Dec 20, 2019

Remembering Mets History (1975): Kingman Blasts 480' HR Into Shea's Parking Lot

Tuesday June 3rd 1975: At this point in time Yogi Berra was still managing the New York Mets, the club at 23-20 would get themselves within 1/2 game of first place before fading off to a third place finish.

Tonight they hosted Preston Gomez's Houston Astros (20-34). The Mets sent Tom Hall to the mound against Bob Forsch.

Starting Lineups

The Astros got on the board in the 3rd when short stop Roger Metzger hit a solo HR. Metzger would hit just two HR that season with a total of five in his 11 year MLB career. Metzger did lead the NL in triples twice (1971 & 1973) hitting 71 in his career.
In the 3rd, Jerry Grote singled, advanced & scored on Felix Millan's base hit, making it 1-1.

In the 4th inning, the Mets got something going as Rusty Staub & Ed Kranepool both singled. Then Dave Kingman came up & connected with a monstrous shot that landed in the Shea Stadium parking lot. The HR one of the longest in Shea Stadium history was estimated at 480 feet from home plate

Home plate Umpire Bill Williams lifted his mask to watch the balls flight, go out of sight. The story goes even Astros catcher Milt May took off his mask to view it. It was Kingman's 7th HR of the season, on his way to a club record at that time 36 (2nd in the NL). The Mets took a 4-1 lead & would win the game 4-3. Hall got his first win of the year & Bob Apodaca his 7th save.

Trivia: After the HR was hit, the Shea Stadium parking lot put up warning signs, half joking & half covering their butts, that a Kingman HR may land in certain areas of the parking lot, beware! The signs were eventually lost, probably taken by Mets fan memorabilia collectors.

Dave Kingman hit 154 HRs as a New York Met, 5th most on the Mets all time list. Kingman hit more HRs at Shea Stadium than any other ball park in his career.

Quotes: Dave Kingman reflecting on his Mets days- "I enjoyed the six years on the Mets.  I'm very happy and very content.  I can't imagine making a living any other way than hitting a baseball.  When you take a good cut and pitcher and hitter alike know where it's going, that's the joy of being a power hitter."

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