Jun 22, 2021

Remembering Mets History (1971): Donn Clendennon's Dramatic 15 Inning Walk Off

Saturday June 19, 1971: As Bob Murphy would say it was “a beautiful Saturday for baseball” as 52,171 fans turned out at Shea Stadium to watch Tom Terrific go against Philadelphia's Rick Wise.

Frank Lucchesi’s Phillies (25-38) were in last place, as Gil Hodges Mets (36-25) were in second place 2 ½ games out behind the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Starting Lineups

Seaver certainly wasn’t having his best day; allowing four runs on twelve hits, striking
out only two batters before being relieved by Ron Taylor in the 6th.

In the 2nd, Deron Johnson hit a two run HR, Ron Stone & Larry Bowa later added RBI singles.

Philadelphia's Rick Wise, was sailing along until the 6th inning. Ed Kranepool doubled, & Ken Singleton singled. Then Ken Boswell singled to score Kranepool. Jerry Grote & Tim Foli reached on consecutive errors by Larry Bowa & Oscar Gamble, which resulted to two more Mets runs,
tying the game at four.

The game went to the bull pens and both sides did a great job. The Phils' Woodie Fryman & Joe Horner held the Mets scoreless for seven more innings. 

The Mets Tug McGraw & Danny Frisella did the same. McGraw allowed only allowed two hits getting to the 12th inning, giving way to Frisella. Frisella struck out six, but he did walk four and allowed four hits.

In the top of the 14th, Phillies short stop Larry Bowa reached on a  Ken Boswell error at scond. He advanced on a fielders choice & stole third. Bowa then stole home giving the Phillies the lead 5-4.

But the Mets wouldn’t let this one slip away, with one out in the bottom of the 14th; a young rookie Ken Singleton hit a dramatic HR to tie the game back up.

Frisella came out for the 15th and with one out allowed base hits to Bowa & Tim McCarver. He then struck out Willie Montanez "the Hot Dog" to end the inning.

The stage was set for Donn Clendenon, who had come into the game late as a pinch hitter, overall he was 3-4. He had led off the 9th & the 12th with doubles but had been left stranded.

With two outs he connected off Joe Hoerner, for a walk off game winning home run over the right field fence, (his 6th HR of the year) sending the crowd into frenzy. 

After a long four hours and forty minutes, the Mets took the 15 inning 6-5 win. Billy Wilson got the loss & Frisella got his third win of the year.

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