May 17, 2021

Remembering Mets History: (1996) Todd Hundley Homers From Both Sides of the Plate

Saturday May 18, 1996: Todd Hundley was one of the bright spots on the 1996 Mets team. That season he became the fourth Met to hit home runs from both sides of the plate in the same game.

Lee Mazzilli was first to do it in 1978, Howard Johnson had done it in 1991 & Bobby Bonilla had done it three times. Hundley himself, had done it before, two years earlier in 1994.

The '96 Mets were already struggling in fifth place (17-23) under manager Dallas Green. Now in San Francisco on their annual West Coast trip. That week the San Diego Padres had taken three of four from New York in San Diego and they were facing a third place Dusty Baker Giants team (20-20).

The Mets sent Mark Clark (1-5) to the mound against William Van Landingham (2-5).

Starting Lineups

The Mets pounded Van Landingham early, in the 1st Rico Brogna hit a HR to make it 2-0 Mets. In the 3rd Brogna drove in two more runs with a nase hit & Rey Ordonez added a two run single as well. This combined with a hit by pitch made it 7-1 Mets after three innings.

In the top of the 4th, Brogna reached on an error & Todd Hundley batting left handed came to bat. Hundley blasted a two run HR off reliever; Jose Bautista to dead center field putting New York up 10-3.It was his tenth HR of the year.

Later, in the top of the 9th, Hundley came up, this time batting right handed. With Bernard Gilkey on third & Jeff Kent on first base, Hundley connected once again, this HR to left center field, his 11th of the season.

This put the Mets up 14-4 on their way to the win. It was That year Todd Hundley went into the record books, setting a single season HR mark for catchers, as well as setting an all time Mets single season mark with 41 HRs.

In 1996 he hit .256 with career highs in HRs (41) doubles (32) hits 9140) & RBIs (112). Hundley spent nine seasons with the Mets (1990-1998) & was the last catcher before Mike Piazza took over behind the dish.

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