Saturday, August 9, 2014

In the Archives

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, when I was at a Mets/Phillies game, that I'd been involved in a discussion about a Mets game from August 9th, 1990, which featured several notable happenings, among them a wild bench-clearing brawl induced by Phillies Pitcher Pat Combs hitting Dwight Gooden, after Gooden himself had hit a pair of Phillie batters, and, later in the evening, Kelvin Torve appearing as a pinch hitter in uniform #24 and driving home the game-winning runs with a double off the right field fence at old Shea Stadium. Torve's lone shining moment with the Mets is, of course, remembered both for the hit itself as well as the ensuing controversy that boiled over his being issued #24. After a brief shitstorm, clubhouse manager Charlie Samuels then took back #24 from Torve and reissued him the much more obscure #39. #24 was mothballed once again for another 9 seasons until Rickey Henderson wore it. Rickey, of course, seems much more befitting of #24 than Torve, but it seems like Torve has been getting much more ink around here of late.

I've also mentioned, or I think I've mentioned (and if I never mentioned it, I should have), that I have kept score at every Mets game I've ever attended. This numbered 264 regular season games at Shea Stadium and, to date, another 89 at Citi Field, plus 5 Postseason games (all, of course, at Shea Stadium, and all, fortunately, Mets victories). Out of a general force of habit, I buy a program at every game I go to. Yes, it gets pricey. No, I don't care. I think of it as a general operating expense, such in the same vein as the ticket plan I buy every season. What I end up doing is I (carefully) tear the scorecard out of the program, 3-hole punch it and keep the scorecard in a binder. With my lifetime tally of games now numbering over 350, this collection has stretched into 3 binders, one covering games I attended up to 1997, a second binder covering 1998-2008, up to the end of the Shea Stadium era, and a third binder covering the Citi Field era.

This is a whole lot of preamble to the fact that I was inspired, based on the discussion of this game, to dig into my archives and find my scorecard from that night, written in the chicken scratch befitting my 11-year old self. On this date, the 24th anniversary of this wild night at Shea Stadium, I figured I'd post it here so everyone can relive this particular memory.

Some fun facts I remember about the game:
- Darryl Strawberry and Tim Teufel being late arrivals to the brawl. The brawl was precipitated when Combs hit Gooden on the leg with the first pitch of bottom of the 5th. Gooden wasted no time in dropping his bat and charging the mound, where he got one good shot off on Combs before Darren Daulton tackled him from behind. All hell pretty much broke loose from there, but Strawberry and Teufel both came charging out of the dugout after things had gotten kicked off.

- Dennis Cook getting body-slammed by an umpire during the brawl. Not surprisingly, that umpire was Country Joe West.

- Following the brawl, Gooden was pinch-run for by, of all people, Ron Darling.

- Check out the Hit totals. Though the Mets won the game, they only managed 7 hits as opposed to the Phillies 16. Leading the charge for the Phillies was Len Dykstra with 4 hits. Daulton had 3 hits before getting ejected in the brawl. Charlie Hayes also had 3 hits. For the Mets, Tom O'Malley had two hits that night, despite not entering the game until after the brawl.

- Time of the game 3 hours, 34 minutes. This was back in the day when weekday night games started at 7:35 rather than 7:10. This means the game ended at 11:09pm. I went to this game with my father and I know we didn't leave early. Though I was 11, I had already set a precedent of insanity for myself that's proven hard to break (unless I got really tired). Had this game took place in 2014, it's likely that it would have been close to 4 hours and by time it ended I likely would have been apoplectic.

If this was an enjoyable look down Mets Memory Lane, let me know. I have plenty of other memorable and less-memorable games to choose from in my archives. 

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