Skip to main content

'Ron'dezvous With Destiny

Those that listened to Billy Wagner's press conference last week might have heard him reference former Mets catcher Ron Hodges with whom he discussed the city and the idea of playing baseball for the Flushing 9.

I remember Ron Hodges as over the hill, slow and on his last legs as a major league player when I first started following the team, but apparently others, like Wagner think rather highly of him. It probably has something to do with both being from Virginia. Hodges from Rocky Mount and that name has farm town written all over it.

If you're old enough, you probably remember Hodges because of the famous "Ball on the Wall" game from 1973, in which Hodges got the winning hit (a link to which can be found at:, but that wasn't the only time that Hodges had a significant game-ending hit.

On September 20, 1975, the NL East race was close to decided and the Mets decided to stomp on the Phillies in much the same way that the Mets did to the Marlins at the end of the 2005 season. On a day in which Rusty Staub got five hits, the hero was Hodges, who had barely played in the bigs that season, spending much of it in Triple-A. Such was life getting such behind Jerry Grote, who started on this day too, but had to leave the game midway through when he got injured by an errant pickoff throw that hit him in the back.

Staub homered in the eighth, giving the Mets a 7-5 lead, but the Phillies tied the game in the ninth with two runs off Mets rookie pitcher Rick Baldwin. Ex-Met Tug McGraw shut New York down in the ninth and 10th inning, then ceded to Gene Garber after Bob Apodaca held the Phillies scoreless in the 10th and 11th.

Garber was the only Phillies pitcher to retire Staub but after getting the second out in the 11th, he allowed a hit to Ed Kranepool. This brought up Hodges, who was 3-for-19 for the season. Garber's first pitch ended up in the Mets bullpen in right field for a walk-off home run. The loss kept the Phillies six games back with nine to play. A few days later they were officially eliminated. So while Hodges didn't officially wreck the Phillies chances in the NL East, his contribution surely didn't hurt. Thirty years later, you could probably say the same thing.

True Metginias know...Others born in Virginia who got walk-off hits for the Mets include Billy Baldwin, Joe Hicks and Todd Hundley, with an honorable mention to World Series walk-off error-reacher J.C. Martin. We expect David Wright to join this list in the near-future.


metswalkoffs said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
metswalkoffs said…
Someone previously had a comment here stating that there was a factual inaccuracy in this post (said that the Phillies were NL East champs in 1975). That comment was incorrect (I think the poster got 1975 confused with 1976), so I have since deleted the original post.

Popular posts from this blog

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

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