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Stuart Markowitz is a Met

Well, not exactly, but Michael Tucker the ballplayer (not the "LA Law" actor) is now a Met, recalled to fill Cliff Floyd's shoes for a couple of weeks, as he ably did on Thursday.

Ricky Ledee may be one of "Willie's guys" but Tucker should find himself the preferred choice of a couple of teammates in the Mets dugout.

Tom Glavine would be one, as he earned career win #160 on May 24, 1998, when Tucker's walk-off single allowed the Braves to beat the Cubs. Tucker actually got both of his walk-off hits for the Braves in games that Glavine started (his other coming on May 30, 1997).

Carlos Beltran would be another, as he was a part of the 2002 Royals team on which Michael Tucker fell just a triple shy of hitting for the walk-off cycle. Within a span of two months, Tucker had a game-ending home run to beat the White Sox (July 18, two batters after a game-tying Beltran HR), a double to edge the Devil Rays (August 9), and a single to squeak past the Indians (September 21), a feat made more impressive considering that the lefty swinger got two of those hits against southpaw pitchers.

It will be interesting to see if those two share their thoughts with the Mets skipper, who from what we've seen, tends to feel comfortable around those he's been around before. We've also seen from Randolph that actions speak louder than words. In that case, he might be curious to hear about Tucker's first walk-off hit.

It was August 27, 1996 and Tucker was an eager-to-impress second-year member of the Royals, who had struggled for a good part of the season and had a desire to live up to the expectation of being a first-round pick. He had lived up to the expectations big time in August, finishing the month with a .363 batting average, for which he was named the team's player of the month. His last hit would turn out to be his most memorable

The Royals and Rangers were even at 3 through 9 innings after Kansas City tied the score with a last-inning rally. In the 10th, back-to-back walks gave the host Royals a chance to win the game. Johnny Damon's successful sacrifice put runners on 2nd and 3rd with 1 out but lefty Ed Vosberg, after walking Joe Randa, struck out Tom Goodwin for the 2nd out.

Tucker followed with a ground ball to first, not too hard and not too soft. Rene Gonzales fielded, but was too deep to beat Tucker to the base. The play would come down to who would reach first first: Tucker or Vosberg. The way the newspaper stories describe the play, it seems that this was a close play. In an effort to gain an edge, Tucker dove for the bag headfirst.

That may have been the distraction that caused Vosberg to muff the throw. Tucker was safe and the Royals were victors. Unfortunately, Tucker was far from a winner in this scenario. He dislocated a bone in his hand when it hit the dirt. He didn't play again the rest of the season.

"Michael went in there on pure desire," Royals Manager Bob Boone told the media afterwards "It was 'I'll do anything to get to first base and win this ballgame. ' "

You would hope that 10 years later, Tucker is smart enough not to be diving into first base headfirst and will share this lesson with new teammate Jose Reyes. But if his approach to playing is the same as it was then, I'll take this guy on my team any day of the week, and I think Willie Randolph would too.

True Metkowitzs know...That on the November 2, 1989 episode of "LA Law," (titled "The Unsterile Cuckoo," one of the subplots featured Stuart Markowitz (played by Michael Tucker) racing through a crazy day in order to make both a company softball game and his wife's lamaze class. McKenzie, Brackman won the softball game on a walk-off home run by divorce lawyer Arnold Becker.


Metstradamus said…
Using Michael Tucker to segueway to a walkoff hit in fictional softball game?

You sir, are a genius!
metswalkoffs said…
thank you
Anonymous said…
Arnie could hit, but Corbin Bernsen could field worth a Dorn.
Anonymous said…
Today the Mets Gulf Coast League affiliate Kingsport entered the bottom of the 9th down 11-6, and scored 6 to win in magnificent walk off fashion.

Which begs the question, what is the most runs needed for the Major League Mets to win a "walk-off"???
metswalkoffs said…
Actually, anonymous, I believe I answered that question a few weeks ago...

(see the last nugget)

"The most runs scored in an inning by the Mets, in a game that they won in walk-off fashion is 6 (to tie in the 9th inning, September 13, 1997 vs Montreal). That's the famous "Brand New Shiny One" game.

* The most runs ever scored in a walk-off inning by the Mets is 5, done twice ( May 23, 1999 vs Phillies and June 14, 1980 vs Giants)"

I think I'm going to take a closer look at this Kingsport game...I'm about due for another minor league report and hopefully will write something about it this week...

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