Jun 25, 2019

Remembering Mets History: (1986) The Bill Robinson - Rick Rhoden Brawl

Friday June 6th 1986: Oh those fighting bad boy '86 Mets, they were at it again just eleven days since their last brawl, against the Dodgers at Shea Stadium.

This time it was the Mets cool coach; Bill Robinson, swinging away getting into it with Pirate pitcher Rick Rhoden.

The first place Mets (34-15)  arrived in Pittsburgh for a twi-night doubleheader against Jim Leyland's fourth place Pirates (22-27). Ron Darling (6-1) took the mound against Rick Rhoden (4-3).

Starting Lineups

In the 2nd, the Mets put up a run after a Darryl Strawberry single, George Foster double & Ray Knight RBI single. But after that Rhoden shut down the Mets, he didn't allow a hit after the 3rd inning & struck out four batters. 

The Mets were getting frustrated & accused Rick Rhoden of doctoring up the baseball. Mets First base coach, Bill Robinson kept telling his hitters to ask home plate umpire; Billy Williams to check the baseball. Finally in the 5th inning things erupted.

The Pirates had a 2-1 lead & with two outs, Keith Hernandez reached on a walk. The next batter; Gary Carter got into a discussion with home plate umpire Williams. Davey Johnson came out to see what was going on & asked the baseball to be checked. Pirate skipper Leyland followed to protect his pitcher.

Quotes: Umpire Billy Williams: ''Carter asked me to look at the ball, he even picked up the ball and saw a mark on it. It was a new ball, and I don't know how it got marked. Then Johnson said if I didn't check out Rhoden, he'd protest the game. So, I went out to the mound and looked at his glove and his hand. Nothing.''

The ball wall was ejected, Carter ended up striking out, ending the inning. At this point Robinson started shouting something at Rhoden, Rhoden shouted back & the next thing you know punches were flying. The two went at it, then the players emptied from the dugout and the bullpens.

Kevin Mitchell grabbed Rhoden & Tony Pena tried to grab back Mitchell. Eventually order was restored & Robinson was the only one ejected, since he shoved Rhoden first. Robinson & Rhoden had been team mates together in Pittsburgh from 1979-1983.

The Pirates beat the Mets 7-1 in that game & the Mets won the second game to split the twin bill.

1986 World Champion Mets Hitting Instructor: "Uncle Bill "Bill Robinson (1984-1989)

William Henry Robinson was born June 26, 1943 in McKeesport, Pennsylvania. The six foot two, right handed hitting Robinson was a highly touted prospect, getting signed out of high school by the Milwaukee Braves in 1961.

After playing in the low levels of the minor leagues, he made a brief debut with the Braves now in Atlanta in 1967. The next season at AAA Richmond, he hit 20 HRs with 30 doubles & batted .312 getting traded to the A.L. New York club, along with Chi-Chi Olivo for the veteran; Clete Boyer.

Back in those days, the A.L. New York club was in ninth place with a 72-90 record. The front office was desperate for positive exposure, they hyped Robinson as the next Mickey Mantle. But Robinson struggled, in three seasons he only hit over .200 once, a best .240 in 1968.

In those years he played in over 100 games twice hitting a total of 13 HRs in those years combined. On December 3rd, 1970 he was traded to the Chicago White Sox, playing at their AAA Tuscon team where he hit 14 HRs batting .275 with 81 RBIs. In December 1971 he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies, spending 1972 at AAA Eugene batting .304 with 20 HRs.

He was ready for the major league & broke into the Phillies line up in their dismal 1972, season where they lost 97 games. In 1973 he had a big year, on another last place Phillies team, hitting 25 HRs with 32 doubles 66 RBIs while batting .288 average.

The next season he struggled as a fourth outfielder, behind Greg Luzinski, Del Unser & Mike Anderson hitting only .236 with 5 HRs & 29 RBIs. With the arrival of the excellent defensive Gary Maddox & Jay Johnstone in 1975, Robinson was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for pitcher Wayne Simpson.

