Sunday June 26, 1983: Today, Frank Howard's last place Mets (27-43) hosted a double header against Pat Corrales third place Philadelphia Phillies (32-33).
In the first game, a couple of old familiar faces figured in the outcome. Tug McGraw (now a Phillie) got the win over the Mets Tom Seaver, who had returned for a second coming with the Mets.
With the Mets down 8-4 in the 9th Inning, Rusty Staub came to bat as a pinch hitter. Staub singled to right field & tied an MLB record. It was Rusty’s eighth straight successful pinch hit, tying an MLB record held by Dave Philley.
On the previous home stand Staub had five successful pinch hit appearances. The streak began on Saturday June 11th, in a 5-2 loss to the Montreal Expos.
Staub came to bat against Jeff Reardon, with the bases loaded in the 7th inning & New York down 5-0. Staub singled driving in Mark Bradley & Jose Oquendo.
The next night Staub came to bat as a pinch hitter in the 6th inning, facing Montreal's Charlie Lea. Rusty smashed a double driving in rookie Darryl Strawberry & George Foster. That night Staub helped contribute to his old pal, Tom Seaver who beat Montreal 9-1.
June 13- June 15th: The Chicago Cubs came to town next and took two of three games. But Staub continued his pinch hit streak. On June 12th, he singled off Chicago's Mike Proly in the 8th inning for his third straight successful pinch hit.
Walk Off Win: The next night was a big one for Staub, in front of a small Shea crowd of 10,000 fans. The Mets Ed Lynch & the Cubs Dick Ruthven pitched well, both getting to the 8th inning. Dave Kingman & Danny Heep both homered for the Mets, as the game went into extra innings tied at 3-3.
In the bottom of the 10th, Staub came in to pinch hit against Lee Smith. The Mets had two men on, Bob Bailor on third & Daryl Strawberry on second. The games best pinch hitter of the early eighties, came through once again. Staub hit an opposite field base hit scoring Bailor with the walk off game winning run.
The next day, Staub was inserted into the starting lineup, playing at first base & batting fifth. The hot hitting "Le Grande Orange" went 3 for 4 in the Mets ten inning 7-4 loss.
June 18th: The Mets went north up to Montreal, a city where Staub was a legend after being the Expos first star player back in 1969. On the first night of the series, he had a 7th inning pinch hit single inning off Expo pitcher; Bill Gullickson. It was Staub's fifth pinch hit in a row, as the Mets won the game 6-1.
The next night the Mets lost a 4-3 heart breaker to Expo legend Steve Rogers. Staub did come through again, as he brought the Mets within a run, in the 9th inning, hitting his first HR of the year. It was his sixth straight pinch hit.
June 20th: The Mets came home to Shea Stadium, for a double header with the St. Louis Cardinals. In the first game the Mets took a 3-1 loss, as Staub got another start. He played right field and batted fifth, going 1 for 4.
In the second game, he made another pinch hit appearance, coming to bat for Carlos Diaz in the 7th inning. Staub singled off pitcher Dave Von Ohlen for pinch hit seven straight. The Mets also won the game 6-4. Staub played out field in the next two games and went hitless.
June 24th:The Mets came back home to Shea & took a 6-3 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. Staub came to bat as a pinch hitter getting hit by a pitch from Hall of Famer; Steve Carlton, safely reaching base.
June 26th: Two nights later Staub would get into the record books as he tied the pinch hit record, leading off the 9th inning, batting for Junior Ortiz. Staub singled off veteran Phillie, Ron Reed, receiving a nice ovation from the Shea Faithful, as he accomplished his feat.
Rusty Staub's streak was ended three nights later, in St. Louis. In the 9th inning of a 4-3 loss, Bruce Sutter got Staub to ground out to second base.
On the season, the 39 year old Staub would bat .296 in 104 games, becoming one of the games best all time pinch hitters.