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This Date in Mets History: 7/24 - Agee Steals Home, the Awful Early '90s, Keppinger for Gotay

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Jeff Keppinger: one that got away.
Jeff Keppinger: one that got away.

It's July 24, 1970, the bottom of the 10th inning, the Mets at the bat vs. the Dodgers in New York. Tommy Agee attempts a drag bunt and reaches on a fielding error. He tries to steal second, but makes it to third on the throw. Dancing at third, Agee waits out a pair walks that load the bases with two away. Reliever Jim Brewer backs into his windup, and Agee GOES. "Look out! Look out!" Agee barks at Cleon Jones, who swings loopily through the catcher's vision. (In a similar play, Jones had stung a line drive to nearly end Agee's life. This time, the swing is just a ruse.) Agee throws his body at Bill Haller, the backstop, and the umpire spreads his wings. Mets win.

On July 24, 1993, Anthony Young issued a bases-loaded walk to end a 10-inning ballgame in Los Angeles, 5-4 Dodgers. With the pitch came Young's 27th consecutive loss across two seasons. But the next day's headline was instead, "Vince Coleman faces a felony rap." The Mets outfielder -- get this -- hurled a firework into a group of autograph seekers outside Dodger Stadium, a firework containing 20 to 30 grains of gunpowder with the power of a quarter-stick of dynamite. A woman and her two children were injured. The Mets placed Coleman on paid administrative leave for the balance of the season. He never donned a Mets uniform again.

Birthday

  • Jeff Kaiser is the rare ballplayer who would be beat out by a "Trumpet Player and Music Technologist" for the relevantist Jeff Kaiser on Google. He spent parts of eight years on major league clubs and pitched only 52 innings, allowing 46 walks and 12 home runs, good for a 9.17 ERA. I'd say that's remarkable. The 1993 Mets couldn't possibly have expected the 32 year old to fall apart so abjectly so fast and give them only 4.2 innings of 6-run ball.
Transaction

On July 19, 2006, the Mets swapped Jeff Keppinger for Ruben Gotay in a deal with the Kansas City Royals. Keppinger, 26 at the time, is currently an infielder and DH for the Tampa Bay Rays with a .793 OPS, about 50 points above his career line. Gotay has been out of baseball for three-and-a-half years, and played one season with the Mets. Here is a bit of insight from the annals of MLB Trade Rumors, with the requisite mention of Ollie's great promise.

Game of Note

On July 24, 1987, Davey Johnson's club beat the Houston Astros, 7-4, at Shea, in the second game of a doubleheader. (They won the first game 5-2). The game is notable for Dave Managan's five singles in five tries, though Teufel and Hojo made noise with a blast a piece. John Mitchell started the game on wobbly footing and exited, too wild, in the fifth inning. But Randy Myers and Jesse Orosco split the remaining work scorelessly, and the fifth-inning lead was both held and extended. The Mets climbed to 11 games above .500, but remained in 3rd place.


Amazin'-ly Tenuous Connection

On July 24, 1487, the "Beer Uproar" of Leeuwarden, Netherlands, pitted a peasant army, eight thousand strong, against authorities responsible for a recent ban on foreign-brewed suds. Wisely, Citi Field features a highly visible and well-stocked kiosk clearly marked "Beers of the World."