May 14, 2018

Remembering Mets History (1962): A Big Day for Craig Anderson & Mets First Two Walk Off HRs In Team History

Saturday May 12th 1962: On a this rare afternoon at the Polo Grounds, the expansion New York Mets (6-17) won a double header, beating the seventh place Milwaukee Braves (13-15) . The twin bill sweep accounted for two of the teams forty victories in the season.

In the first game Roger Craig got the start for he Mets, he pitched seven strong innings giving up two runs, on five hits. Pitcher Craig Anderson came on with New York down 2-1.

In  the bottom of the 9th, Gil Hogdes got himself an infield single to third base. Hot Rod Kanehl came in to run for him. With two outs, Hobie Landrith hit a two run walk off HR to beat the great Warren Spahn, walk off style 3-2. It was an exciting win for the Mets & the first walk off HR win in the teams history.

In the nightcap the Mets Bob Moorhead got the start against future Met; Carlton Willey. Moorhead gave up five runs through five innings, including a HR as well as four runs driven in by Hall of Famer; Hank Aaron. Moorhead was relieved by Bob Miller.

After Miller, it was Ken Mackenzie, Dave Hillman, Vinegar Bend Mizell & then Craig Anderson once again. Anderson threw a perfect 9th inning & would earn his second win of the day. 

The Mets scoring started in the 1st inning, when Jim Hickman homered off of Willey. Short stop Elio Chacon would have three hits & three RBIs, including a triple, as he lead the Met offense.

In the bottom of the 9th, it was dramatic heroics once again. This time, vertan Brooklyn Dodger & beloved New York player; Gil Hodges hit a walk off home run to win the game. It was like a World Series victory for the 20,000 in attendance that day at the Polo Grounds. 

Overall the Mets used 18 roster players in the second game of this double header.

Craig Anderson was now 3-1 for the ’62 Mets, unfortunately, he would never win another big league game. He went on to lose his next 16 decisions that year and three more the following two seasons. 

In 1963 Anderson started & took the loss in the last game ever played at the Polo Grounds, giving up three runs and five hits exiting in the 4th inning. 

He also pitched in one game during the inaugural season at Shea Stadium in 1964, getting hit for four runs in less than an inning pitched in a May game. 

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