Remembering Mets History: Regular Season Walk Off Grand Slam HRs

Mets Walk Off Grand Slam HRS:
1963: On Wednesday June 26th, 1963, Tim Harkness hit the first walk off grand slam HR in Mets history. The game was in the bottom of the 14th inning at the old Polo Grounds in New York.

 Galen Cisco had just given up a two run inside the park HR to the Chicago Cubs future Hall of Famer; Billy Williams. With the Mets now down 6-4 in the home 14th, Jim Hickman & Ron Hunt both singled, but Hickman was thrown out trying to get to third base.

Next the wacky Jimmy Piersall drew a walk, then Mets slugger Frank Thomas flew out for the second out. 

Pitcher Jim Brewer was brought in for the Cubs & gave up a walk to Sammy Taylor to load up the bases. Tim Harkness stepped in & hit a HR down the right field line, clearing the wall to win the game.

It was Harkness' 7th HR of the year & thrilled whoever was left of the 8,183 fans in attendance. 

In fact, there were enough left to cheer him on at the steps of the Polo Grounds Mets club house. Harkness came out to greet the fans. Even then die hard Mets fans were there. 

Tim Harkness would only play two seasons with the Mets (four in the majors). In 1963 he saw the most playing time (123 games) batting just .211 with 10 HRs & 41 RBIs.

1963: Six weeks later, on Friday night August 9th, 1963, the Mets & Cubs went at it again in front of 11,566 fans in the Polo Grounds. Jim Hickman hit the second walk off Mets grand slam. With the score tied 3-3 in the bottom of the 9th, the Cubs' starter Paul Toth was still on the mound.

With one out Jim Hickman singled to right field, Cho Cho Coleman struck out for the second out. The Mets were down to the last out. But then short stop Al Moran doubled, putting two men on. Cubs' manager Bob Kennedy brought in Lindy McDaniel to try to close out the game.

Tim Harkness was the next batter, the Cubs remembered what he had done to them a little over six weeks ago & weren't going to let it happen again. They gave him a free pass to first base, bringing up Jim Hickman with the bases loaded in the tied game. 

Hickman blasted a grand slam walk off HR to deep left field & the Mets had a 7-3 win. It was Jim Hickman l11th HR of the year. He would lead the Mets in HRs that year with 17 & was second in RBIs with 51 batting just .229.

1980: It took another 17 years, before the Mets had another walk off HR. On June 11th, 1980, the Mets hosted the L.A. Dodgers in front of 23,540 fans at Shea Stadium. 

Craig Swan had gone the entire way for New York, allowing late HRs to Dusty Baker & Steve Garvey tying up the game.

The game now in the bottom of the 10th inning, the Dodgers Rick Sutcliffe was on the mound. Mets infielder: Doug Flynn lead off with a base hit & stole second. 

With one out, Lee Mazzilli was walked intentionally to get to Frank Taveras, who struck out. With two outs, Steve Henderson drew a walk, to load up the bases.

Mike Jorgensen who was on his second go around as a Met, hit his 5th HR of the year, a walk off grand slam HR just the third in Mets history. 

Jorgensen was a local boy, born in New Jersey but had grown up on Flushing, Queens, having
attended Francis Lewis high school & St. John's University.


He was a Mets young promising reserve player for the Mets in 1968/ 1970-1971. He was traded along with Tim Foli & Ken Singleton in exchange for Rusty Staub. He had a good career in Montreal, then returned to the Mets from 1980-1983. In 1980 he hit seven HRs & batted .255 in 119 games.


1986: Six years later, on Tuesday June 10th, 1986, Tim Teufel hit the next walk off grand slam HR, coming in front of 27,472 fans against the Philadelphia Phillies in Shea Stadium.

In the bottom of the 11th inning, the Mets & Phils were tied up at 4-4 as Randy Lerch gave up a leadoff single to Ray Knight. After Rafael Santana grounded out, pinch hitter Barry Lyons & Lenny Dykstra both walked to load the bases. 

Wally Backman was scheduled to hit but as Tom Hume was brought into pitch, Tim Teufel got the pinch-hit assignment.

In classic 1986 Mets dramatic fashion, Teufel hit the first Mets pinch hit, grand slam in team history for the 8-4 win. 

Teufel was in his first year with the Mets in 1986, sharing time at second behind Wally Backman. He would hit just four HRs all year (279 at bats) & hit .247. The following season he hit a career high 14 HRs (matching his career high total from 1984 while with the Minnesota Twins).

