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.
We're up to the postseason portion. Stick around. These will be fun and (as always) Amazin'.
No. 15 – David Wright World Series (2015 World Series Game 3 vs Royals)
What’s the most appropriate home run in Mets history?
I’m talking about the one for which you would say “Yep … that should happen.”
Mets fan from birth, David Wright homering in his first World Series at-bat at Citi Field after homering in his first at-bat back from injury during the regular season is just perfect, isn’t it?
“This is what you dream about as a kid,” Wright said. “Running around the bases, it’s just like floating.”
My favorite stat: David Wright and Rusty Staub (1973) are the only Mets to have a home run and at least 4 RBI in a World Series game. Staub’s 5 are a Mets record.
No. 14 – Gary Carter x 2 (1986 World Series Game 4 vs Red Sox)
The real Gary Carter wasn’t the one who had one hit through the first 4 games and 11 innings of the 1986 NLCS against the Astros. Nor was it the one who took forever and a day to hit his 300th career home run in 1988
The real Gary Carter was the one who showed up for Game 4 of the 1986 World Series.
This was one Carter’s finest days as a Met, his hitting two home runs over the Green Monster in a series-evening win over the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
Carter’s two-run home run in the fourth inning was the igniter. His eighth-inning home run was the capper. Both were well struck. Carter went 5-for-9 in Games 3 and 4, both Mets wins after the team had fallen behind, 2-games-to-none.
“I think Gary Carter is having the kind of series everyone knew he would have,” Davey Johnson said.
Yep, that’s the real Gary Carter indeed.
My favorite stat: Gary Carter is 1 of 5 catchers to hit 2 home runs in a World Series game. The others are Yogi Berra (1956 Yankees), Gene Tenace (1972 Athletics), Johnny Bench (1976 Reds), and Roberto Perez (2016 Indians).
No. 13 – Edgardo Alfonzo for the win (1999 NLDS Game 1 vs Diamondbacks)
I actually forgot that Edgardo Alfonzo homered twice in Game 1 of the 1999 NLDS, though I suppose that’s easy to do given how memorable the second one was.
Alfonzo’s just fair grand slam against Bobby Chouinard in the ninth inning snapped a 4-4 tie and gave the Mets a win in a game that was supposed to be a mismatch. After all, the Diamondbacks had Hall of Fame legend Randy Johnson pitching against Masato Yoshii, who was the team’s No. 4 starter at the time.
The 2 home runs represented 5 of the 17 RBI that Alfonzo had in his first 20 postseason games. They served as foreshadowing for the clutchness to come, particularly the next year in the 2000 NLCS.
If there was one thing to remember about Alfonzo’s career is that he was a great hitter in key spots. Though there was plenty about him that is worth remembering.
“Over the last few years, Edgardo Alfonzo has been a fabulous baseball player,” Bobby Valentine said that night.
My favorite stat: This was the first go-ahead grand slam in the ninth inning or later in postseason history. There have been two since – Nelson Cruz (2011 Rangers) and Howie Kendrick (2019 Nationals).
No. 12 – Darryl Strawberry’s slow trot (1986 World Series Game 7 vs Red Sox)
Vin Scully said the time of Darryl Strawberry’s home run trot in the 8th inning of Game 7 of the World Series was about 20 minutes.
In reality, it was 33 seconds for him and Mets fans to savor. In the case of the former, it was a way of taking out his anger at Davey Johnson removing him from Game 6 for a double switch. For the latter, it was a chance to enjoy the inevitable – that the Mets were going to be champions.
If you watch the home run at the link below, check out the sign displayed at the 29-second mark.
“God Loves the New York Mets” someone scrawled on a placard. Normally, I can’t stand those signs and I’m generally opposed to displays of religious commentary at sporting events (let alone the thought that God would favor one team over another, especially this group of misbehaving Mets).
But given that Strawberry is now a minister, it does make me laugh. I don’t know that I approved of Strawberry’s decision after hitting the home run, but this list is about the home run itself. And this one was pretty cool.
My favorite stat: Darryl Strawberry and Mookie Wilson share the Mets record for stolen bases in a World Series with 3.
No. 11 – Daniel Murphy vs Zack Greinke (2015 NLDS Game 5 vs Dodgers)
This was the second of Murphy’s six straight postseason games with a home run. It’s the only home run that makes the list because it was by far the most significant, a go-ahead home run in the sixth inning against Zack Greinke in the decisive game of a playoff series.
It was also part of a major course correction in Murphy’s career, turning him from a good hitter to a star hitter, his newfound swing giving him more power than he previously had.
“I got the heater finally in the spot that I was looking for, and fortunately I didn't miss it," Murphy said afterwards.
We should also give Murphy credit for the steal of third base that he had against a napping Dodgers defense, after Lucas Duda walked in the fourth inning. This eventually led his scoring the tying run.
If we were doing a list of the most notable steals in Mets history, Murphy’s probably in the top 10. He falls just outside of it here.
My favorite stat: The Mets have had two go-ahead home runs in a winner-take-all postseason game. They were hit by Ray Knight (1986 World Series) and Daniel Murphy.