Remembering Mets History: (1999) Bobby Valentine Wears A Disguise In the Dugout After Being Ejected

Tuesday June 9th, 1999: This legendary day in Mets history took place at Shea Stadium, as a crowd of 18,254 came out to see Bobby Valentines second place New York Mets (31-28) go against Jim Fregosi's third place Toronto Blue Jays (27-34). 

The starting pitchers were Rick Reed for New York & David Wells for Toronto. The two teams would use five pitchers each in this 14 inning 26 hits affair.

In the 2nd, Darrin Fletcher hit a solo HR for Toronto, making it 1-0 Jays. In the 3rd, Craig Grebeck singled & then scored on Carlos Delgado's double. Joe Cruz added a solo HR in the 4th off Reed, giving the Blue Jays a 3-0 lead.

The game remained that way until the bottom of the 9th inning, when the Mets came back.  David Wells had shut the Mets out for eight innings & was going for the shut out.

But Edgardo Alfonzo singled with one out. John Olerud made out #2 on a force play. Then Mike Piazza singled, bringing up Robin Ventura with runners on the corners. 

The slow-footed Piazza surprised everyone & stole second base. Ventura then singled off of Wells bringing in the two runners. Billy Koch replaced Wells on the mound, for Toronto. 

For New York, Luis Lopez came in to run for Ventura, as Brian McRae stepped in to hit. McRae doubled double down the left field line, scoring Lopez tying the game at three. 

The game went to extra innings. In the top of the 12th, Shannon Stewart singled off the Mets reliever Pat Mahomes. Next, Mike Piazza was called for catcher interference as batter Craig Grebeck was at bat. 

Mets manager, Bobby Valentine came out to argue the call with home plate umpire, Randy Marsh. As things got heated, Marsh ejected Valentine from the game. 

The Mets got out of the inning, as Mahomes got Jacob Brumfield to pop out & then struck out Carlos Delgado swinging.

In the14th inning, the Jays had Tom Davey pitching. But he gave up back-to-back walks to Luis Lopez & Brian McRae. Veteran Dan Plesac came on to pitch. Then, short stop Rey Ordonez singled to drive in the walk off game winning run.

But what made this game unforgettable, is that after Valentines' ejection, he was spotted by television camera's; sitting in the dugout, wearing a fake moustache & sunglasses. It was certainly one of Bobby V's classic moments, and will forever be a remembered in his legacy as Mets Manager. 

Quotes: Bobby Valentine: "I wasn't fooling anyone with that disguise. If Randy Marsh saw it, I believe he would have laughed. This had absolutely nothing to do with the umpires. I did it to lighten up the team." 

The league wasn't as amused as the fans were or as amused as the media was. NL President Leonard Coleman wanted to meet with Valentine in person. But Bobby V. said he'd reach out to him by phone. Valentine ended up getting suspended for two games & was fined $5000. 

The Mets went on to win 12 of their next 15 games. That year they tied for a playoff spot, won the tie breaker for the wild card & beat the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NLDS, before getting eliminated by the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS.


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