Skip to main content

Foy Oh Foy, a Most Amazin' Game

 Mets Card of the Week: 1970 Joe Foy |

We are coming up on the 50th anniversary of one of the most remarkable individual games in Mets history. It features one of the best individual games for a hitter and the worst individual games for a fielder. And they happen to be the same person!

Joe Foy isn’t remembered fondly in Mets history. The Mets hoped that Foy would be the answer to their third base problem when they traded minor leaguers Amos Otis and Bob Johnson to the Royals for him in December 1969.

While Otis went on to be a star and Johnson won a World Series ring with the 1971 Giants, Foy didn't perform up to the expectations he set when he had a 4-WAR season with the 1966 Red Sox or hit .262 with 11 home runs and 37 stolen bases for Kansas City. His only season with the team came in 1970. Despite a .373 on-base percentage (lots of walks since he hit only .236) Foy was a below-average offensive player. In actuality, he wasn't that bad, but there was more to the story than what happened on the field. 

It was later revealed that he had issues with drug and alcohol abuse, something he eventually got a better handle on. Foy became a youth counselor in New York City but died of a heart attack in 1989 at age 46.

But let’s take this time to remember something good about him. On July 19, 1970, in the second game of a doubleheader against the Giants in San Francisco, Foy had a game that was both mostly exhilarating but sometimes exasperating.

The Giants had beaten the Mets 5-3 in the opening game and looked to be on their way to a doubleheader sweep. Two batters into the bottom of the first, Ron Hunt homered. Then, with two on and two out, Frank Johnson hit what looked to be an inning-ending ground ball to third base. Foy threw errantly  to second base, resulting in one run and then a Koosman wild pitch brought home another.

Hal Lanier’s single later in the inning made it 4-0. Foy’s error led to three unearned runs. Ron Swoboda got a run back immediately with a home run in the top of the second, but Foy’s subsequent double went for naught as the next three hitters struck out.

In the fourth inning, Foy did a little better. His two-run home run against Giants starter Skip Pitlock cut the Giants lead to 4-3. Foy continued his offensive barrage with a fifth-inning single that scored Swoboda and tied the game, 4-4.

Foy nearly gave the run back in the sixth inning, mishandling a ground ball that led to the Giants loading the bases, a jam from which Jerry Koosman escaped.

In the seventh inning, the Mets put two men on base and remarkably Foy came through again. His RBI single scored Ken Singleton and on the play a Willie Mays error allowed Donn Clendenon to score too. The Mets led 6-4.

Foy made his third error of the game on Bobby Bonds’ ground ball leading off the home seventh, but that was forgiven when Ron Hunt hit into a 6-4-3 double play. The 6-4 lead held through a shaky eighth inning with Tug McGraw escaping bases-loaded trouble.

There was no escape to be had in the top of the ninth. McGraw struck out two but walked three and was hooked for Ron Taylor, who allowed John Stephenson’s game-tying two-run single. Taylor got the third out to keep the game tied heading to the 10th.

The tie didn’t last long. Foy led off the 10th and homered over the foul screen in right field. That run held up as the game-winner as the Mets won, 7-6.

The final tally for Foy: 5 hits, 5 RBI at the plate, 3 errors in the field.

Foy is the only player to have had at least 5 hits and 3 errors in a game in Retrosheet's data set of nearly 166,000 games played from 1928 to 2019. 

Also of note: Win Probability Added measures the value of each plate appearance by how much it contributes to a team’s chance to win.

Foy’s home run in the fourth inning upped the Mets chances by 16%, his single in the seventh inning increased it by 32% and his home run in the 10th inning pushed it up by 34% (from 50% prior to the HR to 84% afterwards).

The sum of the percentages add up to 1.00. He’s one of three players to have a game in which his offensive contributions were worth at least 1 Win Probability Added. The other two are Tim Harkness and Jerry Buchek.

Lastly, four Mets have had at least 5 hits and 5 RBI in the same game. Foy was the first. The others are Edgardo Alfonzo (1999), Yoenis Cespedes (2015) and Pete Alonso (2019).

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Mets Top 100 Home Runs: From No. 76 (Alex Ochoa) to No. 80 (Dom Smith)

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, giving us 75 overall).
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’.
80. Dominic Smith’s season-ending walk-off 
(Sept. 29, 2019 vs Braves) True story: I pulled into a parking spot right in front of my apartment as Dominic Smith came to bat. Rather than stay and listen to the ra…

Mets Top 100 Home Runs: From No. 16 (Carl Everett & Bernard Gilkey) to No. 20 (Tommie Agee)

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’. 


The rest of the list can be found here.


20. Tommie Agee reaches new heights 
(April 10, 1969 vs Expos) Tommie Agee set the tone for a new beginning in the first week of the 1969 season. Agee had a dreadful 1968 that began in spring t…

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 that…