Remembering Mets History (1980) Mike Jorgensen's Walk Off Grand Slam HR

Wednesday, June 11th, 1980: At this point of the 1980 season, the Mets were flirting with .500. It was certainly the high point of the year where they would end up finishing 67-95 in fifth place. Joe Torre's fourth place club were 25-27, just six games behind a very good first place Montreal Expos team.

In this evening they hosted Tommy Lasorda's second place Los Angeles Dodgers (32-23) just 1.5 games behind the Houston Astros. The starting pitchers were Craig Swan for New York & Jerry Reuss for the Dodgers. 

Craig Swan entered the game at 4-4 with a 2.27 ERA. A good pitcher on a bad team. Swan had won the NL ERA title just two years prior in 1978. This would be Swan's last win of the year as bad luck & a season ending injury finished him off by August.

Ruess was 7-1 with a 2.08 ERA entering the game. He would finish the year at 18-6 with a 2.51 ERA & leading the league with six shut outs.

In the bottom of the 2nd, Joel Youngblood, tripled for the Mets, he came in on Alex Trevino's RBI single. 

The score remained 1-0 until the home 5th. Veteran Jerry Morales doubled for New York, then with two outs Doug Flynn was intentionally walked to get to the pitcher Swan. But Lasorda's strategy backfired, Swan singled to right field to make it 2-0 Mets.

The Dodgers would tie the game with solo HRs from Dusty Baker & Steve Garvey. The game went to the 10th inning with Swan still pitching & Rick Sutcliffe on in relief for L.A.

Doug Flynn led off with a single & stole second. With one out, Lee Mazzilli
was walked intentionally. Frank Taveras went down on strikes & Steve Henderson then walked to load the bases. 

Next up, was Mike Jorgensen, he had come into the game in 9th inning to take over first base. Jorgensen gave the Shea crowd of 23, 500 something to cheer about as he hit a walk off grand slam HR to end the game.

Mets Trivia: Jorgensen was the third Mets player to end the game with a walk off grand slam. Tim Harkness had done it in 1963 & Jim Hickman in 1963.

Jorgensen was in his 11th year as a player, he had started out in 1968 with the Mets playing there until 1971, when he went to Montreal in the Rusty Staub trade. 

After a decent career in Montreal, he went to the Oakland A's briefly & the Texas Rangers before coming back to the Mets in 1980.

He became a successful pinch hitter at the end of his 17-year career & got to his first post season in his final year with the 1985 St. Louis Cardinals. Jorgensen had 21 career Mets HRs with 90 RBIs in 492 games batting .234.


Anonymous said…
i remember it well. it wasn't on tv, we were listening on the radio. all we wanted out of jorgy was a hit or walk, but bob murphy exclaimed, "a homerun! mike jorgensen has hit a grand slam!"

one of the very memorable met moments for me.

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