This Date in Mets History: August 9 - Let There Be Artificial Light

Wrigley Field testing its lights, August 1, 1988. (Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images)

On the evening of August 9, 1988, the Mets helped dagger the hears of traditionalists by playing a game under more than starlight at Wrigley Field, the first complete game of its kind. (The previous night's attempt between the Cubs and the Pirates was rained out after three innings.) The historic contest, a 6-4 loss to the Cubbies, was televised nationally on NBC-TV. In the visitor's fifth, Lenny Dykstra measured a pitch and sent a two-run comet across the night sky, the first man-illumed home run in the history of Chicago's north side.

Birthdays

  • The late Tommie Agee (70) was a September call-up for the Cleveland Indians in '62, '63, and '64, and then played 10 games for the White Sox in '65, before taking Rookie of the Year honors in '66, his sixth (partial) Major League season. The Mets nabbed him just in time for the miracle campaign of '69 and benefited from Agee's eight postseason hits, three home runs, and two spectacular catches in center field. In five years with the Mets Agee batted .262/.329/.419 and upon retirement remained unusually active in Mets charities. He was inducted posthumously into the Mets Hall of Fame in 2002. Happy birthday, Tommie.
  • Pat Mahomes (42) pitched 63 innings for the '99 Mets, throwing his best stuff down the stretch to a playoff berth. With a 3.68 ERA pitching mostly middle relief, he earned the anomalous record of 9-0. Also a member of the 2000 World Series team, the greatest excitement of Pat's baseball life, as he tells it, was nevertheless watching Patrick III play in the Junior World Series.

Game of Note

On August 9 1963, right-handed slinger Roger Craig toed the rubber with eighteen straight losses weighing on his shoulders. In those days there wasn't even a FanGraphs to suggest promising peripherals! The Mets carried a 3-2 advantage into the eight inning when Cub hitter Ron Santo lifted a fly ball to bring a run in from third and tie the game. Craig recovered to pitch a scoreless ninth, exit the game, and chew his lip. With two out in the bottom half, a double put runners on the corner; the intentional walk was issued to Harkness; and Jim Hickman belted a walk-off grand slam.

Amazin'-ly Tenuous Connection

On August 9, 1988 -- the same day of the lights turned on at Wrigley -- Wayne Gretzky was traded away from his homeland, from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings. Former Philadelphia Philly Lenny Dykstra purchased the Great One's L.A. mansion for $17 million in 2007, hoping to turn it for a tidy profit. Instead, the bank hired security officers to prevent Dykstra from stripping any additional countertops, appliances, or bits of hardwood flooring.

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