Robinson found his home in Pittsburgh, playing for the Pirates for seven years from 1975-1982. There he won two N.L. East titles & a World Series Championship in 1979. He would play in the outfield, at first base, and even a bit of third base. In the bicentennial year Robinson hit .303, tying Ritchie Zisk for the Pirate team lead in HRs with 21. He also drove in 64 runs while hitting 22 doubles.

His best season in the Steel City was 1977, as he led the team in HRs (26) RBIs (104) which were 8th most in the NL. This season Pirate slugger Willie Stargell had missed a lot of time due to injuries.

In the first two weeks of August he hit six HRs while driving in twenty runs hitting safely in 12 of 14 games. Robinson hit for a .304 average, while receiving 10% of the MVP voting. The next season he led all left fielders in fielding (.989%) hitting 36 doubles (6th in the NL) with 11 sac flies (2nd in the NL) although he struck out 105 times & his average fell to just .246.

In the 1979 Pirates Championship he hit two HRs in a game against the Atlanta Braves driving in four runs on May 2nd. A week later on May 9th he hit two more HRs in Atlanta driving in another four runs against the Braves.

At the end of May he hit HRs in back to back games at Shea Stadium, helping the Pirates beat the Mets twice.  In the first game he drove in both runs in the 2-1 win & then the next day Robinson drove in three runs in the 6-1 Pirate victory.

On June 3rd he hit two more HRs in a game against the Padres & then had another multi HR game four days later against the Los Angeles Dodgers. On the season season, Robby hit 24 HRs with 75 RBIs, batting .264 playing in 119 games in left field & 28 games behind Willie Stargell at first base.

Post Season: In the NLCS he didn’t get any hits in the Pirates three game sweep over the Cincinnati Reds, seeing limited action as a pinch hitter 0-3. He went 5 for 19 (.263) playing in all seven games of the World Series against the Baltimore Orioles.

In Game #2 he had a pinch hit base hit & then in game #6 drove in a run with a 7th inning sac fly off Jim Palmer driving in a run in the Pirates 4-0 win. 

In Game #7 he singled & was on base in the 6th inning, when Willie Stargell hit his famous two run HR, which put the Pirates ahead for good 2-1. In the top of the 9th inning, he was hit by a pitch from O's pitcher Dennis Martinez with the bases loaded, forcing in another run.

He put in another good batting average in 1980, batting .280, as he became more of a reserve player. His manager Chuck Tanner labeled him “the super sub” as he was still very valuable to his team. From there his career began to wind down & he was traded back to Philadelphia in 1982 finishing out his playing days in there in 1983.

In a 16 year career he batted.258 lifetime with 1127 hits 166 HRs, 229 doubles 29 triples a .300 on base % & 641 RBIs in 1472 games played.

Mets Coach: In 1984 when Davey Johnson took over as the New York Mets manager, he hired Robinson as a hitting instructor & first base coach. He preferred that title over that of hitting coach. Robinson once said “A good hitting instructor is able to mold his teachings to the individual. If a guy stands on his head, you perfect that.” Robinson helped a talented team of hitting stars put together one of the most powerful lineups in baseball in the middle eighties.

The players had a great relationship with him, some guys like Wally Backman and Kevin Mitchell even called him “Uncle Bill”. He’d get on his players, but never raised his voice.

Quotes: Daryl Strawberry said; “When I dogged it, Bill would get all over my butt, but he never yelled. He’d say, ‘You’re the best in this business son, now come on”. 

Keith Hernandez said Bill told him: “I can’t teach you anything, you’re a batting champion, you know what you can do.”

Robinson was a professional & true gentleman, did not allow players to go on the field without a full uniform. He’d even make them tuck in their shirts. If there was a brawl on the field, Robinson would be right in the middle of it, backing his team.

In those days the very confident Mets teams, were famous for “High fives”, but Robinson introduced the “low two”. When runners would stop at first with a hit, he would use his index & middle fingers to slap theirs, under handed below the knee. That too, was done quietly & professionally as everything Robinson did.

During a June game in 1986 against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Robinson suspected Pirate pitcher Rick Rhoden (who was a former team mate of his) of doctoring up the baseball. He kept telling his hitters to get the ball checked by the umpire. Later in the game Robinson began shouting at Rhoden, he shouted back & all of a sudden punches were flying as Robinson went after Rhoden. Then benches emptied as Kevin Mitchell was the first Met to grab Rhoden protecting his coach.

