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Ken Iffy

It seemed in bad taste to write about the goathood of a baseball father, on Sunday, so out of respect, I waited a day, and given who's in town, it seemed much more appropriate to pen this tale today.

I speak, or in this case, I blog, of July 1, 1990, a day in which rain interrupted the proceedings in Flushing and perhaps the remnants interrupted a throw at a rather crucial moment. The Mets were as hot as the projected New York weather these next few days, having won 20 of 24 under new skipper Bud Harrelson. The Reds would go on to win the World Series, so it's not stunning that this was a pretty good matchup between Ron Darling and Danny Jackson.

The Reds had won the previous day, with the key hit being a two-run double by Joe Oliver, who threw a little twist in this matter in the top of the 9th inning. With the Mets leading by a run and John Franco trying to close the game out, Oliver ripped a game-tying one-out double. Franco escaped the jam, but we went to the bottom of the 9th even at 2.

The frame started with a favorable matchup for the Reds: southpaw reliever Norm Charlton against lefty swinging Mackey Sasser, and though Charlton was a smart man (he was a triple-major in college), he couldn't figure out how to get Sasser in this situation. Sasser blooped a double to left to put himself on base as the winning run.

The next batter was Kevin Elster and the expectation was that he would bunt. That proved to be properly founded thinking as Elster dropped a pitch down the first base line.

The Mets were rather fortunate here because Sasser wasn't particularly known for his speed. That's why the Reds first baseman that day, Ken Griffey Sr. (who played 10% of his more than 1,700 career games there, and was starting for only the 2nd time all season), made the choice to try to nail Sasser at third base.

The baseball may have been a little soggy, because Griffey's throw was not a good one. It bounced past third baseman Chris Sabo, down the left field line. Sasser scored without issue, giving the Mets a 3-2 walk-off win.

This was not the only time that I've come face-to-face with a Griffey miscalculation, and I' m not referring to Ken Jr.'s decision to veto a trade to the Mets a few years back.

My annoyance is with Sr., and it comes from an experience at a baseball card show while both he and son were members of the Mariners. After a lengthy wait on line for the signatures of both Sr. and Jr., Griffey the elder complained that the photo I asked him to sign was not licensed, when in fact, it was perfectly well-sanctioned. He signed, but did so with a scowl on his face. I didn't get the chance to ask him if that was the same reaction he had after this particular game.

True Metffys know...Since Sunday's broadcast guest Jon Stewart became host of The Daily Show in January of 1999, the Mets have won in walk-off fashion a whopping 61 times. Stewart, an appropriate guest having once appeared in the movie Big Daddy (Cecil Fielder's nickname) dropped a Joe Foy reference during his appearance, so perhaps there will be interest in a previous posting, linked below.


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