METS FANS SHARE THEIR MEMORIES OF THE JUNE 14, 1980 GAME:
March 28, 2002
My parents were out and my 79-year-old grandfather went to bed early while I was downstairs watching the game forever known as "The Steve Henderson Game." Nice hit by Claudell Washington up the middle set it up and after Henderson hit it out, I remember banging both hands on the walls in spontaneous ecstasy. I feel bad, in retrospect, if you can imagine a 79-year-old man rising about six inches, startled, out of his bed wondering what the racket was!! My grandfather wasn't sick, fortunately, but it startled the heck out of him. Sorry, Gramps. But it was a joyous finish to last a lifetime, one of the best Met moments ever and certainly the best from 1977-Seaver's return in '83.
May 19, 2002
What an unbelieveable game! It was Fathers's Day, and I was there with my parents and sister. "The Count" of Montefusco was pitching a perfect game and leading 6-0 into the 6th. The Mets finally broke through but trailed 6-2 heading into the 9th. With two outs and nobody on they loaded the bases, then scored two on a single by Claudell Washington. That is when Henderson came up (who had struck out 3 times in the game) and deposited a game-winning HR off the bottom of the scoreboard in RF. The "crowd" (what was left of them) went crazy. I was only 15 and it was one of my first recollections of a big Mets win. Plus we were sitting over the Mets dugout in the 8th and 9th since so many people left. It was a great night.
May 20, 2002
I recall this game was played on a Saturday night and since this was June 14 and since I am Jewish, the Sabbath didn't end until around 9:20 so I only caught the tail end of this game. But what a tail end! This was one of those moments that every Met fan of a certain age (12 in my case) remembers. One of the top ten home runs in Mets history.
August 21, 2002
I was 19 years old, and was at this game with a friend who was a Yankee fan. For some reason, we decided to stay-despite the lopsided score-till the end. My recollections are that Claudell Washington's hit in the ninth inning was his first hit as a Met(he had been traded to them recently) and that Steve Henderson had either 0 or 1 home runs on the year prior to his final at bat. I also recall that everyone-my Yankee fan friend included-was hugging people in the stadium that they didn't even know.
September 3, 2002
The thing about this game was that it capped 8 wins in ten games to put the Mets within a game of .500 and only 6 games out in the NL East. Given the new ownership that year, some fans thought maybe the light was at the end of the tunnel and the Mets might even get in a pennant race (they could still remember 1973). Alas, the Mets lost the next day and went to the west coast to lose six more in a row and reality settled in. It would be four more years before they became a true contender again.
March 26, 2003
I was in the apartment which me an my family lived in. My parents had gone out for night and sister was in bedroom watching TV. I remember Steve Henderson getting dusted back on the pitch then getting back up crushing the next pitch into the Mets bullpen. It was an exciting moment in which the Mets gave us a glimmer of hope in the bad years.
April 5, 2003
I was at this game - truly one of the most amazing ever. I was also at the game they won against the Dodgers earlier in the week - also with a walk off home run, ( by Mike Jorgensen). For a week, we thought this team was actually good.
April 25, 2003
This is my favorite regular season game of all time. Not much I can add that was not already mentioned. Pure joy when Henderson hit that home run! HENDU CAN DO! If I remember correctly, fans stayed in seats until Hendu came out of the clubhouse and stepped on to the field for a curtain call.
August 26, 2003
This is one of my most memorable Mets games of all time. We walked through the gate to the mezzanine level in the top of the first - just as Rennie Stennett was rounding the bases after hitting a three run homer. The Giants held a 6-0 lead into the late innings behind the "Count" Montefusco, but the Mets chipped away and down 6- 2 in the bottom of the ninth, Claudell Washington singled up the middle for two runs and then Hendu bombed an opposite field three run home run into the right field bullpen to win it. I remember Jack Clark punching the wall in disgust and the crowd - what was left of it - going absolutely wild. As we were walking down the ramp after the game everyone was chanting Lets Go Mets at the top of their lungs. I'll never forget it.