After the Mets 1986 World Series win, the team underachieved for the next few seasons.

By 1989 someone had to take blame, rather than fire Davey Johnson, GM Frank Cashen chose to axe coaches Bill Robinson and Sam Perlozzo. Johnson protested in honor of his coaches, but was warned he would be the next to go if things didn't improve. Robinson was a respected coach & achieved success any where he went.

He worked in the San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phillies, Florida Marlins, Los Angeles Dodger & A.L. New York clubs organizations, collecting two more World Series rings along the way. On both occasions when the big league teams won the Series, he was a minor league hitting instructor. He also managed in the Venezuelan League and was an analyst for ESPN's "Baseball Tonight" in 1990-1991.

Passing: Robinson was known to be suffering from diabetes, on July 29, 2007, he was found dead in a Las Vegas hotel room at the age 64.

He was working as the Los Angeles Dodgers' minor league hitting coordinator at the time, visiting the team's AAA Las Vegas affiliate when he passed away.

In 2016 as the Mets celebrated the 30th anniversary of the 1986 World Championship team, Robinson was represented by his wife & his son. They were warmly welcomed by the fans & players alike.

Remembering Mets History: (1971) Cleon Jones Ties an MLB Record Drawing Six Walks in A Double Header

Thursday June 25, 1971: Gil Hodges second place Mets (40-28) made a trip up North into Canada, to Parc Jarry in Montreal, for a twi night double header.

The Mets were only 3 ½ games out of first place being hosted by Gene Mauch's fifth place Expos (28-39).

In this twin bill, Cleon Jones would set an MLB record by walking six times in the two games, helping the Mets to the doubleheader sweep.

In the first game a young Nolan Ryan (6-4) went up against Montreal's Jim Britton.

Starting Lineups

Cleon Jones walked three times in this game, drawing the base on balls from three different pitchers; Btitton, Claude Raymond & Mike Marshall. 

In the 1st, Montreal got two lead off singles & an RBI double from Rusty Staub. The Mets answered in the 2nd on a Jerry Grote RBI double, scoring Dave Marshall. In the 5th Marshall would single with the bases loaded scoring Mike Jorgensen for a 2-1 Mets lead.

In the 7th, Jones would draw his would third walk & score on Ed Kranepools two run single. 

Nolan Ryan went the distance, allowing one run as he scattered eleven Expo hits. Ryan had great control on this day, walking only one, as he struck out ten earning his 7th win of the year against four losses. On the year he would go 10-14 with a 3.97 ERA with 137 strike outs & 116 walks in 152 innings.

Starting Lineups

In the night cap, the Mets started Ray Sadecki against Dan McGinn. Cleon Jones walked three more times in this game, in the 1st & 3rd innings off McGinn & later in the 9th inning off reliever Howie Reed.

For New York Danny Frisella got the win in relief of Ray Sadecki. The Mets won this game 4-2, as Bud Harrelson got three hits including a 2nd inning RBI double that tied the game. In the 5th inning, Tim Foli walked, was sacrificed over & stole third.  Donn Clendenon was walked & rookie Ken Singleton singled home the second Mets run.

With two outs, Duffy Dyer walked & Harrelson came through with another RBI single, making it 4-1.

Former Met Ron Hunt hit a solo HR for Montreal but the Mets won it 4-2. Danny Frisella had relieved Sadecki in the 5th & pitched 4.2 scoreless innings, allowing two hits. He went on to his fourth win (4-2) going on to have his best season 8-5 with 12 saves & a 1.99 ERA.

Jun 24, 2019

Remembering Mets History: (2008) Carlos Delgado Ties Franchise Record With Seven Multi HR Games

In 2008 Carlos Delgado matched Dave Kingman for the franchise record of seven multi HR games in a season. Lucas Duda matched the feat in 2015 for the NL Champion Mets. Delgado's season went like this:

On April 27th, Delgado had just hit one HR in the opening month of the 2008 season. Willie Randolph's Mets were in second place just 1.5 games back as they hosted Bobby Cox's fourth Atlanta Braves.

