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The Best Doubles I Know

The Mets have hit nearly twice as many doubles as they've hit home runs. They've launched, blooped, popped and lined 11,179 in regular season play over their 48-year history. We didn't want to get rankled by another set of rankings, so we're going to go rating-free on this list- the most Metmorable regular season doubles in team history. We'll follow up with a look at the best ones from postseason play in the near-future. Enjoy.

The First (April 11, 1962)

The first Mets double was hit by the first Mets shortstop, Felix Mantilla, in the Mets first game on April 11, 1962. It came against Cardinals pitcher Larry Jackson with one out in the seventh inning and the Mets trailing, 10-4. Mantilla was also the first Met to draw a walk, which he did in the third inning of that same game, and the first Met to be the last out of a game, a grounder to third base two innings later.

True Metophiles know...The 1,000th double in Mets history was hit by Jerry Grote in Game 2 of a doubleheader against the Cardinals on July 16, 1967. Also worth noting, via the book This Date in Mets History- both Grote and Cleon Jones got their 1,000th career hits, both doubles, against Pirates pitcher Jim Rooker.

The Standard-Setter (May 14, 1964)

Dick Smith had 144 plate appearances in his two seasons as a Met, and hit a rather pathetic .228. But he made the most of every one of his 31 hits. There were eight that were particularly meaningful. The five he had on May 26, 1964 in a 19-1 rout of the Cubs, making him the first Met with five hits in a game, are most known, because of the famous story about the Mets fan making a call to find out the Mets scored 19 runs. But did they win, the fan asked?

They won that day, and they also won on May 14 of that season. Undaunted by facing Braves starter Warren Spahn, Smith became the first Met with three doubles in a game. Two came against Spahn and the other was against Spahn's future Hall of Fame mate, Phil Niekro.
Two dozen Mets since then have managed three doubles in a game, but Smith still shares a place in the record books, because none has reached quadruple-double status.

True Metophiles know...Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran are the only Mets to have twice had three doubles in a game. Nick Evans had three doubles in his first major league game on May 24, 2008.

The Perfect Ending (September 30, 1966)

One of the final games of the 1966 baseball season is a forgotten gem in Mets history. People remember the fine game thrown against the Mets by Reds starter Jim Maloney, who struck out 18 and had a no-hit bid spoiled in extra innings by a Johnny Lewis home run.

But they forget how the Mets were nearly perfectoed by young Astros starter Larry Dierker in this contest.

Dierker had a perfect game for eight innings, but the Astros couldn't score against Jack Fisher, so the teams were deadlocked, 0-0 in the home ninth. Light-hitting shortstop Eddie Bressoud led off the inning with a double, much to the consternation of those in the Astros dugout, who felt that an error on left fielder Lee Maye, who gloved, but couldn't hang on to Bressoud's ball, was warranted in order to keep the no-no alive. No dice.

The ball was ruled a double, the Mets first hit of the game. Rattled, Dierker followed that up with a wild pitch, than gave up a walk-off single to Mets second baseman Ron Hunt.

True Metophiles know...Joe Christopher holds the club record for consecutive games with a double, with 6. The streak spanned from August 14-18, 1964. Daryl Boston, Jeff Kent and Roger Cedeno, all had streaks of five straight games as Mets.

The Destiny (July 8, 1969)

Though it was a walk-off single by Ed Kranepool that capped a three-run game-winning rally in the ninth inning against the Cubs, it was the three doubles that preceded it which were most vital to the cause.

The Mets trailed 3-1 in the ninth when Ken Boswell led off with a bloop to center. The trio of centerfielder Don Young, shortstop Don Kessinger, and second baseman Glenn Beckert all chased it down, but could not make a play on it. Young got another chance to make a play, on Donn Clendenon's deep drive to left center, but could not hang onto the ball as he hit the fence.

Cleon Jones would make the Cubs pay for their miscues with a clean double into the left field corner, scoring two to tie the game, and set the stage for Kranepool's winner.

True Metophiles know...The Mets have hit 27 walk-off doubles in their history. David Wright is the only Met with two, though you could make a case for Ed Kranepool, who has one, plus another double on which a winning run scored thanks to an error by Cubs centerfielder (of no-hitter break-up fame) Joe Wallis.

Among the cooler walk-off doubles: a 3-run pinch-double by John Stephenson to beat the Dodgers in 1965, and a walk-off double by Rusty Staub to beat the Expos on the final day of the 1983 season.

The Latest (May 24, 1973 AND July 4, 1985)

When we use the word latest, we're talking time of day, and we're guessing there were no doubles hit later, by East Coast time, than the two the Mets hit in the 19th inning of their May, 1973 win on the West Coast against the Dodgers. The game ended at 4:45 AM New York Time, so we'd estimate that the go-ahead double by Rusty Staub (his fifth hit of the game), and the subsequent two-run double by Ed Kranepool came a few minutes prior.

