Remembering Mets History: (1966) Hawk Taylor Hits Mets First Pinch Hit Grand Slam

Wednesday August 17th 1966: Just one week before the Beatles were to play Shea Stadium for the second time, Wes Westrum's 8th place Mets (52-67) hosted Harry Walker's first place Pittsburgh Pirates (70-48).

Although the Mets were not a good team yet, they had a solid fan base, many National League fans had latched on to the Mets after the Giants & Dodgers left New York to head out West. The team had various highlights in these early years, many that may have been forgotten.

On this warm summer evening, 32,461 fans came to Shea & witnessed the first Mets pinch hit grand slam HR in team history.

Starting Lineups

The Pirates started out in the 1st inning, as future Hall of Famer, Willie Stargell , the man who is one of the players who has hit the most HRs off the Mets, started out with a two run HR making it a quick 2-0. It was Stargell's 28th of the year. But in the bottom of the 1st, exciting young Mets hitter Cleon Jones hit a solo HR of his own, his 6th HR on the season.

The Pirates added HRs by Bill Mazeroski & future 1969 Mets World Series MVP; Donn Clendenon.

In the bottom of the 4th the Mets were down 7-1, Cleon Jones & Ken Boyer singled to start out the inning. Jim Hickman followed with a base hit scoring Jones. Ron Swoboda then walked to load the bases. As Ed Kranepool was scheduled to bat, Met manager sent in Hawk Taylor to pinch hit.

Pirate pitcher Bob Veale delivered the pitch to Taylor who connected for the grand slam HR, the very first Mets pinch hit grand slam in teams history. It was now a one run ball game for an excited Mets team. Taylor hit just 16 career HRs & 11 as a New York Met.

In the bottom of the 6th Jim Hickman singled & was forced on Ron Swoboda's ground out. Swoboda then stole second. Hawk Taylor came up & was hit by a pitch. Chuck Hiller was sent in to pinch hit & delivered a single. The bases were now loaded & Mets All Star second baseman punched a single to center field bringing in the tying & winning runs, making it 8-7.

The Mets held on to the lead as Bill Helper who came on relief of Jack Fisher in the 3rd inning got the win. Fifteen year Pirate veteran; Bob Friend, now winding down his career with Mets  earned the save, his first  & only one of the year.


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