Jul 5, 2021

Remebering Mets History: (1962) "Marvelous" Marv Throneberry's Two Summer Walk Off HRs

Saturday, July 7th 1962:
Casey Stengel's Mets (23-57) hosted Johnny Keane's fourth place St. Louis Cardinals (45-38) in the first game of a double header at the Polo Grounds.
In the battle of pitchers with the last name Jackson; the Mets sent Al Jackson to the mound against the Cards, Larry Jackson.

In the top of the 3rd, the Cards, Larry Jackson singled & Curt Flood reached on an Elio Chacon error. 
Both runners then advanced when Julian Javier flew out. Ken Boyer then singled to drive in both runs,  making it 2-0 St. Louis. The Cards added another in the 6th, on singles by Boyer, Charlie James & Jimmy Schaffer.

St. Louis' Larry Jackson was pitching a shutout until the bottom of the 6th, when the Mets Sammy Taylor hit a solo HR making it a 2-1 game. 

The score remained that way until the bottom of the 6th. With two outs, Sammy Taylor hit a HR to right field, it was Taylor's 2nd HR of the year. He would hit just three in 68 games with the Mets that year.

In the home 7th, the Mets rallied, as Gil Hodges
started it off with a one out single. Elio Chacon then walked & pinch hitter Frank Thomas, singled bringing in Hodges to make it 3-2. The Cards brought in Lindy McDaniel to pitch, facing Richie Ashburn. Ashburn hit a fly ball to left field, Elio Chacon tagged & scored, tying up the game at three.

In the 9th inning, with the score still tied, the Mets had Ray Daviault on the mound. Curt Flood led off with a solo HR giving the Cards a 4-3 lead. He then struck out the next three St. Louis hitters to end the inning.

In the bottom of the 9th, Cardinal pitcher Curt Simmons, gave up a lead off infield single to Joe Christopher. The Cards then brought in Ernie Broglio to try to close out the game. 

Broglio, got Gil Hodges to fly out to left field for the first out. The next batter was Elio Cahcon, but Casey Stengel sent in Marv Throneberry to pinch hit. 

The legend of  "Marvelous" Marv Throneberry grew bigger today, as he came through, smashing a walk off HR, winning the game for the Mets 5-4. The '62 Mets, won just 40 games, amazingly, nine of them were walk off's with Throneberry having two of them. 

Tuesday August 21st, 1962: On this day a small crowd of 4,184 came to the Polo Grounds to see another twin bill. Today, Casey Stengel's Mets (31-95) host Danny Murtaugh's fourth place Pittsburgh Pirates (72-53). Two seasons prior the Pirates had won the World Series.

Bob Moorhead went to the mound for New York & Art Mahaffey for Pittsburgh.

In the 1st, Bill Virdon led off with a base hit & Dick Groat got aboard ,when a passed a ball on a third strike got away from Catcher, Chris Cannizzaro. Dick Stuart, (a future Met) known as "Dr. Strange Glove" because his fielding was horrific, singled, bringing in the first two runs of the game. Pitcher Harvey Haddix added an RBI single to make it 3-0.

In the 4th, the Mets Jim Hickman singled & Rick Herrscher doubled. "Hot Rod" Kanehl grounded out but Hickman scored, the Mets first run. 

In the 7th, the Pirates went up 4-1 as Don Leppert homered off reliever, Ray Daviault.

In the bottom of the 9th, the Mets were down 4-1 &
it looked like another loss. But there was some magic in the Polo Grounds that day. Richie Ashburn singled & Joe Christopher walked.

The Pirates took out Haddix & brought in Roy Face. After striking out Charlie Neal looking, Felix Mantilla singled to bring home Ashburn, making it a 4-2 game. After slugger Frank Thomas flew out, Stengel brought in "Marvelous" Marv Throneberry to pinch hit for Jim Hickman.

Casey had a hunch & it worked, Throneberry took Roy Face deep over the right center field wall, giving the Mets a dramatic, unbelievable 5-4 win.

The legend of "Marvelous Marv" got even bigger.

Marv Throneberry was one of the first folk heroes for the New York Mets. The fans loved him, starting the "Marvelous Marv Fan Club" which reportedly had over 5000 members. They even would wear shirts that read VRAM, which was Marv spelled backwards.

The early Mets fans, began to bring home made banners to the ball park. Mets manager Casey Stengel, would  famously call these banners, placards. 

Many of these early banners were to honor the popular Throneberry. One of Marvelous Marv's placards, read "Cranberry Strawberry - We Love Throneberry"!

In 1962 Throneberry hit 16 HRs, second to Frank Thomas on the Mets team. He would bat .244 with 49 RBIs playing in 116 games.

After just 14 games in 1963 he was sent to the minors & eventually retired. In the early eighties he resurfaced as one of the stars in the classic Miller Lite commercials. 

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