you can see both the brilliance and the frustration that eventually led to Ryan’s departure in one of the worst trades in baseball history. April 29 at Cardinals – 6 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 5 K, 8 BB Ryan’s first start of the season was 7-0 win over the Cardinals that completed a four-game sweep, though it wasn’t the most artful of efforts. Ryan walked eight, but held the Cardinals to only two hits. That included the thwarting of Joe Torre’s season-opening 22-game hitting streak. Torre would go on to win the MVP. The big moment in the game came with the score 1-0 in the