METS FANS SHARE THEIR MEMORIES OF THE JUNE 30, 1978 GAME:
March 28, 2005
This probably was the best game the Mets played in '78, purely based on one play—Pirates outfielder Dave Parker colliding with John Stearns at home plate. From what I recall, I think Parker was trying to tag up on a fly ball and that the out-calling collision ended the game. I'm sure Bob P. or someone can check that one out on Retrosheet or something.
I wish I saw/scored this one, but I didn't. I did, however, see the replay of the collision that Sunday. Wow! According to my memory, Stearns basically was the Rock of Gibraltar in that he didn't waver during contact.
Hope Channel 9 or the Mets still have the complete game of this. Would like to see it in its entirety one day!
March 30, 2005
Joe, thanks for the introduction!
Yes, this was the game, and yes, it was the final out of the game.
Going to the ninth on this Friday night in Pittsburgh, the Mets were down, 3-2. John Stearns led off with a double and one out later pinch- hitter Ed Kranepool singled to tie it up. After Pirates catcher Ed Ott dropped a foul pop by Len Randle, Len tripled to right field to give the Mets a 4-3 lead. Joel Youngblood singled to make it 5-3, and a Steve Henderson single plus an error by Dave Parker made it 6-3.
In the bottom of the ninth, Frank Taveras and Omar Moreno singled with one out, and Dave Parker followed with a triple. Parker represented the tying run with future Met coach Bill Robinson at the plate. Robinson hit one to RF Joel Youngblood, who made the catch and threw home where the collision happened. Stearns held the ball and Parker fractured his cheeckbone. Game over!
October 7, 2008
I was thinking about this game the other day. I was a senior in high school in '78 and John Stearns was by far my favorite Met. Dave Parker was probably the most feared guy in the Majors that year and had previously run over a couple of other catchers. He tagged at third base and took aim at Stearns. I guess he didn't know that John was a Star defensive back at The University of Colorado who had been drafted by the Bills. So here comes Parker and John has the ball, gets low, and just explodes into Parker! Parker ended up with a broken jaw or cheekbone and Stearns was standing up, the "Bad Dude" had given me a little redemption in an otherwise dreadful season.