Skip to main content

Mets Top 100 Home Runs: From No. 41 (David Wright) to No. 45 (John Milner)

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 
No. 61 to 65 can be found here
No. 56 to 60 can be found here
No. 51 to 55 can be found here
No. 46 to 50 can be found here

45. The Hammer Nails One 
(August 12, 1974 vs the Dodgers)
There wasn’t a lot to celebrate in 1974, so forgive John Milner for taking 30 minutes in the shower (as documented by newspaper reporters) to enjoy the 475-foot home run one-third of the way up the Shea Stadium scoreboard that he hit in a 3-1 win over the Dodgers. To be more specific, Mets employee James Thomson (who handled estimates on long homers) said it hit between the numbers listing the No. 6 batter (Wayne Garrett) and No. 7 hitter (Don Hahn) on the scoreboard.

“It’s a hell of a feeling just to hit a ball that good,” Milner said after the game. “How many times do you hit a ball that good unless you’re McCovey or Stargell? But the greatest (feeling) is that we won.”

Milner had a good line about the pitch from Andy Messersmith.

“Yeah, a mistake. But you don’t see it as a mistake until you hit it.”

I like including this one because when you think of long home runs by Mets, you think of Darryl Strawberry and Mike Piazza, and if you’re a diehard, the ball that Tommie Agee hit into the upper deck (we’ll be getting to that). But this one deserves to be remembered too.

My favorite stat: There are claims that the longest homer in Mets history was hit by Dave Kingman, a 515-foot shot against the Phillies in 1981. However, newspaper articles from that game don’t appear to acknowledge the distance. Mo Vaughn once hit one 502 feet, which I suppose belongs on this list, but I like acknowledging the originator of the longest homers by a left-handed hitting Met, which is why Milner is honored here.

44. Darryl Strawberry Gives Us Hope 
(September 11, 1990 vs Cardinals)
I was at this game, an intense, high-scoring gut wrencher that ended when John Franco blew a lead in the top of the ninth and Darryl Strawberry won the game with a two-run home run off Lee Smith in the bottom of the ninth. Smith was a pitcher with whom Strawberry had struggled (3-for-20 to that point), so it was a nice moment both for him and the team.

The two things I remember from being there were Franco blowing the game, and the guy sitting behind us saying “Don’t worry, Strawberry will win it for us” and the speed with which Strawberry’s home run left the ballpark. It got out like a lightning bolt.

That was validated by the radio call by Cardinals Hall of Fame broadcaster Jack Buck, which I heard a few years later. He didn’t say “swing and a drive” or “high fly ball.” Nope, he simply said this:

“Swing and a home run …”

My favorite stat: Lee Smith allowed four walk-off hits to the Mets, though that was the only home run of the four. The most walk-off hits allowed to the Mets is 5 by Roy Face.

43. Clinch! 
(September 18, 2006)
Wonder if there was something about batting eighth that made Jose Valentin angry. In 15 starts in the No. 8 spot in 2006, he hit six home runs and drove in 16.

But this day is about celebration not anger and we celebrate Valentin hitting eighth because he hit two home runs in a 4-0 win over the Marlins that clinched the Mets first NL East title since 1988.

That Valentin came up big was appropriate. He basically came out of washed-up status at age 36 to hit .271 with 18 home runs, the second-highest batting average of his career. Credit much-maligned assistant GM Tony Bernazard for the signing, but credit Valentin for great work that season.

My favorite stat: In both the 1969 and 2006 division clinchings, a Mets player hit two home runs in a game. We’ll be getting to Donn Clendenon’s two home runs in a bit.

42. Carlos Delgado’s 400th Home Run 
(August 22, 2006)
This game is so great because you can look at it in so many ways. For one, it’s The Albert Pujols Game, where Pujols drove in seven runs, but the Mets won. For another, it’s the Carlos Beltran game, because Beltran hit a super-dramatic walk-off home run, which we’ll be addressing in the near future. For one more, it’s The Shawn Green Game (Sort-Of) because this was the day the Mets traded for him.

But it’s also The Carlos Delgado Game (one of a couple that could earn that name). Delgado hit two home runs and drove in five. The first home run made him the fourth player with 10 straight seasons of 30 homers (Barry Bonds, Jimmie Foxx, Sammy Sosa). The second of those home runs was a grand slam that came with the Mets down 7-1 and happened to be his 400th career home run.

