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Mets Top 100 Home Runs: No. 61 (Hobie Landrith) to 65 (Walt Terrell)

In 2009, I did a project for my website, Mets Walk-Offs and Other Minutiae, celebrating the best home runs in Mets history. I selected the top 60 regular season home runs and the top 15 postseason home runs. The reason I picked 60 was because it represented the top 1% of home runs in Mets history (and 15 just felt right for postseason).

This was fun to do, but it was imperfect. I had one egregious omission. I tended to favor oddities.

It’s time to give that project an update. And why not do it as a top 100?

The Mets have hit 7,671 regular season home runs. The top 80 represent about the top 1%. And the top 20 postseason home runs get us to an even 100 to celebrate.

Come along for the ride. Hopefully you’ll enjoy the reminiscing. Hopefully you’ll find it Amazin’.

No. 76 to 80 can be found here
No. 71 to 75 can be found here 
No. 66 to 70 can be found here

65. Walt Terrell hits two against a Hall of Famer 
(August 6, 1983 vs Cubs)
I remember watching this one as an eight-year-old and the significance of a Mets pitcher hitting two home runs in a game was not lost on me. What I’d forgotten for many years was that Terrell hit the two home runs on a windy day in Chicago against Hall-of-Famer Ferguson Jenkins.

Granted, this was Jenkins last season (perhaps giving up two homers to a pitcher convinced him that retirement time had come). Though as Terrell noted when I asked him about it many years later “It was a fluke.”

My favorite stat: Since the end of World War II, Terrell is one of three pitchers to hit two home runs in a game against a Hall of Fame pitcher. The others are Ben Wade (1952 vs Braves, Warren Spahn) and Dick Donovan (1962 vs Colts, Robin Roberts).

64. That’s just grand 
(July 15, 1963 vs Colt 45s, May 20, 1967 vs Cardinals)
I’m combining two into one here in the interests of squeezing in an extra homer or two. In this case, we’re talking Mets pitchers grand slams, of which there have been a pair.

Carlton Willey had the first, one that helped the Mets snap a 15-game losing streak. Willey was not known as a hitter – he hit .099 for his career and was in a 1-for-20 skid prior to the home run (he’d done worse – in 1961, he went 1-for-54). Not surprisingly, the homer was barely a homer, landing in the first row of the (very shallowly-placed) right field stands.

Elsewhere on the Daily News sports page that day, Joe Trimble noted that the Yankees “played like the Mets” in their loss to the Athletics.

Jack Hamilton had it rough in 1967. The first 10 games he pitched in for the Mets, they lost, and not even his grand slam could save them from defeat against the eventual NL champion Cardinals. The Mets led that day 4-0 and 9-4, but fell, 11-9, with Orlando Cepeda getting the go-ahead hit in the ninth.

The game went long for that time (3 hours, 35 minutes) and didn’t make the early edition of the Daily News (it wasn’t worth reading about). In its place was a story headlined “Baby Mets Offer Future Hope” in which scouting director Joe McDonald raved about prospects like Nolan Ryan.

“Ryan is a truly outstanding prospect, and he’s not far away from the Mets. He throws as hard as anybody you’ve ever seen; he has a great motion; his curve is much better than average and he has a wonderful pitching disposition.”

My favorite stat: There have been 53 regular season grand slams as a pitcher since 1962. The Mets have hit two and allowed seven, the seven being the most allowed by any team. The Cardinals have hit the most, 10.

63. That’s the one 
(April 23, 1964 vs Cubs)
This one is here for commemorative purposes. Ron Hunt hit the first home run at Shea Stadium. It came in the Mets fourth game there (home runs weren’t as prevalent as they are now), a solo shot against Dick Ellsworth in the eighth inning of a 5-1 loss. The Daily News gave the home run headline treatment, so we will too.

My favorite stat: Darryl Strawberry hit 123 regular season home runs for the Mets at Shea, the most in club history. Mike Piazza ranks second with 98.

62. Easy as one, two, three 
(July 12, 2015 vs Diamondbacks)
Hitting home runs in Shea Stadium was harder than at most ballparks, unless you were Strawberry or Piazza. In fact, no Mets player ever hit three home runs in a game there in the 45-season history of the ballpark.

No one did it in the first six-and-a-half seasons at Citi Field either. The first to do so would not rank as one of the likeliest, not given that he was hitting .106 with 27 strikeouts in 66 at-bats for the season entering the day. But Kirk Nieuwenhuis would be the one to be the first.

“It was a little bit surreal,” he said.

Go figure, baseball’s weird sometimes. Better to be known for that then as the Mets position player with the highest strikeout frequency (one ever 2.8 at-bats)

My favorite stat: It took the Mets 24 seasons to have five instances of a player hitting three home runs in a game. They had five do it from 2015 to 2019.

61. Hobie Landrith: The first walk-off home run (May 12, 1962 vs Braves)

The 1962 Mets were the worst
But a guy named Hobie was first
Hit a walk-off home run
Spahn said son of a gun
No that team was just bad, wasn’t cursed

In case you couldn’t figure that out, Hobie Landrith hit a walk-off home run against Warren Spahn, the first in Mets history. As Landrith would detail, Spahn was mad because it was a cheap home run, one that just cleared the fence at the Polo Grounds (here’s a photo of New York Post writer Larry Brooks’ scorecard).

By the way, the Mets won the second game of their doubleheader that day on a Gil Hodges walk-off homer. So Landrith just beat Hodges to the trivia punch.

My favorite stat: Hobie Landrith got his money’s worth. He hit 34 career home runs, but four of them were walk-offs.


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