SWOBODA: One of the Amazins.
There were signs prior to their showdown series against the Cubs that 1969 had the potential to be a breakout, if not special season.
The Mets always had their troubles against the Giants, and finding little ways to win was never their forte. However, on this day in 1969 the Mets completed a three-game sweep of San Francisco at Shea Stadium, winning 5-4 on Ron Swoboda’s bases-loaded walk in the ninth inning.
Swoboda signed with the Mets after playing one year at the University of Maryland, and debuted with the team in 1965. Swoboda hit 15 homers by the All-Star break, but finished the season with 19, then a Mets’ rookie record (broken by Darryl Strawberry in 1983).
For all his strength, Swoboda never became a big time home run hitter and finished his career with 73. He will always be remembered for hitting a pair of two-run homers off Steve Carlton, Sept. 15, 1969, and robbing Brooks Robinson of extra bases with a diving catch in right field in Game 4 of the World Series.
SWOBODA CAREER STATS
Some two weeks for Ike Davis, huh? The Mets are now saying he might be able to return by the All-Star break.
Davis will be wearing a protective boot and will be shut down for at least three weeks.
“The only baseball activities he can do, basically, is play catch, and he’ll be able to swing,’’ manager Terry Collins told reporters today at Citi Field. “But he’s not to do any running whatsoever for the next three weeks. There’s still a hot spot where the bone bruise is. So we’re going to pretty much shut him down from that type of activity.’’
Meanwhile, David Wright will have an X-ray Thursday to determine a timetable for when he can resume baseball activities. Wright in on the DL with a stress fracture in his lower back.
The Mets say Jose Reyes is expected to return from bereavement leave for Thursday’s game.
On a positive note, Johan Santana is throwing off the mound in 15-pitch intervals in Port St. Lucie. The next step will be throwing batting practice.
Here’s tonight’s starting lineup against Pittsburgh:
Angel Pagan, CF
Justin Turner, 2B
Carlos Beltran, RF
Jason Bay, LF
Daniel Murphy, 3B
Nick Evans, 1B
Josh Thole, C
Ruben Tejada, SS
RA Dickey, RP
COMMENTS: Dickey will get the start despite leaving his last start in Chicago early with an injury to his right heel. No doubt, the Mets will keep him on a short leash. Dale Thayer is first in line should Dickey falter. …. Pat Misch cleared waivers and accepted an assignment to Triple-A Buffalo.
CARTER: Thinking of The Kid.
Very saddened to hear the update about Gary Carter’s brain cancer not being good. Inoperable. The family is posting an on-line journal, available through ESPN New York. It is enlightening, yet sad, to read the words by Carter’s daughter, Kimmy.
This is an emotional and stressful time for the family, and it takes considerable courage to share these intimate moments with the public that has long adored Carter.
It is always sad when the heroes of your youth are ill and face their mortality. No, they aren’t forever young and strong and fast. Carter is no longer ripping home runs, stroking line drives and throwing out base runners. The fire in his game is now reserved for fighting his illness.
According to all reports, what Carter is fighting for is time and a miracle. He will get my prayers and well wishes, and that from thousands of admirers.
The outpouring from friends in sports, former teammates and celebrities, has been gracious and well meaning. He would also like to hear from his fans as well. Please post your thoughts, prayers and memories of Gary Carter here, and this on-line card will be delivered to him. Tell us how he made you laugh and smile, and hopefully those reflections will make him do the same.
Greetings all. I hope you had a great holiday weekend. I was away at a place with no Internet access and it was like being stranded on Gilligan’s Island without the Professor.
KRANEPOOL: A busy day.
I see I didn’t miss much with the Mets during the Phillies series. A lot of pre-series talk about getting back to .500 and making a statement went by the boards. It’s time to climb out of the hole again.
Tonight it is the Pirates, but on this day in 1964, the Mets played an unforgettable doubleheader against the San Francisco Giants at Shea Stadium. The Giants swept, winning the first game, 5-3, but needing 23 amazing innings to prevail in the nightcap, 8-6.
“I wanted it to go a little longer,’’ said Ed Kranepool, who played in all 32 innings. “That way I could say I played in a game that started in May and ended in June.’’
The Mets tied it in the seventh inning on a three-run homer by Joe Christopher off Bob Bolin and even turned a triple play in the 14th inning. The game lasted 7:23.
It’s always fascinating looking at the box scores for games like this. Eight different players, including Willie Mays for the Giants and Kranepool for the Mets had 10 at-bats. Galen Cisco for the Mets pitched nine innings of relief and took the loss, while Gaylord Perry worked ten innings in relief for the Giants and earned the win.
Years later, Perry said that game enabled him to break into the Giants rotation and launch his Hall of Fame Career.
I’d be lying if I said reporters didn’t have their favorite athletes. One of mine was Todd Zeile, whom I covered when he was with the Yankees. When Zeile retired following the 2004 season, he did so with the distinction of hitting at least one homer for each of the 11 teams he played for during his career. He also homered in his final at-bat, Oct. 3, as a Met. However, on this day in 2000, Zeile homered twice, including a grand slam, as the Mets beat St. Louis, 12-8.
NOTE: Going away for the weekend for friend’s wedding. Will take laptop with me, but don’t know about Internet. Will try to blog if I can. Have a great Memorial Day weekend.