February 14, 2014 For some reason I was just thinking about the Foli - Kranepool confrontation and was gratified to see that I'm not the only one who remembers it. If my memory serves me well (to paraphrase Dylan) I was watching the game in question on the Phillies network (living in Philly at the time) and remember the between-inning skipped warmup throws which provoked the incident and the TV action cutting away to commercial just as Foli charged Kranepool in the dugout after the inning. Coming back from commercial, Phillies announcer Richie Ashburn (former Met!) remarked something to the effect that you won't believe what happened between innings. I don't know if they showed a replay then, but I do remember seeing a clip of it at some point.
It was about the only time I remember teammates tussling during a game. (I don't count the Reggie - Billy Martin shouting match) Anyway, as a lifelong Yankee-hater (I'm actually a Pirate fan and was in 5th grade when they beat the Yankees in '60), I'm somewhat of a Met fan by default and wish they had held on to Nolan Ryan. He was truly special, but that's another story!
February 24, 2014 I hit a home run off of Don Hahn in my only year of Pony League baseball in 1963. He was the starting pitcher and it was my first at bat of the season. I hit it to right field past Don's twin brother Tom Hahn. Don wasn't too happy nor was his father who was the coach of his team. It was the only hit I got all season!
Sal from the projects
February 14, 2014 Al Luplow hit a game-tying HR vs, Juan Marichal in SF on July 20, 1966, in a game the Mets eventually won in the 10th inning (Marichal was out of the game by then.) For a variety of personal reasons, I remembered my little brother bursting into my room to announce that "Luplow hit a HR!" -I looked up this game on bbref.com just find out some details of my brother's exclamation, and found that the Mets, going into this game, were in the middle of their longest winning streak of the season (7 games--pretty impressive) and that their cleanup hitter was the mighty Larry Elliot, another "who's he?" outfielder wanna-be from the 1960s. Probably the most interesting thing I learned was that Luplow was a Marichal-killer: he hit more HRs against Marichal (3) than against any other pitcher, and he slugged close to 1.000 against him over his career.
February 11, 2014 Before a game in I think the '74 season, I went early enough to see the Mets hitting batting practice before the game. I was 11 and I remember Milner hitting like 5 consecutive bombs over the right field fence, always flexing or stretching his neck/shoulders in between pitches as if he was hurting or whatever; he was always hurt. Yogi Berra used to say if he saw John in his velour Mets colored robe walking around the locker room an hour before games, he knew not to ask him if could put him in the starting lineup. Anyway, after practice Milner, ever the quiet show off, was collecting stray baseballs and throwing them to the fans but he reserved about 2 dozen for himself. He took each one and from about 20 feet away he started foul shooting them into a white plastic bucket, like the kind they store bakery creme in a supermarket, they weren't that wide as they are tall. I mean, this guy shot about 15 in a row in the bucket and the only one he missed hit the rim and bounced barely over it to our oohs and ahhs watching. He made the final 9 shots or so and we all applauded. He just walked off with that famous duck walk toward the dugout looking back at the bucket with a smile for us. The Mets miss him for his power and only true lefty threat at the time to hit a grand slam each time he was up. Miss you John.
Gr8 Call Ump
February 11, 2014 Gotta love a guy whose most famous memory in the eyes of fans is from a horrendous collision. Was there ever more of a gangly, unathletic looking player in professional sports? I thought George had no equal in this regard, until I thought of another professional athlete, who also happened to be playing in New York at the same time with much success. Phil Jackson!