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Maddox about You

The Mets are not the only team to have won by walk-off at Shea Stadium.

Yes, during the two years from 1974 to 1975 that the other New York team called Shea Stadium home, they had their share of walk-off wins.

Only one player has had a walk-off hit, both for the Mets and the Yankees, at Shea Stadium.

That would be Elliott Maddox.

Maddox had a lengthy enough career to have had walk-off hits in Detroit, Washington DC, Texas, and New York.

While the 1974 Mets were not particularly interesting, the 1974 Yankees were legitimate contenders. In fact, they took the division race down to the final week of the season.

September 25, 1974 was quite the day for walk-offs, as it turned out. There were three that had major implications, including the one in New York, between the Yankees and Red Sox. And all three had a Mets connection.

Maddox snapped a scoreless tie in the 10th inning, with a walk-off single, plating former Met Sandy Alomar Sr. with the winning run.

That would have been enough to vault the Yankees into first place, were it not for what happened a few minutes prior in Baltimore. There, the Orioles scored three runs in the bottom of the 9th to beat the Tigers, with the tying and winning runs coming home on a hit by former Met Tommy Davis. That allowed Baltimore to remain 1/2 game up on New York for first place in the AL East, and the Orioles would manage to hold the Yankees off for the division title.

And yet those games paled in comparison to the one in St. Louis between the Pirates and Cardinals. The Pirates led the Cardinals by 1/2 a game in the NL East and the two combined for one of the most nerve-wracking games in baseball history.

The Pirates led 5-0 after one, but the Cardinals rallied for six runs in the third. Then it was the Pirates turn to rally from a 9-6 deficit, tying the game with a run in the 9th.

Pittsburgh plated three runs in the 11th to lead 12-9, but the Pirates faced an unlikely problem for that time of the season. Their bullpen availability was rather limited. So the Cardinals were able to rally against rookies Juan Jimenez and Jim Minshall, scoring four runs to win. The winner came home on future Met Jim Dwyer's sacrifice fly, which gave St. Louis a win, and a brief hold on first place. The Pirates would recover, in Shea Stadium of all places, beating the Mets three out of four, then swept a final-weekend series with the Cubs to win the division.

True Metdoxs know...Getting back on topic, Elliott Maddox's walk-off hit for the Mets was a 10th inning single that beat the Braves, 5-4, on May 24, 1980.

Comments

Anonymous said…
'74 was a lousy season for the Mets but a fantastic season for divisional races and milestone performances. Aaron's HR record and Brock's SB record spring to mind instantly. The Rangers pushed the A's in a way nobody expected, the Cardinals-Pirates race is a forgotten gem (there were death threats during their series) and the Reds and Dodgers were at their peak. Red Sox had a big lead in September and folded in a manner that makes '78 look...well, '78 will never look good, but it was breathtaking -- as was the Oriole pitching down the stretch. And yes, Elliott Maddox's Yankees nearly ruined everything. When they lost the AL East by a game, it felt like a gigantic reprieve.

Fantastic bit of research on the only Met/other thing to get a walkoff hit at Shea. Damn you're good.

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