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Buzzing about Boise

We've had a couple of walk-off finishes in these meaningless exhibitions known as college football bowl games and the one that really seems to have this country buzzing is Boise State's crazy victory over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.

I had an inkling to write something about walk-off trickery, like the kind used by Boise State to tie late in regulation and then win in overtime, but I haven't been able to find an example of such to provide a worthy story

If you want to talk about the gutsiest decision made in a Mets walk-off win, you should probably read this posting, about the daring nature of Tommie Agee, who would have been a perfect fit for that Boise squad.

My tribute to Boise State comes in talking about it's most noteworthy baseball alumnus (there have only been two to make the majors. That would be Larry Jackson.

Larry Jackson plays an important role in Mets history, that of Mets-killer. Forget about Greg Maddux or Dontrelle Willis- The Mets have never had as tough a time beating a pitcher over the course of his entire body of work as they did Jackson and no pitcher took better advantage of the club's ineptitude from 1962-68. Jackson beat the Mets in the team's first game, on April 11, 1962, and kept right on winning. It was like going up against Sandy Koufax, whose final record of 17-2 against the Mets was almost as good as Jackson's, or Juan Marichal, who once recorded 19 consecutive wins against the Mets .

In his major league career, Jackson went 21-2 against the Mets and 162-165 versus everbody else. He timed retirement right, quitting prior to the Mets championship season of 1969 after being sought by the expansion Montreal Expos, went on to become a sportswriter and member of the Idaho State House of Representatives before his death in 1990.

In Jackson's first 21 starts against the Mets, he went 18-0 and his team only lost once. That one win was by walk-off, of course, and was referenced once on this blog here:

As for the Mets beating Jackson and not just his team, that didn't happen until August 14, 1967, by which time Jackson was with the Phillies (traded by the Cubs for Ferguson Jenkins). Jack Fisher, who according to Gerald Eskenazi's fine reporting in the New York Times, also ended the win streaks of Marichal and Bob Friend (12 straight triumphs vs New York), got the win, with the key hit being Ed Kranepool's 2-run chalk-hugging double as part of a 4-run fourth inning.

Considering that Jackson had tossed a one-hit shutout in his previous effort against the Mets, and his stature as Mets-killer, this victory was an upset of historic proportions...though not quite as historic as that which we saw in football a couple of nights ago.

True Metsons know...Two pitchers who were born in Idaho have suffered walk-off defeats at the hands of the Mets: Mike Garman (twice) and Ken Dayley (3 times).


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