“It must mean that I’ve been around a long time,” Delgado said. “I’m not that caught up in numbers. I just want more of them.”

My favorite stat: The top three Blue Jays position players in Wins Above Replacement all played for the Mets – Jose Bautista, Tony Fernandez, and Carlos Delgado (as did No. 8 John Olerud and T-No. 9 Roberto Alomar).

41. David Wright Returns 
(August 24, 2015 vs Phillies)
We didn’t have a lot of David Wright left to enjoy by 2015, but his return after missing 115 games due to a hamstring injury and spinal stenosis was a pretty good moment. In his first at-bat back, with the Mets down 3-0 in the second inning, Wright homered into the second deck in left field “with thunder!” exclaimed Gary Cohen.

This wasn’t just a great moment in and of itself. It was the catalyst for the greatest power display in Mets history. They hit eight home runs and seven doubles in a 16-7 victory. Wrote Tyler Kepner of the New York Times: Wright was like a father returning from a long business trip to find that his baby, who was crawling when he left, was suddenly sprinting around the backyard.

My favorite stat: The Mets are the only team in Baseball-Reference’s dataset to record at least 15 extra-base hits AND eight home runs in a game. Given that Baseball-Reference data dates to 1904, it’s safe to say that the Mets are the only team to do that.


Popular posts from this blog

Trip(le) Through Time

In their illustrious history, the Mets have had one 'Triple Crown Winner,' so to speak and I'm not talking about the typical meaning of the term. I've gotten some queries recently as to whether a walk-off triple is even possible and I'm here to tell you that it is. There has been one, and only one, in Mets history, though I don't have the full explanation of circumstances that I would like. It took place against the Phillies on September 10, 1970. This was a marathon game that would have fit in perfectly with those having taken place so far this season and allowed the Mets to maintain a temporary hold on first place in an NL East race oft forgotten in team history. It went 14 innings, with a tinge of controversy in a negated Ken Boswell home run, a thrilling play by Bud Harrelson, who stole home in the third inning, and some stellar relief pitching, in the form of five scoreless innings from Danny Frisella, aided by Tim McCarver getting thrown out in a rundown b

Best Games I Know: Phillies (Updated)

  The best wins against the Phillies in Mets history …   May 5, 2022 – Mets 8, Phillies 7 The Mets score 7 runs in the 9 th inning to overcome a 7-1 deficit and win in Philadelphia.   April 29, 2022 – Mets 3, Phillies 0 Tylor Megill and 4 Mets relievers combine on the second no-hitter in franchise history.   September 22, 2016 – Mets 9, Phillies 8 (11) The Mets tie it in the 9 th on a Jose Reyes home run and win it in the 11 th on a 3-run home run by Asdrubal Cabrera.   July 17, 2016 - Mets 5, Phillies 0 Jacob deGrom pitches a one-hitter. Only hit is a single by Zach Eflin in the 5 th inning.   August 24, 2015 – Mets 16, Phillies 7 David Wright homers in his first at-bat in more than 4 months. The Mets hit a team-record 8 home runs.   July 5, 2012 – Mets 6, Phillies 5 The Mets score 2 runs with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9 th to beat Jonathan Papelbon. The winning run scores on David Wright’s bloop down the right field line.   August 13

The best Mets ejections I know

When you think of the Mets and famous ejections, I'm guessing you first think of the famous Bobby Valentine mustache game, when after Valentine got tossed, he returned to the dugout in disguise. You know it. You love it. I remember being amused when I asked Bobby V about it while we were working on Baseball Tonight, how he simply said "It worked. We won the game." (true) But the Bobby V mustache game of June 9, 1999 is one of many, many memorable Mets ejection stories. And now thanks to Retrosheet and the magic of , we have a convenient means for being able to share them. Ever since Retrosheet's David Smith recently announced that the Retrosheet ejection database was posted online , I've been a kid in a candy store. I've organized the data and done some lookups of media coverage around the games that interested me post. Those newspaper accounts fill in a lot of blanks. Without further ado (and with more work to do), here are some of my findings