In a season filled with both Amazin' wins and losses, this was one of the statistically odder ones, as the Dodgers managed 19 hits against the Mets, including six by Willie Davis, but none were for extra bases. Tug McGraw's five innings of shutout relief were followed by scoreless frames from victor, George Stone. The Dodgers stranded 22 and somehow went 1-for-18 with runners in scoring position.

Of course, if we're going to talk about late great baseball shows, we must reference the 16-13 Fireworks Night '85 festival in Atlanta, prolonged by rain, and Rick Camp, among others. After Camp's improbably ridiculous home run tied the game in the 18th, Ray Knight's double drove in the first of five in a 19th-inning outburst that the Braves tried to match, but could not. That game came up a little short on the lateness scale, ending at 3:55 AM, but deserves acknowledgement nonetheless.

True Metophiles know...The latest Mets double, by inning, was by Dave Schneck, in the 24th inning of a 25-inning 4-3 loss to the Cardinals on September 11, 1974.

The Ball On The Wall (September 20, 1973)

There were two very critical doubles in the Mets-Pirates first place battle on this date, a game known best by the nickname stated above. The first was the game-tier by Mets pinch-hitter Duffy Dyer with two outs in the ninth inning, which was just about as important in season-saving as the next one, but is overlooked because of what happened.

The other double is perhaps the most famous double hit against the Mets- Dave Augustine's fly ball off the very top of the left field fence in the 13th inning. Had it cleared the wall, the Pirates would have been ahead, but instead, a fortunate carom to Cleon Jones resulted in Richie Zisk being thrown out at the plate. The Mets would gain a vital victory in the home half, without a double, on a Ron Hodges RBI hit.

True Metophiles know...Pete Rose has the most regular season doubles against the Mets with 64.

The Strawberry (September 6, 1985)

If you were going to rate Mets doubles by which were most critical to the team's standing, the previously-mentioned Duffy Dyer would probably rate first, just ahead of this one.

This wasn't quite Warren Spahn and Juan Marichal dueling for 16 innings of scoreless baseball, but the Dwight Gooden-Fernando Valenzuela matchup made for a nice poor man's version of that contest. Gooden kept the Dodgers off the board for nine, striking out 10, while escaping a bases-loaded no-outs jam in the eighth. Valenzuela had half as many whiffs, but lasted for 11 scoreless frames before finally being pulled.

The Mets would finally win in the 13th inning on Darryl Strawberry's two-run ground-rule double against Tom Niedenfuer. It would not be the last big hit that Niedenfuer gave up that season.

True Metophiles know...David Wright has led the Mets in doubles in 5 straight seasons. The last Met to lead the team in doubles prior to Wright was Kaz Matsui, 2004

The Wild One (June 16, 1989)

In this game, the Mets led the Phillies, 8-5, at the end of the first quarter. Actually, it was the end of the first inning, but when both teams finish with double-digit scoring, I tend to get a little confused.

Go figure that David Cone couldn't pitch well with an 8-0 lead. By the time he'd leave in the third, it was 9-7, and not long thereafter, it was 10-9 bad guys, and the damn thing that looked to be a sure thing now looked bitterly unpleasant. The weather didn't help, as the game featured a pair of rain delays, totaling 2 hours and 49 minutes.

As was their style in this era, the Mets rallied, both from deficits of 10-9 and 11-10, to win. Mackey Sasser's two-run double in the eighth against Steve Bedrosian was the difference maker in a 15-11 triumph.

True Metophiles know...The only Met to lead the National League in doubles was Gregg Jefferies, who had 40 in 1990. Bobby Bonilla, Keith Hernandez, and Rusty Staub all led the NL in doubles at some point in their careers, but not while they were Mets.

The Streak-Ender (July 28, 1993)

A moment that probably wouldn't crack the top 500 baseball days of Eddie Murray's Hall of Fame career would rank No. 1 on any list compiled by Anthony Young.

Young was on the hook for loss number 28 in a row, with the Mets trailing the Marlins, 4-3 in the ninth inning. Young had allowed the go-ahead run in the top of the frame though it should have been charged to the team instead of him. The Marlins had loaded the bases with nobody out on a single and a pair of botched bunts. Young coaxed a 5-2-3 double play from Rich Renteria, but Chuck Carr's bunt hit put Florida ahead.

The Mets would rally to tie on Ryan Thompson's RBI single in the bottom of the frame, and Thompson was fast enough to score the winner on Murray's double to right field.

True Metophiles know...Choo Choo Coleman once went 100 straight games played (from 1962 to 1966) WITHOUT hitting a double for the Mets. In 1963, Coleman had 277 plate appearances with no doubles. Only Herman Pitz (1890, 346 PA) and Rafael Belliard (1988, 321 PA) had more plate appearances in a season without a double.

The Pedro (June 3, 1997)

One of the neat things about a project such as this, is finding the stories of games you'd completely forgotten about. This one is a great example, a fantastic pitchers duel between Mets starter Bobby Jones and an up-and-comer on the Expos named Pedro Martinez.