Future SNY studio analyst Nelson Figueroa was on the mound on his way to his second win as Delgado helped him with two HRs in the 6-3 win. Delgado's first HR came off John Smoltz & the latter in the 9th inning off Will Ohman.

Friday night June 27th the Mets were in third place under new skipper Jerry Manuel who had replaced Randolph as manager. This became a record day for Carlos Delgado, as he would drive in nine runs & hit two HRs in the Mets 15-6 win across town in the subway series opener. 

Delgado came to bat in the 5th inning with the score tied at four. Carlos Beltran & Luis Castillo were aboard when he hit a three run shot off Edwar Ramirez for the 6-4 lead. In the 6th inning Delgado connected for a grand slam as David Wright, Castillo & Beltran were all aboard the bases. Delgado had now taken the team lead with 13 HRs.

On July 26th the Mets were in first place under Jerry Manuel, playing in St. Louis. Delgado connected for two HRs on this night, getting him to 22 on the season while hitting nine in the month.

On August 25th, the first place Mets hosted Cecil Cooper's Houston Astros in front of 49,791 at Shea Stadium. Delgado opened the day up with a three run HR off Brian Moehler. In the 7th, he connected for another three run HR, giving him six RBIs on the day & his fourth multi HR game.

Two days later the Mets were in Philadelphia fighting to hold on to first place. There was trouble in New York as the Mets were once again losing their grip on first place as they had done the year before in the final days of the season. Delgado had a good month driving in 24 runs & strong September as well. But the Mets would fall short of the post season once again.

In this game Delgado blasted two HRs, including an 8th inning solo shot off Rudy Seanez. It was his 30th HR of the season, this one putting the Mets ahead for good. Daniel Murphy & Brian Schneider added RBI hits in the inning.

In September Delgado continued his hot hitting, carrying the Mets team that still couldn't catch the Phils. In the month he hit 8 HRs with 22 RBIs. At no point was he hotter than early in the month in a two day span. On September 7th, the first place Mets hosted the second place Phillies in a double header at Shea Stadium. The Mets moved to two games ahead as they took both ends of the twin bill. In the second game, Johan Santana beat Hole Camels as Delgado led the way with two HRs both coming off Hamels.

Two days later Delgado tied the Mets team record of multi HR games in a season, as he had his seventh matching Dave Kingman in 1976.

The Mets still holding on to first place hosted Manny Acta's Washington Nationals in front of 50 plus thousand at Shea. In the 3rd inning he connected for a two run shot off John Lannon. In the bottom of the 6th, Carlos Beltran put the Mets ahead 9-8 with a two run HR. 

Delgado followed with a solo HR his 35th of the year. The Mets went on to a 10-8 win. Delgado finished the year with 38 HRs & 115 RBIs. His 38 HRs were third best in the league. In 1976 Kingman finished second in the NL HR race to Mike Schmidt.

2006 NL Eastern Champion Mets First Baseman: Carlos Delgado (2006-2009)

Carlos Juan Delgado was born in Puerto Rico on June 25, 1972. The New York Mets showed interest in him in high school but he chose to sign with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1988.

He was only 17 at the time and spent his minor league career as a catcher making frequent All Star appearances at all minor league levels. He was the 1993 Southern League MVP at AAA Knoxville hitting 25 HRs with 102 RBIs & a .430 on base %.
He made his MLB debut as a catcher, with the 1993 World Series Champion Blue Jays, playing in the last two games of the regular season. 

In 1994 he converted from catcher becoming the Blue Jays regular left fielder. He received attention when he hit 9 HRs in just 130 at bats, but after a great April was sent down to AAA Syracuse to fine tune his hitting .

By 1996 he became an everyday player & became one of the best power hitters in the AL over the next decade. He is only one of four players to hit over 30 HRs in ten straight seasons, (including hitting 40 or more three times).

He also drove in over 90 runs in each season over the next decade (including over 100 RBIs six years in a row). He won three Silver Slugger Awards, played in two All Star games & led the majors in RBIs in 2003 with 145.

