February 28, 2004
The Pirates batted out of order in this game. According to retrosheet.org:
In the top of the first, Pittsburgh sent six batters to the plate. Maury Wills and Manny Mota both singled and moved up on a wild pitch. Roberto Clemente grounded out, driving in Wills and Donn Clendenon also grounded out with Mota remaining at third. After Bill Mazeroski walked, Gene Alley came to the plate and grounded out to the pitcher. Alley batted ahead of Jose Pagan, the proper batter, but since he made an out the Mets said nothing.
In the third inning, Mota reached on his second bunt hit of the game and Clemente was called out on strikes. Both Clendenon and Mazeroski singled to left with Mota scoring on Maz's single. Alley again batted out of turn and hit into a force play at second moving Clendenon to third. After Pagan hit a 2-RBI double, Wes Westrum approached the umpires and pointed out that the Pirates had batted out of turn. The proper batter, Jim Pagliaroni, was called out. Pagan’s plate appearance was eliminated, along with the two runs. The Mets were leading at the time by the final score of 5-2.
I remember the stories on the news and in the papers that Westrum made a brilliant move by not saying anything the first time it happened since no damage was done, and then waiting for an at bat when the Pirates did some damage before bringing it to the attention of the umpires.
July 13, 2004
This was the date/game that the production crew for the original MOVIE The Odd Couple filmed the baseball scene at Shea, where Bill Mazeroski hits into a triple play. I guess this was filmed before the real game. Apparently, Clemente was first asked to be the batter for this triple play, and refused, so they asked Maz.
October 21, 2004
Kenny you have a good memory. Maz was the batter and Jack Fisher was pitching. The scoreboard even simulated the Mets leading 2-1 in the 9th inning. Maz fouled off several and then hit a grounder to 3rd (I believe Ed Charles) for an around the horn triple play. Unfortunately they never really showed any close up action in the movie. I was sitting lower level behind first base, so somewhere in that shot of the stands is me.
July 25, 2005
More about The Odd Couple filming: the papers said that Clemente refused to bat in the game scene because he was offered the scale $100. He was quoted as saying "I will do it for $1000, or I will do it for nothing, but I won't do it for $100!"
The real game that day featured not only the batting-out-of order incident, but it was the Mets debut of lefty Dennis Bennett. The Mets that year were strapped for left-handed pitchers, and GM Bing Devine, forever wheeling and dealing, plucked many a lefty that year from obscurity, and in nearly every case, that's where they were returned. But on that exciting day, the Mets were winners! What a thrill for this 13-year-old kid as the summer vacation was just beginning!
October 15, 2008
This was my first Mets game. I've been hooked ever since. I sat in a field box between the Mets dugout and the foul pole. It was hot and sunny and Shea looked like heaven to an eight year old. I recall Swoboda caught the last out against the right field wall and also homered. I think it took Mazeroski a few takes to hit into the triple play and he was paid $100.00. The P.A. guy, Mr. Lightcap, prompted the crowd to cheer for the cameras.