Remembering Mets History (1962): The First Two Walk Offs & Double Header Sweep In Mets History

Saturday May 12th 1962: This was one of the biggest days for the young Mets franchise & their fans. The Mets were just 23 games into their existence, already struggling at 6-17.

They were miring around in ninth place already 12 games back of first place.

Not only would they sweep their first double header today, but win both games in exciting walk off fashion. A huge thrill for 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& the all time winning left hander,Warren Spahn. 

Starting Lineups

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 the first walk off HR in the history of the New York Mets franchise. It was the only HR Landrith would hit for the Mets in his 23 games played.

The Polo Grounds crowd was delighted for their beloved team, as Spahn & the Braves were needless to say shell 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.

second game:

In the second game of the twin bill (also known as the night cap) there were even more thrills to come. The Mets starter Bob Moorhead went up against the Braves, Carl Willey, who would be a future Met.

Casey Stengel would use six Mets pitchers- Moorehead (five innings) Bob Miller (one inning) Ken MacKenzie (one inning) Dave Hillman (one inning) Vinegar Bend Mizell (walked the one batter he faced) & Craig Anderson (one inning). The Braves would use five pitchers.  

The Mets struck first as Jim Hickman hit a 1st inning lead off HR. In the 2nd, Charlie Neal singled but was caught stealing. Hobie Landrith then walked & was moved over on a bunt. Elio Chacon then singles making it 2-0 Mets.

The Braves got a sac fly from Hank Aaron in the 4th, but the Mets came back in the bottom of the inning. Landrith singled & Chacon walked then Felix Mantilla hit a two run double, making it 4-1. The Met lead held going to the 5th, but Moorhead quickly gave up singles to Roy McMillan & Jack Curtis. Tommie Aaron hit a sac fly & then Mack Jones tripled bringing in two runs. HR King Hank Aaron then hit a two run HR,making it 5-4 & knocking Moorehead out of the game.

In the home 6th, Jim Hickman singled for New York & Elio Chacon tripled him in to tie it up. 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 reliever, 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 as pinch runner Hot Rod Kanhel scored. 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 delivered to hit the 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.


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