On this date in 2006, Carlos Delgado swatted his 400th career home run. Delgado, who also homered earlier in the game, put an exclamation point on a borderline Hall of Fame career by reaching the milestone with a grand slam. Then, in the ninth inning, the other Carlos -- near-rhymes with Voltron -- dispatched St. Louis with a two-run, walk-off bomb.
2006 was a good year.
- The Mets were Darrin Jackson's third stop in 1993; the outfielder hit .193 in 31 games. Jackson turns 49.
- Ray Burris, 62, came off injury to join the Mets in '79, pitching substantial (mediocre) innings the next year. In 1987 Burris was serving as pitching coach to the Brewers when he was pressed into making two starts.
- A product of the Mets system, Ike Hampton, 61, took four at bats in September of '73 and was dealt to the Angels that offseason. The catcher's career would end after just 113 games -- just when we got to liking him.
Two years ago, the Mets sent Rod Barajas to the Dodgers for cash considerations, though Mr. Considerations hasn't spent a day on the big league club! In 2006, Shawn Green and money came over from the Diamonbacks for minor league pitcher Evan MacLane. Here's the MLB Trade Rumors fossil from that day, featuring the line: "I just hope that Willie Randolph can push Green aside if Lastings Milledge is the superior player next season."
Game of the Night
On August 22, 1999, Mark McGuire cracked numbers 49 and 50 to give the Red Birds a 6-1 lead in the eighth inning -- a lead erased when a Mike Piazza home run followed fast upon a John Olerud grand slam. After the Mets again fell behind in the ninth, Rickey Henderson tied the game with an RBI double and Edgar Alfonzo won it with a walk-off single. Shove it, Mac.
Amazin'-ly Tenuous Connection
On August 22, 1791, slaves in Saint Domingue, modern Haiti, rose in rebellion, inciting a years-long struggle to establish the second sovereign American state (to the United States.) French- and Creole-speaking, Haitians never took to baseball like their island-mates in the Dominican Republic, but played a role in the game as stitchers and suppliers of baseballs, some 20 million a year in parts of the 1970s and '80s. More broadly, black West Indians (like Carlos Delgado) contribute mightily to today's game, and the rebellion is counted by many as part of their heritage.