Dec 27, 2015

Remembering Mets History: (2000) The Benny Agbayani Foul Ball Incident

Saturday Night August 12th 2000: Bobby Valentines second place Mets (68-47) were in the midst of a five game win streak, just 2 1/2 games out of first place, as they hosted Dusty Baker's first place San Francisco Giants (68-47). Mike Hampton (11-7) went up against former Met; Shawn Estes in what was to be an NLDS preview of the post season.

The Mets scored in the 3rd inning on a solo HR by Mike Bordick. Bordick a veteran short stop, was brought over from Baltimore in a trade for Melvin Mora to replace the injured Rey Ordonez. 

In the 4th the Mets had the one run lead, the Giants Jeff Kent led off with a double. Ellis Burks reached on an error, but then Rich Aurilla grounded out. Hampton hit J.T. Snow with a pitch to load the bases for Catcher; Bobby Estalella.

Estalella hit a fly ball down the left field line that Benny Agbayani caught for the second out. Unfortunately Agbayani thought it was the third out, he went over to the stands & handed a little boy the ball. The Giants base runners took advantage & two of them crossed the plate as Agbayani grabbed the ball back from the kid. The kid was shocked when Benny took the ball away from him. It was an embarrassing moment for a good Mets player that always gave it his all & was a hell of a nice guy as well.

In the dugout after the inning, Mets coach Mookie Wilson consoled Agbayani telling him "you cant take that back, you just have to out & play the game".

In the bottom of the 7th, Bubba Trammell drew a lead off walk, manager Dusty Baker relieved Estes with Frankie Rodriquez. After recording the next two outs, Edgardo Alfonzo walked & advanced on a wild pitch. Todd Zeile then doubled scoring Trammell & Alfonzo with what was the game winning run. 

After Hampton pitched seven innings giving up two unearned runs & five hits, Turk Wendell held it down in the 8th & Armando Benitez saved it in the 9th. Benny Agbayani was off the hook. That season he batted .289 with 15 HRs 60 RBIs & a .391 on base %.

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