The game was scoreless in the top of the eighth when the Expos broke through against the then 9-2 Jones, on a walk, a sacrifice, and a double by Rondell White. That would seem to have been enough for Martinez who would finish with 12 strikeouts, half coming when he struck out the side in the sixth and seventh innings.

But Matt Franco fixed things quickly with a game-tying home run leading off the home eighth. Martinez would get two more strikeouts, but he'd also put two on base, putting manager Felipe Alou in a Grady Little-like position with Carlos Baerga coming up. Alou stuck with Pedro and Baerga made him pay, with a go-ahead double to right field.

John Franco finished the Expos off in the ninth and the Mets had themselves a great comeback win.

True Metophiles know...Half of Pedro Martinez's six career doubles came for the Mets.

The mustached one (June 9, 1999)

Mets fans tend to remember June 9, 1999 contest against the Blue Jays as the game that Bobby Valentine, after being ejected, returned to the dugout with a mustache disguise. Perhaps it should be remembered for the manner in which the Mets tied the game that night.

The hosts were down 3-0 with two outs in the ninth inning before rallying against Blue Jays starter David Wells. A two-run single by Robin Ventura brought the Mets to within a run, and then Brian McRae lined a game-tying double down the left field line against Blue Jays closer Billy Koch. It was the only Mets extra-base hit that day. They'd win much later, in the 14th, on a walk-off single by Rey Ordonez.

True Metophiles know...Former Blue Jays outfielder Shannon Stewart holds the record for most doubles in a game AGAINST the Mets. He had four in an 11-7 Mets win on July 18, 2000.

The Most (September 27, 2001)

Sandwiched in-between the two series against the Braves that ended the run of the never-say-die 2001 Mets was a three-game sweep of the Expos in Montreal. The finale was a game in which the Mets drove their fans batty early, than drove the Expos batty late.

Bruce Chen's encore to his fine performance on September 21 (the Mike Piazza home run to beat the Braves game) was not as fortunate. It was a debacle. In three innings, Chen allowed six runs, and put the Mets in a four-run hole.

The visitors rallied piecemeal, with two runs in the sixth, a run in the seventh, two more in the eighth, and than five in the ninth. The key hit was a Desi Relaford two-run leads-changing home run in the eighth inning against future Met Scott Strickland.

Not quite as important comparatively than, but noteworthy now, was the club record the Mets set that day. They finished with 10 doubles. Relaford had two, in a relief effort of offensively-challenged shortstop Rey Ordonez, and Matt Lawton and Jay Payton had a pair as well. Edgardo Alfonzo, Mark Johnson, Robin Ventura and Mike Piazza had one apiece.

Piazza's pinch-two bagger gave the Mets a tie for the previous club mark of eight, set against the Cubs in 1990, and drove in three very big insurance runs. Relaford got the record-breaker two batters later, and Lawton got the Mets to double digits immediately thereafter.

True Metophiles know that the Mets team record for consecutive games with a double is 30, set in 2001.

The 10,000th (April 7, 2006)

This was a day for round numbers- the 7,000th game in Mets history featured the 10,000th double, a fourth-inning shot by starter and winner Steve Trachsel, who pitched six very stellar (and reasonably speedy) innings of one run, three-hit ball in a 9-3 win over the Marlins. Among the more notable hits in support of the victory- a 470-foot home run by David Wright.

True Metophiles know...Ron Darling is the Mets all-time leader in doubles by a pitcher with 20, three more than Tom Seaver, and 15 more than Steve Trachsel.

The One And Only (Assorted dates)

Five players had a double for their only hit as a Met. My favorite of those is Ross Jones, because it was a walk-off against Al Holland and the Phillies on April 28, 1984, but I don't want to shortchange the rest of the quintet.

Jack Aker had a double, scored a run, and earned the save in a 5-2 Mets win over the Dodgers on July 12, 1974, noteworthy because the Mets beat Tommy John, who entered with a 13-2 record.

Mike Bishop's lone major league hit in eight trips as a Mets shortstop was a double as part of a four-run second inning in a 7-5 win over the Pirates in Game 2 of a doubleheader on April 20, 1983. The Mets would snag a victory on Mookie Wilson's eighth-inning RBI hit. Game 1 was of greater note: Tom Seaver's first win in his return to the Mets, a 6-0 three-hit shutout.

Brook Fordyce played four games as a Met and started none, so we'll forgive you for not remembering his tenure, the only positive memory of which was a sixth-inning double off Jeff Fassero on May 12, 1995, for his first big league hit.

Dae-Sung Koo's two at-bats as a Met were extraordinarily contradictory. In his first, he could barely stand in the batter's box when he was whiffed by Reds reliever Todd Coffey. In his second, facing Randy Johnson and the Yankees on May 21, 2005, Koo clouted a memorable double to dead center, and his safe slide home on Jose Reyes bunt groundout was rather memorable as well.

True Metophiles know..The most doubles by a Met, who never hit a triple is 51, by Willie Montanez. The most doubles by a Met who never hit a home run is 25, by Alex Trevino. The most doubles by a Met who never hit a single for them is 2, by Brian Daubach.

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