In 2000 he led the league with 57 doubles and played every game of that season & the next. He caused controversy while in Toronto for not standing up during the 7TH inning stretch's singing of God Bless America. He stated it was in protest to the testing of U.S. missiles in his native Puerto Rico, country. 

As a Blue Jay he also developed a close friendship with team mate Sean Green, whom he would later help lure to the New York Mets.

Eventually the Blue Jays didn’t have the money to sign him when he became a free agent. He was heavily sought after and it came down to the Mets or Florida Marlins. He chose Florida for the 2005 season & let down many excited Met fans who's team had just signed Pedro Martinez & Carlos Beltran.

In Florida Delgado hit 33 HRs with 41 doubles 115 RBIs & batted .301. But after that season, Florida also needed to cut payroll & sold off all their top players. The New York Mets finally got him, as he was traded to New York for Mike Jacobs & Yusmeiro Petit in November 2005. 

When joining the Mets he was asked to stand during the National Anthem & the singing of God Bless America which he agreed to do. He immediately made an impact as the Mets, put in as their cleanup hitter and first baseman.

He debuted on Opening Day going hitless but then homered in his next two games driving in runs in the next three games.

In his first month as a Met in April 2006, he hit 9 HRs with 21 RBIs easily winning over the Shea fans. On May 3rd, he hit a walk off HR against Mike Gonzales & the Pittsburgh Pirates for a 4-3 Mets win. 

On May 24th he hit a three run HR off Aaron Small in the bottom of the 4th inning in the subway series at Shea Stadium, leading the Mets to a 4-1 victory. Delgado had also hit a HR the day before.

Delgado went on a tear from June 5th through June 14th driving in runs in seven straight games. In three of those games he drove in three runs each time. 

He began June batting .245 but raised his average twenty two points in the month, as he drove in 21 runs with seven HRs.

In July he had another stretch of five straight games with an RBI after the All Star break..

On August 17th Delgado hit a pair of HRs driving in four runs in the Mets 7-2 win. Delgado went on another hot streak, driving in at least one run in five straight games, ten of eleven. On August 22nd, he had a big day, hitting two HRs with five RBIs against the St. Louis Cardinals at Shea Stadium, leading New York to an 8-7 win.

He was on another tear at the end of August, hitting six HRs during the last ten days of the month, driving in 19 runs. As the season came to a close, Delgado drove in 19 runs in September as the Mets clinched the N.L. Eastern title. 

He finished the year with 38 HRs (8th in the NL) with 114 RBIs (5th in the NL) 30 doubles & batted .265. Delgado was always seen keeping a notebook on all the pitchers he faced after at bats in the dugout. He was a good student of hitting & very knowledgeable of the game.

2006 Post Season: He tore up the Los Angeles Dodgers staff in the NLDS, batting .429 (6-14). 

In Game #1 at Shea Stadium, he had a huge game, collecting four hits with a HR &72 RBIs. Delgado put the Mets on the board tying the game 1-1 with a HR off Derek Lowe.  Later, in the bottom of the 7th inning, with the score tied at four, Delgado singled to left field scoring Jose Reyes putting the Mets ahead for good. 

He then had one hit in each of the next two games, scoring a run in the final third game Mets, sweep. 

In the NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals he hit over .300 going 7-23 with three HRs nine RBIs & a .448 on base %. 

In the opener he started out the series with two hits & a walk, as the Mets went on to a 2-0 win.

In Game #2 he had another big game, with two HRs, two hits & four RRBIs. His first, came in the 1st inning, as he hit a three run HR off Chris Carpenter putting the Mets up 3-0. 

His second HR came in the 5th inning, a solo shot, also off Carpenter. The Mets went on to win the game 9-6 with Delgado leading the way.

He hit another HR in Game #4, along with David Wright & Carlos Beltran (who hit two) as the Mets went on to a big 12-5 romp at St. Louis. 

He went 1-4 in the next game, that the Cards won, then hitless in the final two games of the series. The Mets took a heartbreaking NLCS loss in seven games.

Overall in his only post season, Delgado went 13-37 batting .351 with 4 HRs 3 doubles 6 walks & 11 RBIs. 

