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42 Ways To Walk-Off

You can read the tribute we wrote to Jackie Robinson last year at http://metswalkoffs.blogspot.com/2007/04/remembering-jackie-robinson.html

Since we're paying tribute to baseball's greatest No. 42 today, I thought I'd share that the 42nd walk-off win in Mets history took place on Father's Day, June 18, 1967, in the first game of a doubleheader against the Cubs.

New York Times writer Leonard Koppett, who would later pen books about the Mets, pointed out that Father's Day had been bad luck for the Mets, as their history indicated they'd lost 9 of 10 games on such a date, including being perfectoed by Jim Bunning in 1964.

The bulk of the attention on this day was paid more to Game 2, a Mets defeat, one suffered by prize prospect Tom Seaver, but Game 1 is actually of greater significance for our purposes.

The Mets appeared headed to defeat in this one, as they trailed early, 3-0, thanks to back-to-back home runs by Ernie Banks and Randy Hundley against Mets starter Bob Shaw.

The comeback began in the sixth inning when the Mets scratched out a run on a force out by Tommy Davis (the Mets tied an MLB "record" by hitting into three force outs in the inning). They got to within 3-2 in the seventh on Bud Harrelson's RBI double, and tied the score in the eighth on Al Luplow's sacrifice fly. The Mets had a chance to take the lead in the eighth, but Jerry Buchek's strikeout with the bases loaded ended that.

The Cubs mustered a pretty good scoring threat in the visiting 10th, but that was quashed when Hundley grounded out with two men on base. In the home 10th, Tommie Reynolds ended matters with a game-winning home run, the only walk-off home run of his career.

True Metbinsons know... Three Mets who wore uniform #42 got a walk-off hit for the Mets: Ron Hodges, Butch Huskey, and Mo Vaughn.

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