May 10, 2005
I was at this game and made the unpardonable mistake of leaving early. I didn't want to miss the LIRR train back home and have to wait around for the next one. Besides, there was no way they'd come back in this one, was there?
I learned my lesson; I'll never leave a Mets game early again. There's always hope in baseball. Maybe not much, but some.
That lesson came in very handy during Game 6 of the 1986 World Series
Thank you, Hendu!
June 13, 2005
I took my wife to this Mets game with some friends of hers. I remember she was really excited (the most she can get excited about Mets Baseball) and was chanting the whole night: "HENDU CAN DO! HENDU CAN DO!"
July 7, 2005
Heard this "classic" on the radio in my Dad's old '70 Duster. We were going over the Route 37 bridge to Seaside to my grandmother's old summer house. All my dad's brothers were there just flabergasted at the win. I don't remember if Murphy or Albert called the shot. It also showed that times at Shea were going to change. The new ownership at the time gave a lot of Mets fans hope for the future. I believe that about 400,000 more showed up than in 79.
July 11, 2005
This game was on a Saturday night and I watched it while baby-sitting for the 5 year-old kid across the street and I fell asleep in the 7th or 8th inning when the Giants had a 6 - 1 lead thinking this would be just another dreary Mets' loss but when I woke up I saw pandamonium on the field and the camera constantly on Steve Henderson and it wasn't long before I'd learned that the Mets had won this game 7 - 6 with 5 runs in the bottom of the ninth capped by "Stevie Wonder's" 3-run homer!! I was totally amazed and in shock that the Mets had won this game but I was also a little down that I had slept through all the heroics (and there was no Sports Center or Baseball Tonight back then that showed countless replays) and I still kick myself for falling asleep during one of the Mets' great comeback victories of all time.
November 23, 2005
This was the greatest game I'd ever been to. I was 14. Ripley knocked down Henderson on an 0-2 pitch, then he hit the next one out. Bedlam. Unless I'm mixing my memories, it was seat cushion night, and they were flying all over the place - with a bunch stuck on the screen above home plate. People were screaming down the ramps after the game - I'd never seen anything like it at Shea. A day or two later, they had a special Kiner's Korner-type show on Ch. 9 to recap the game. What an impact - they lost their next 7.
January 26, 2006
I will always remember this game for the simple reason that I did even get to see the game winning home-run by Henderson. I was over my Grandparents house watching the game with my folks and the Mets fell behind early and my Dad decided it was time to go home after the 7th inning was over, since as he put it, there was no way in hell that the Mets are going to come back and win this game. I pleading with him to watch one more inning, but he won out and we left. When I got home, my Dad put on the news and we saw the stunning result. My Dad then told me that since he kept me from witnessing the surprise result, that he would take to me the game the next day. We drove from Jersey only to find out the game was sold out and we drove back home.
Jim from Connecticut
October 14, 2006
Our family had always referred to this as the 'Flag Day' game. We had such a great time at this game. We arrived early for Giants BP. Saw the Mets make a great comeback. I'll never forget the scoreboard 'HENDU CAN DO' then 'HENDU DID DO!' I was never a fan of Steve Henderson and resented him because of the Seaver trade, but we were so happy for him that night. This was one of the few bright spots in what is probably the darkest era in Mets history. Another memory of this game, I remember seeing Cluadell Washington playing for the Mets wearing #15 with no last name sewn on the back of his shirt. This may have been his first game as a Met.
October 14, 2006
This was my most cherished game I've ever attended at Shea, I had loge seats (under the overhang), so I had to bend down to see Henderon's game-winning home-run go over the wall. Even though the Mets were no-hit for 6+ innings, I had a special feeling that the Mets would do something, and boy did they!!
