Remembering Mets History: (1980) Claudell Washington Hits Three HRs In Los Angeles

Sunday June 22, 1980: Joe Torre’s fifth place Mets (28-35) took on Tommy Lasorda’s second place Dodgers (38-28) at Dodger Stadium. A good crowd of 43,000 settled in to see New York's John Pacella take on L.A.'s Dave Goltz.

Claudell Washington started out the Mets 1st with a  two run HR, his first of the day. John Pacella allowed two runs in the second & was removed as manager Joe Torre replaced him with Mark Bomback. 

The Mets struck again in the 4th when short stop, Jose Moreno (Moreno had a brief 37 game stint with the 1980 Mets) tripled home Steve Henderson & John Stearns.  Then in the 5th Eliott Maddox singled, and Claudell Washington hit his second HR of the day, putting New York up 7-3. 

But he wasn’t done yet, in the top of the 7th with knuckleball pitcher; Charlie Hough on the mound, Claudell hit his third HR of the afternoon, sealing the 9-6 Mets victory. Mark Bomback who was now 4-1 on the season.

The HRs were only Washington’s second, third & fourth of the season. He became the third Met in team history to have a three HR day. Jim Hickman did it 1965 & Dave Kingman did it in 1976. Washington was a speedy outfielder who came up with the Oakland A's in 1974, he won a World Series there, then went to the Texas Rangers & Chicago White Sox. On June 7, 1980 he was traded to the Mets for minor leaguer Jesse Anderson. 
This was Washington’s biggest day as a Met, with four hits three HRs and five RBIs. It was his only season with the Mets playing in 72 games, batting .275 with 10 HRs, 42 RBIs, 16 doubles and 17 stolen bases. He wasn't happy in New York, opted for free agency at the end of the year & went to the Atlanta Braves.


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