Given the historically great start to Dwight Gooden's career, it wasn't unreasonable for '80s-era Mets fans to dream of the day that Doctor K would supplant Tom Seaver as the team's all-time leader in a host of categories. Unfortunately, Doc's shoulder couldn't stand the strain of hurling so many innings at such a young age. That said, while he gradually lost effectiveness on the mound, Gooden was pretty good at the plate for the balance of his career. On July 1, 1993, Dwight became the greatest power (hitting) pitcher in franchise history by thwacking a non-knuckling knuckler from the Marlins' Charlie Hough over the high left field wall at Joe Robbie Stadium for his seventh career homer.
While the blast moved Gooden past Seaver and his six home runs for most by a Mets pitcher, it didn't do much to help the team that day. The Fish nicked Doc for eleven hits (though none of the four-base variety) in eight innings to en route to a 7-5 triumph.
Also going deep in memorable fashion on this date was George Foster. Back in 1984, the slugger with the stylish sideburns blasted the 300th homer of his career, a game-tying solo shot off of Met-turned-Brave Pete Falcone. Three innings later, Darryl Strawberry, the man who'd become the Mets' all-time home run leader, used his legs to win the game. Straw scored the deciding run on a wild pitch as New York swept a Sunday twinbill from visiting Atlanta.
Original Met Craig Anderson turns 75. Used mainly out of the bullpen, Anderson acted the vulture on May 12, 1962, picking up the win in both halves of a doubleheader thanks to walk-off home runs by Hobie Landrith (game one) and Gil Hodges (game two). He'd finish the year with a 3-17 record. By the end of his Mets career in '64, he'd run that mark to 3-20.
The Mets won the Alex Escobar sweepstakes on this date in 1995, signing the 16-year-old prospect out of Venezuela for an undisclosed bonus. Six years later, he served as the centerpiece of the Roberto Alomar trade. Coincidentally, the Mets and Alomar decided to part ways on this date ten years ago today. With the team in full teardown mode, interim GM Jim Duquette sent the future Hall of Famer to the White Sox for pitchers Edwin Almonte and Royce Ring, as well as minor league infielder Andrew Salvo.
Said Alomar upon his exit, "Sometimes teams don't work for you. I think the New York Mets weren't the right team for me." In truth, no team was right for Robbie at that point in his career. Aside from a 110 at-bat dead cat bounce for the Diamondbacks in the spring of 2004, Alomar was a sub-replacement level player for the remainder of his playing days.
Game of Note
Four years and a day after being no-hit by Sandy Koufax, the Mets were nearly goose-egged again, this time by a much less imposing pitcher. Ron Hunt led off the July 1, 1966 contest against the Pirates by beating out a grounder to deep short for an infield single. Pittsburgh starter Woody Fryman retired number two hitter Ed Bressoud on a strikeout, while catcher Jim Pagliaroni erased Hunt on a steal attempt. That was the extent of the Mets offense on the afternoon, as Fryman proceeded set down the next 26 batters in order. The rookie left-hander faced the minimum, fanning eight and walking none as he cruised to a 12-0 shutout victory.
Amazin'-ly Tenuous Connection
Dwight D. Eisenhower and Mary "Mamie" Doud tied the knot on this date in 1916. The future first couple wasted no time in cranking out a first family, either. Mamie gave birth to two boys within five years time. The younger Eisenhower brother grew up and fathered a son himself, David, who in turn became part of a second first family when he married Julie Nixon, Richard's daughter, in 1968. David and his father-in-law were both big fans of the national pastime, attending Mets and Yankees games with some regularity throughout the '80s. In 1992, the two hosted a baseball-themed benefit for the Nixon Presidential Library. During the festivities, Nixon rattled off a list of his current favorite National League players, a roster that included then-Mets Bobby Bonilla, David Cone, Dwight Gooden, Howard Johnson, and Bret Saberhagen, as well as former Amazins Gary Carter and Darryl Strawberry.