West Palm Beach March 1984
Tucker was playing for the Mets in a spring training game and I was in the stands behind the 3rd base dugout. Tucker comes up late in the game, after having made a couple of errors and striking out at the plate. The fan in front of me, a heavy man who was clearly inebriated, starts letting Tucker have it "You are the worst excuse of a player ever to play in the majors.....You'll be out of the game by midseason...etc.." It was a really quiet crowd and everyone was feeling uncomfortable, including us - I mean what did Tucker do to the fan? And, this is only spring training.
So, Tucker is at the plate with the fan heckling incessantly, and, you guessed it, Tucker rips a hard single up the middle. The crowd goes wild!! Everybody is letting the drunk fan have it. Even Bobby Valentine, the 3rd base coach, asks the heckling fan, who is quietly staring straight ahead, what he thinks of Tucker now.
However, before a pitch is even thrown to the next batter, TUCKER GETS PICKED OFF 1ST BASE! The drunk fan stands up and screams "I REST MY CASE!" and leaves the ballpark as the entire stadium is howling in laughter.
In 40 years of going to baseball games, I have never seen anything funnier! I am still in contact with one of the friends I went to the park with that day and we still laugh about it.
Stay strong Tucker, hope you are well! Thanks for the memory.