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Walk-Off Pier 6 Brawl

For those unfamiliar with what game Governor Patterson was talking about during his interview with Kevin Burkhardt during Tuesday's Mets game.

On May 4, 1964, the Mets and Braves clashed in Milwaukee (not Atlanta, yet) in more ways than one. The game itself was a great pitchers duel between Mets hurler Galen Cisco and Braves moundsman Denny Lemaster.

The Mets, losers of 13 of 16 entering, got a run right off the bat, when third baseman Charley Smith clubbed a leadoff home run. They would not score again. In fact, Lemaster was the master, allowing only one hit the rest of the way.

The Braves took the lead in the home second when Moises Alou's father, Felipe singled in two runs following an error by Mets centerfielder Joe Christopher.

The Mets didn't really threaten again until the ninth inning when, with one out, Ron Hunt singled, than advanced to second on a Christopher single. Their biggest power threat, Frank Thomas followed, with a ground ball to third base, apparently not well struck enough for the Braves to try to turn a double play. After third baseman Eddie Mathews got the force out at second, Hunt decided to gamble, and kept on running around third to try to score.

The resulting throw home to Braves catcher Ed Bailey arrived in more than enough time, and Hunt tried to overpower Bailey at home plate. Bailey had Hunt by two inches and 20 pounds, so you can imagine that didn't go well. In fact, not only was Hunt out to end the game, but he'd done enough to set Bailey off, and the result was a bench-clearing brawl.

If you've ever heard Bob Murphy's play-by-play call of this event, he refers to it as "A Real Pier 6 Brawl," one in which, as the story goes, Dennis Menke made like Pedro Martinez on Don Zimmer to Mets manager Casey Stengel, then feared he'd killed the "Ole Professor." (no damage was done).

For those curious, the phrase "Pier 6 Brawl" apparently dates back to long ago bare-knuckle boxing matches on Staten Island and was popularized by wrestling announcer Gordon Solie. The Urban Dictionary website I visited refers to it as similar to a "slobberknocker," which doesn't quite roll off the tongue as well, in my opinion. In fact, it sounds like a more apt description, at this point, for someone like Elliott Spitzer.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Re: Spitzer...

Zing!

David Patterson is exactly the governor this state needs after years and years of the wrong kind of fans from both parties.

If he's good at being governor, all the better.

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