Trivia: Teufel was the Mets third base coach in 2014. He congratulated Ike Davis on his walk off grand slam blast as he rounded third base.

1991: On Tuesday, June 25th, 1991, 28,809 fans came out to see the Mets face the Montreal Expos. Many folks left the ballpark as the Mets trailed 5-4 in the bottom of the 9th inning

Veteran Gary Templeton led off with a base hit for New York off Barry Jones. Keith Miller was brought in to pinch run. Jones had him picked off but his throwing error advanced Miller to second base.

Tom Herr struck out for the first out, then Daryl Boston drew a walk. A pitching change was made as Scott Ruskin came in relief.

With Dave Magadan due up, Mets Manager Bud Harrelson called for a double steal, which was successful. Magadan drew a walk to load the bases for Kevin McReynolds.

McReynolds hit the walk off HR grand slam, over the left centerfield wall for 8-5 New York Mets win.


Kevin McReynolds was in his fifth season as a Met, hitting 16 HRs with 74 RBIs & a .259 average. He had hit twenty or more HRs with 80 plus RBIs the four previous years. He was a good player who never got the recognition he deserved, a true quiet professional going about his business. He returned briefly in 1994 (51games) ending his career.


2013: It was another 22 years before a Mets hit a grand slam walk off HR.

On April 24th, 2013, in front of 24, 130 fans at Citi Field, the Mets were in a 3-3 deadlock with the Los Angeles Dodgers going into the 10th inning.

The Dodgers had Josh Wall on the mound, as catcher John Buck singled to start the inning. Ike Davis walked & Marlon Byrd sacrificed the runners over. Lucas Duda was walked intentionally to load the bases & face Jordany Valdespin. Valdespin delivered with a walk off grand slam HR, giving the Mets a 7-3 Mets win.

The fired up Valdespin showed a lot of emotion as he rounded the bases. His actions would eventually hurt him since he did not produce long enough to stay in the big leagues.

He had moderate success in 2012 & had a good start in 2013. But he was sent down to AAA that June finishing up the season batting .188 with 4 HRs 8 steals & 16 RBIs in 66 games.


2014: On Saturday afternoon April 5th, 2014, in just the fifth game of the season, the Mets hosted the Cincinnati Reds in front of 25,424 at Citi Field.

Dillon Gee had pitched a fine game, holding the Reds to a run into the 8th inning. Then he served up a two-run 8th inning HR to Brandon Phillips putting the Reds ahead 3-2.

In the bottom of the 9th, JJ Hoover came on to close it for Cincinnati. Juan Lagares walked & was moved over on a successful bunt hit by Anthony Recker. At first Lagares had been called out at second base, but Terry Collins challenged the call & the new replay review showed he was safe. The call was overturned to safe & the rally continued. Ruben Tejada then walked setting the stage for Ike Davis.

The Mets had tried to shop Davis all winter but there were no takers for what they were looking for in return. Just that week he was told Lucas Duda won the first base job & he would be a role player.

Duda had just hit two HRs the night before, leading to the Mets to their first win. But on this day Ike had his finest moment, he connected for the walk off grand slam HR.

It was the seventh walk off grand slam in team history. The second pinch hit grand slam in Mets history & it was the earliest one hit in any season.

2018:
On Friday evening, July 6th, 2018, 24,236 came to Citi Field to see the Mets face the Tampa Rays. Jacob deGrom held Tampa to one run on four hits while striking out eight thru eight innings.

The Mets went to the bottom of the 9th tied at 1-1 facing Chaz Roe. Todd Frazier led off with a walk, Devin Mesoraco then singled to left. Amed Rosario sacrificed the runners over, then Dom Smith grounded out to the pitcher for the second out. Brandon Nimmo was walked intentionally to load the bases for Jose Bautista.

Bautista delivered the eighth Mets grand slam walk off in team history. The Mets went on to the 5-1 win for Jacob deGrom.

Jose Bautista was winding down his 15-year career, he hit 344 career HRs, leading the AL twice (2010 & 2011). He hit 9 HRs in 83 games with the Mes before getting sent to Philadelphia ending his career.

Note: The granddaddy of Mets walk off grand slams was Robin Ventura's walk off "grand slam single" in the 1999 NLCS. It was officially ruled a single as Todd Pratt never rounded the bases after the winning run had crossed the plate.

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