May 12, 2019

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  led by Casey Stengel (6-17) won a double header, beating Birdie Tibbets, seventh place Milwaukee Braves (13-15).

The twin bill sweep accounted for two of the teams forty victories in the season. A good crowd of 19,748 came out & saw pitcher Craig Anderson have the day of his life.

Starting Lineups 


In the first game Roger Craig got the start for he Mets, he pitched seven strong innings giving up two runs, a HR by catcher Del Crandel & an RBI single from the pitcher, Warren Spahn. Craig gave up five Braves hits, struck out seven & walked no one.

Reliever Craig Anderson came in the eighth inning with the Mets down 2-1. After Spahn led off with a double, Anderson retired the next three batters.

In  the bottom of the 9th, Gil Hogdes got aboard with an infield single to third base. The Mets,"Hot Rod" Kanehl came in to run for him. With two outs, Hobie Landrith connected off Warren Spahn & hit a two run walk off HR for the 3-2. It was an exciting win for the Mets & the first walk off HR win in the teams history & the Polo Grounds fans, went crazy! 


Second Game: In the nightcap the Mets Bob Moorhead got the start for the Mets, going against future Met; Carlton Willey. Moorhead gave up five runs through five innings, HR king, Hank Aaron blasted one out & drove in four of the runs.  
Starting Lineups


For the Mets, Jim Hickman led off with a HR. In the 2nd, Elio Chacon singled in Hobie Landrith for the 2nd run.

In the 4th, Felix Mantilla hit a two run double making it 4-1.
Chacon added an RBI triple in the 6th & Frank Thomas brought him in with the Mets' sixth run. Chacon tied the game with his third RBI hit in 8th.

Bob Moorhead was relieved by Bob Miller in the 6th inning & five other relievers followed.

After Miller, it was Ken Mackenzie who allowed two runs, Dave Hillman who pitched a scoreless 7th inning, then Vinegar Bend Mizell,in the 9th, who pitched to just one batter & walked him.

Then it was Craig Anderson time once again. Anderson retired all three batters he faced, Del Crandel, Hank's brother, Tommie Aaron & Mack Jones.


In the bottom of the 9th, it was another dramatic heroic win once again. This time, veteran beloved Brooklyn Dodger & future Mets manager, Gil Hodges hit the walk off HR to win the game.

It was like a World Series victory for the ecstatic fans 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 earned the victory once again. He 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 over 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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