May 12th 1962: This was an incredible day for the Young1962 New York Mets. Just 23 games into the teams existence they were already struggling at 6-17 in ninth place already 12 1/2 games back out of first place. This day would be one of the best days for the young franchise, as they would sweep their first double header in dramatic walk off style thrilling the 19,748 fans at the Polo Grounds.
In the first game Mets Manager; Casey Stengel started Roger Craig against the Milwaukee Braves future Hall of Famer; Warren Spahn. In the top of the 2nd, the Braves; Del Crandall hit a solo HR putting Milwaukee up 1-0. Then in the 5th, Spahn himself had an RBI single, making it 2-0 Braves.
In the home 6th, Mets short stop; Elio Chacon singled & got to second base. Frank Thomas then doubled to left field putting the Mets on the board as Chacon scored. The score stayed that way to the 9th inning, as Spahn came out to finish the complete game.
The Mets; Gil Hodges led off with an infield single. Next, Hot Rod Kanehl came into pinch run for the aging Hodges. Spahn got pinch hitter Cliff Cook to strikeout & Gus Bell to pop out.
With the Mets down to their last out, Hobie Landrith stepped in & made Mets history. He hit what was the first walk off HR ever for the New York Mets franchise. The Polo Grounds crowd was delighted for their beloved team, as Spahn & the Braves were needless to say-shocked.
Met pitcher, Craig Anderson, who had come on in the 8th inning, got the win pitching two scoreless innings. Craig had gone seven innings allowing two runs on five hits.
In the second game of the twin bill also known as the night cap, there were even more thrills, as the Mets would use six pitchers & the Braves five pitchers.
The Mets started Bob Moorhead vs the Braves (a future Met) Carl Willey. The Mets struck first as Jim Hickman hit a 1st inning HR. In the 2nd Elio Chacon had an RBI single making it 2-0.
The Braves got a sac fly from Hank Aaron in the 4th, but the Mets came back with a Felix Mantilla two run double. It was a 4-1 Met lead going to the 5th, but Moorhead quickly gave up four runs, including a Hank Aaron HR, to get knocked out of the game.
In the home 6th, Jim Hickman singled for New York & Elio Chacon tripled him in. Frank Thomas added an RBI single & the Mets regained the lead 6-5. But in the 8th Hank Aaron drove in his fourth run of the day with a double off Ken MacKenzie. The Braves added another run to go up 7-6.
In the home 8th, the pesky Mets fought back. Ed Bouchee walked, Hot Rod Kanehl came in to pinch run, and was advanced by a Hickman bunt. Elio Chacon came through again, his infield single tied the game at 7-7. It was his third RBI on the day. Chacon would have just 27 RBIs on the season.
In the top of the 9th, the Braves got (future Mets coach & manager) Roy McMillan all the way to third base but left him stranded as Mets pitcher Craig Anderson retired the side.
In the bottom of the 9th, the Mets fans in the Polo Grounds got another tremendous thrill. The future Hall of Famer & Veteran Brooklyn Dodger; Gil Hodges, a New York legend, now with the Mets came to bat. Hodges hit a walk off HR to win the game.
It was the second Mets thrilling HR of the day that ended a game with a win. Quite a day for the young Mets franchise.