In 2007 he opened the year with a double driving in two runs on Opening Day, in the Mets 6-1 win over the reigning champion St. Louis Cardinals. But he struggled from there not hitting his first HR until April 23rd, when he finally had got over the .200 mark. On May 9th he hit a HR at San Francisco into McCovey Cove & became the first visiting player to hit three HRs into the cove.

Later that May, Delgado had three walk off game winning RBIs for the Mets, two coming against the Chicago Cubs in the same series. On May 14th a bases loaded walk from Chicago pitcher Michael Wuertz gave the Mets a 5-4 win. Three days later a base hit scored both; the tying & winning runs in a 6-5 Mets victory. 

In a May 26th game at Florida Delgado hit two HRs & drove in five runs helping the Mets to a 7-2 win & series sweep of the Marlins. On July 5th he had four hit day, and went on a nine game hit streak later in the month, while driving in 15 runs with 5 HRs.

In August he drove in 19 runs but hit just three HRs, ending the month on a seven game hit streak. On September 4th he went down with an injury & missed the next two weeks of action as the Mets lead began to fade away. The Mets were eliminated from the post season on the last day of the season after a terrible collapse. To make matters worse he was injured when he was hit on the hand with a pitch from Florida's Dontrell Willis.

Delgado's numbers dropped off from the previous year, hitting 24 HRs with 30 doubles 87 RBIs a .333 on base % and a .258 average. The struggles continued into 2008 and everyone thought he was done early on. The media blasted him, the fans booed him and wanted him traded. He injured his hip but remained on the roster and couldn’t get his swing back.

Teams would align a shift to the right side of the infield due to him being a dead pull hitter, this didn’t help his hitting. He struggled hitting under .200 in May but broke out at an inter league game in June at the A.L. New York’s team ballpark.

That day he set a Mets club record by driving in nine runs in a single game. In the 5th inning his double down the right field line scored Luis Castillo & Carlos Beltran. Later in the 6th inning he blasted a grand slam HR off Latroy Hawkins to deep right center field putting the Mets ahead 11-4. In the 8th inning he hit a three run HR off Ross Ohlendorf to put the score at 15-5, topping off his record setting day.

He took off from there & when Willie Randolph was fired as manager, he went on a tear under new skipper Jerry Manuel. In the last two weeks of July he hit seven HRs eight multi RBI games, driving in 19 runs in that stretch. On August 21st he had a five hit day in agame against the Atlanta Braves.

On August 25th he hit two HRs while driving in six runs in a 9-1 Mets win over the Astros at Shea Stadium. Delgado carried the Mets through the summer keeping them in first place & in contention until the last day of the season.

He had 65 RBIs in a 65 game stretch from June until September; tying Dave Kingman’s record for multi HR games (7) and got his 2000th career hit on Sept. 21st.

In the last game ever played at Shea Stadium, he had one hit & almost tied the game in the bottom of the 8th inning with a dep line drive shot to left field. He ended up third in the league in both HRs (38) (most on the Mets club) & RBIs (115). 

He hit 32 doubles & ended up batting .271, but also led the team in strikeouts for the third straight year. He ended up playing in 159 games once his injuries were finally all healed. He did so well Mets exercised his 12 million dollar option for 2009.

In 2009 he started out well, he became the first player to hit a HR in the Pepsi Porch at the Mets new home; Citi Field. After 26 games he was batting .298 with 4 HRs & 23 RBIs, and then he developed a bone spur and a torn labrum in his hip.

On May 19th he underwent successful surgery on his hip and was scheduled to be out until the end of July. That never worked out, setbacks ended his season & his career. After the 2009 season, no team sought him out as a free agent with concerns about his health after three hip surgeries.

Retirement: In a career that may possibly put him in the Hall of Fame Carlos played in 2035 games over 17 seasons, batting .280 with 473 HRs (33rd all time) 483 doubles (81st all time) 1512 RBIs (55th all time) 974 extra base hits (44th all time) 1109 base on balls (77th all time) posting a.383 on base % (147th all time). 

He struck out 1745 times (29th most all time) was walked 188 times intentionally (25th all time) hit 93 sac flies (55th all time) was hit by 172 pitches (16th all time).

