This Date In Mets History: August 19 — Giants Vote to Go West, Ron Darling's Birthday

Aspiring thespian Ron Darling. (Al Bello / Getty Images)

On this date in 1957, the New York Giants made their impending move to San Francisco official. The team's board of directors voted 8-1 in favor of relocation, uprooting a franchise that had called the Big Apple home since its founding in 1883. The lone board member to cast a dissenting ballot was minority shareholder M. Donald Grant. Grant and fellow owner Joan Whitney Payson would later sell their stock in the Giants and join forces with Bill Shea to bring the city its current National League team.

Birthdays

  • Chris Capuano (2011) is 34. One week after his birthday last year, Capuano gave Mets fans a belated gift by striking out a career-high thirteen Braves. According to game score, it was best pitching performance of 2011, edging out Ervin Santana's no-hitter by two points (96 to 94).
  • Ron Darling is 52. Darling has been an on-air presence at SNY since its founding in 2006. Prior to joining the broadcast booth, he was perhaps best known as an actor, playing bit parts in films such as Mr. 3000, The Day After Tomorrow, and Shallow Hal. According to Wikipedia, he apparently pitched a little for the Mets, too.

More Met birthdays after the jump...

  • Matt Franco (1996-2000) is 43. A key component of Bobby Valentine's bench, Franco didn't see much action in the field. Baseball Reference lists his primary position as pinch hitter. You can read about his most dramatic appearance here. Franco is also the nephew of actor Kurt Russell. Perhaps his uncle and Ron Darling will do a film together someday.
  • Mike Phillips (1975-77) is 62. Phillips, a utility infielder for the Mets in the mid-seventies, earned the NL's Player of the Week Award in June 1976 thanks a torrid stretch of games in Chicago in which he went 7-for-13 with three home runs and a pair of walks. Seeing as Phillips hit only one other ball out of the park that season and it also happened at Wrigley, it's safe to assume the wind was blowing out that year.
  • Jeff Tam (1998-99) is 42. Tam went 1-1 in 24 appearances for New York before being lost to waivers. He eventually washed up in Oakland where he and fellow cast-off Met Jason Isringhausen anchored a pretty effective bullpen for a couple of seasons.

Game of Note
The Miracle Mets needed some late-inning heroics to defeat Juan Marichal and the San Francisco Giants on August 19, 1969. The Dominican Dandy lived up to his name, twirling thirteen frames of shutout ball against the boys from Flushing, striking out thirteen of them along the way. In the bottom of the 14th, Tommie Agee strode to the plate for his sixth at-bat. Prior this point, Marichal had Agee figured out, ringing him up three times and keeping him on the infield in his other two plate appearances. The Met center fielder prevailed in this match up, though. Facing his 46th batter of the afternoon, Marichal finally hung a pitch and Agee sent it over the outfield fence for a walk-off home run. Final score: Mets 1, Giants 0.

Amazin'-ly Tenuous Connection
Today is National Aviation Day. According to the official Congressional proclamation that created the holiday (USC 36:A:I:118), sitting presidents may invite citizens to observe it "with appropriate exercises to further stimulate interest in aviation in the United States." Mets fans can celebrate by remembering that time the 1986 team trashed their plane while flying back to New York after winning the NLCS.

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