Remembering Mets History: (1980) Doug Flynn Hits Three Triples In A Game
Tuesday August 5th, 1980: Joe Torre's fourth place New York Mets were hanging on to try to stay near the .500 mark (51-54) as they visited Montreal to play Dick Williams second place Expos (59-46).
This was a good Expos team led by future Hall of Famers' Gary Carter & Andre Dawson. In 1980 the Expos would win 90 games but finish second in an era with no wild card. In 1981 they would make the post season, in the strike shortened season where the season was divided in half with the best teams from both halves making the playoffs. It was their only post season appearance while playing Montreal (1969-2004).
The Mets sent John Pacella to the mound (3-1) to face Montreal's Bill Gullickson (2-3) in front of 33,821 at Stade Olympique.
Tonight, the Mets light hitting second baseman Doug Flynn would put himself in the record books.
In tonight's contest the Expos pounded the Mets 11-5, as Gary Carter, Andre Dawson, Larry Parish & Rodney Scott all drove in two runs each for Montreal.
In the Mets third inning, Doug Flynn led off with a triple to left center field. He would score on Frank Taveras base hit. In the 5th inning, Flynn once again led off the inning with a triple off Gullickson. He scored again on another Taveras base hit.
Quotes: Doug Flynn- "This is clear in my mind. My first time up, I hit it into the gap in left center. They were shading me to right, of course. Next time up, they shaded me a little to left-center, and I hit it to right-center."
Montreal didn't think he could pull the ball off starter Bill Gullickson.Flynn grounded out in the 6th inning but then came up again in the 8th.
In the top of the 8th, Expo side armed pitcher Elias Sosa was on the mound, as Flynn led off another inning. This time he bounced a hit into right field.
Quotes- Doug Flynn: "The next at-bat I hit a routine, one hop, base hit to left. But it hit one of the seams in the artificial surface that had been torn up from football games, and it bounced over Jerry White's head. I got another one."
Frank Taveras a .255 career hitting shortstop who drove in just 200 runs in 1150 games, may have had the only three RBI game of his career, drove Flynn in again.
Trivia: Doug Flynn became one of 29 players since 1920 to hit three triples in a game. It was the first time a Mets player had done it since 1967, thirteen years prior. In his five seasons with the Mets Flynn hit a total of 26 triples.
Flynn came to bat again in the 9th inning, with Alex Trevino aboard. Expos catcher gave Flynn some encouragement to do something no one had ever done before.
Quotes- Doug Flynn: "I knew Gary well & when I stepped in the box, he says, 'Hit another one, no one's ever hit four in a game. Hit it good.' He wasn't telling me the pitches, but he was pulling for me. I know that."
Unfortunately, Flynn grounded out to end the game.
Trivia: That week Flynn won the NL Player of the Week honors, not usually known for his bat, he hit safely in 11 of 13 games, collecting twenty hits in that stretch.
Overall, in 1980, Doug Flynn would hit eight triples (9th most in the NL) matching his career high set in 1978.
Flynn had come over from the Reds' in the Tom Seaver trade, he spent parts of five seasons with the Mets (1977-1981) a fine defensive player, winning a Gold Glove that season.