Jul 17

Today in Mets’ History: Big rally against Braves.

The Atlanta Braves didn’t always have a stranglehold on the Mets. On this date in 1973, Rusty Staub and John Milner each hit two-run homers as the Mets scored seven runs in the ninth inning in a dramatic 8-7 comeback victory at Atlanta.

Tug McGraw started and went six innings for the Mets, with Buzz Capra getting the win.

BOX SCORE

The Mets, who would play in the World Series that year, improved to 39-50 with the victory in sixth place in the NL East.

 

 

 

Jul 10

Today in Mets’ History: Matlack throws one-hitter.

On this date in 1973, the Mets’ Jon Matlack threw a one-hit shutout at Shea Stadium over the Houston Astros, 1-0.

Tommy Helms doubled in the sixth for Houston’s only hit, and Duffy Dyer’s double drove in Rusty Staub for the game’s only run.

With the victory, the Mets improved to 36-46, sixth place in the National League East, 12 games off the pace.

It was a different time then, but the message is the same. Those Mets didn’t give up on the season and reached the World Series. The road is different today, but looking  back history tells us good things can still happen in this season.

BOX SCORE

 

Jul 05

Today in Mets’ History: Cleon Jones signed.

On this day in Mets history, outfielder Cleon Jones from Plateau, Alabama, was signed by scout Julian Morgan in 1962.

JONES: Catches final out of 69 Series.

Jones made his major league debut in 1965, but won the starting centerfielder job out of spring training in 1966 and finished fourth in the Rookie of the Year voting.

Jones developed into a star in 1969, and was hitting .341 with 10 homers and 56 RBI and was named the starting left fielder in the All-Star Game.

According to several accounts, the turning point of the Miracle Mets’ season came several weeks later when manager Gil Hodges walked out to left field to pull Jones after failing to hustle.

Forty years later, Jones said Hodges was his favorite manager, and recalled the incident as a pivotal moment in that season. J0nes will always be remembered for catching Davey Johnson’s fly to left for the final out of the 1969 World Series.

JONES’ CAREER

Jones was inducted into the Mets’ Hall of Fame in 1991.

 

Jul 01

Today in Mets’ History: Leiter routs the Braves.

The Braves have long been the yardstick the Mets measure themselves by, but not on this day in 2000, the last season the Mets appeared in the World Series when they routed Atlanta, 9-1.

LEITER: Ace of 2000 staff.

The Mets clubbed three homers – Derek Bell, Benny Agbayani and Mike Piazza – to back the solid effort by Al Leiter, who outpitched Greg Maddux at Shea Stadium.

Agbayani and Piazza connected off Maddux, who gave up seven runs in two innings. Leiter improved to 10-1 as he gave up a run in seven innings.

With the victory, the Mets moved within one game of the Braves for first place in the National League East.

The Mets finished second to the Braves that year, but defeated San Francisco and St. Louis in the playoffs before losing to the Yankees in five games in the World Series.

BOX SCORE

 

Jun 28

Today in Mets’ History: Casey says good-bye.

Did you know Casey Stengel was the first player to hit a World Series home run at Yankee Stadium?

And, on this date in 1975, he made his final appearance at Shea Stadium at an Old Timers Game. He died several months later.

STENGEL: An original.

 

 

Charles Dillon Stengel, nicknamed Casey, which came from the initials of his hometown of Kansas City, Mo., was not only the first manager of the Mets, but a baseball original, an icon.

Stengel was an average, but not spectacular player for the Brooklyn Dodgers – starting his career in 1912, the year the Titanic sunk – Pirates, Phillies, Giants and Boston Braves.

Of his career as a player, Stengel said: “I had many years that I was not so successful as a ballplayer, as it is a game of skill.’’

Stengel carved his niche as a Hall of Famer managing the Dodgers, Boston Braves, Yankees, and, of course, the Mets, where he became a folk hero.

Stengel won ten pennants and seven World Series titles for the Yankees, including a record five straight from 1949-53. He was fired after the 1960 World Series, in which the Yankees lost to Pittsburgh in seven games. Stengel insisted it was age related after turning 70, and said, “I’ll never make that mistake again.’’

Stengel was talked of retirement to manage the expansion Mets in 1962, and when he was hired, said: “It’s a great honor to be joining the Knickerbockers.’’

The Mets finished last in his four years with them.

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