At first base he played in 1767 games (41st all time) committing 129 errors (76th all time) with 15,144 put outs (44th all time). 

Trivia: Delgado has hit the most HRs & driven in the most RBIs of any Puerto Rican ball player.

He was always known for doing a lot of charity work, especially in children’s hospitals and won the 2006 Roberto Clemente award for his services.

Family: Carlos & his wife Betzaida Garcia have two children.

Jun 23, 2019

50th Anniversary of 1969 Mets: Mets Sweep Twi-Night Double Header As Phillie Slugger Dick Allen Gets Suspended

50th Anniversary of the 1969 World Champion "Amazing Mets"

Tuesday, June 24th 1969: The Philadelphia Phillies (26-38) arrive in town for a twi-night double header at Shea Stadium. The Phils managed by Bob Skinner who was a long time outfielder with the Pittsburgh Pirates, a member of their 1960 World's Championship team, also was a member of the 1964 Cardinals World Championship team. The Phillies let him go later in the 1969 season.

 Drama: In the late morning, controversial Phillie slugger Ritchie Allen (soon to be known as Dick Allen) decided he wanted to go to Monmouth Park, New Jersey to bet on a horse race. 

Allen made the 72 mile trip from Shea to the racetrack & played the ponies. He made his way back to Queens, but arrived at the ballpark after the game had already started, infuriating his manager. 

Some in the Phillies organization believed he forgot there was double header, thinking it was just an ordinary night game start. Others claim he just didn’t care. According to Allen himself, he said he got stuck in the New York metropolitan area traffic. In the end he was fined by Skinner and suspended until the middle of July.

The Phils and Dick Allen had been battling each other all year. Most recently he had already been late for two games that same month. But there were plenty of other issues too. In all fairness to Allen he was never a welcomed man in Philadelphia.

He had been booed mercifully when he struggled early on in his career. Things got so bad, he had to wear a batting helmet on the field because the fans would throw objects at him. 

He actually answered them, back by writing BOO in the dirt with his foot, around first base while playing at the position. (After seven seasons in Philly, Allen moved on to St. Louis (1970) & then Los Angeles (1971) Eventually to the Chicago White Sox (1972-1974) winning two AL HR titles, an RBI title & the 1972 MVP Award.)

As for the double header at Shea Stadium; Gil Hodges Mets (37-28) were in second place, five games back of the Chicago Cubs. In the first game they sent Tom Seaver (11-2) to the mound facing the fifth place Phils' Woodie Fryman (6-3). 

Starting Lineups

Tom Seaver went on to have another outstanding game. Tom Terrific would throw a complete game seven hitter, striking out nine batters & walking just one. The victory got him to an 11-3 record on the season, one of baseballs best, with one of the leagues best ERA's at 2.53 to go along with it, on his way to his first Cy Young Award. 

In the home 3rd, Al Weis singled & was moved over on a Seaver bunt. Bud Harrelson then tripled scoring Weis making it 1-0. It was Harrelson's third triple of the year, he would have six on the season. 

The leagues leading hitter (.346), Cleon Jones then brought in Harrelson with a base hit. It was all New York needed for the 2-1 win.

Second Game: In the nightcap Mets Manager Gil Hodges sent Jim McAndrew (0-2) to  the mound to face Philadelphia's Jerry Johnson (3-6). 

Starting Lineups

Jim McAndrew had one of his best outings of the year, shutting out the Phillies for eight innings, allowing just two hits & not issuing a walk. 

Ron Taylor came on in the 9th inning & recorded his sixth save, as the Mets easily swept the twin bill.

As for the Mets offense; In the bottom of the 4th, Tommie Agee reached on an error & Kenny Boswell singled.
Art Shamsky & Wayne Garrett both singled driving in runs making it 2-0. Ed Kranepool’s sac fly drove in Shamsky making it 3-0. The pitcher, Jim McAndrew then drew a walk with the bases loaded for the 4th run. 

In the home 8th; Tommie Agee hit his 11th HR of the year, a solo shot capping off the 5-0 win. 

Trivia: Tommie Agee would lead all batters with 14 HRs at Shea Stadium in 1969.