October 28, 2006
WOW! I just found this site and realized you could look up individual games. Anyway, this is the first one that came to mind. I was 10 years old, watching it on WOR channel 9 I believe, Henderson's HR capped an unbelievable comeback. The fans stayed and waited til Henderson came out of the clubhouse--showered, in street clothes, 45 minutes later, for a curtain call. Games like that make you truly appreciate what it means to be a real Met fan, never giving up and getting the occasional reward for sticking with them thru those lean years.
April 15, 2008
Now here's a game they should run on SNY as a Mets Classic. Hendu was my favorite Met at this time, and, being a kid, I thought this incredible win somehow meant the Mets were a great team - as if it was worth 15 wins in the standings or something.
May 9, 2008
I wasn't even alive at the time, but I've heard so many stories and seen the highight of Henderson's homer so many times that I'd pay good money for SNY to play this game as a Mets classic. If any SNY execs read this site and have access to this game, you have many older Mets fans who'd kill to see it.
June 3, 2008
I will third the motion for SNY to show this game on SNY Classics. I was twelve years old and watched this game on WOR and I still think it is one of the most exciting games I ever saw.
August 11, 2009
I fourth the motion for this game appearing on SNY Classics
January 4, 2010
I was 15, and an absolute die-hard fan - an incredibly exciting win. Note that in 1980, only power hitters hit HR's to the opposite field. I did not think Hendu's shot was leaving the ballpark when it came off the bat, and that made it even more stunning.
December 20, 2010
Funny, I remember watching this game on TV like it was yesterday - and it was the summer after my sophomore year in college. I was 20, and suddenly now I'm 50, lol...
December 20, 2010
Interesting note to the postgame celebration was Fred Wilpon coming out onto the field wearing plaid pants in front of the Mets dugout to shake hands with Hendu. This of course was the first year of Wilpon/Doubleday ownership.
July 2, 2011
I remember this game so well. Someone mentioned that this game was on Father's Day. It was not. It was either a Friday or Saturday night. When Henderson hit that HR I jumped up and down screaming in joy. My mother looked at me like I was nuts. Amazingly it was Henderson's first HR of the season.
It had been a long time that a Met fan could celebrate except for Opening Day.
August 31, 2011
I remember this game vividly. I was 10 and a half and was sitting in the upper box seats behind home plate. My sister was getting married the next week. She and her future husband took me to the game.
For many years, my family shared season tickets with my uncle's family and although we would go to 25 games a year during the late 70's (lean times, for sure), my father was famous for leaving early (8th inning). I can remember missing exciting endings of games and hearing them in the car on the way home on the radio. It always bugged me that we would leave early since there really was no traffic to try and beat in those days.
Anyway, my siblings and I made a pact that we would stay until the very end of games, which we still do today. Thus, even with a 6-2 score, my sister and I decided to show the new addition to our family that Met fans are loyal and stay until the end. Wow were we rewarded!
Claudell's sweet swing drove a perfect single up the middle and suddenly this rally was real! Had to be his first hit as a Met because he had just joined the team and they didn't even have the uniform ready. He was a no-name number 15.
The tying runs were on base and I remember the sign as the new pitcher warmed up: "Hendu Can-do." When that ball got out of Shea, we went nuts! I could not believe it! "Hendu did DO!"
We stopped at Bell Blvd White Castle on the way home! What a night.
August 31, 2011
I listened to the 9th inning on the radio... I was supposed to be in bed but I was rooting for the Mets to pull it out. I remember the pitch before Henderson hit it out, he was knocked down by a pitch. The thing about Henderson was that he always had a tendency to hit the ball hard after getting knocked down... I remember cheering when he was knocked down because of that. Next pitch BOOM! It was like a scene out of The Natural.
August 31, 2011
I was 17 and at this game with my parents. We sat on the field level past first base in short RF. Falcone was AWFUL early and we left after the 8th inning. So I am driving home to Mt Vernon up the Hutch north when HENDU CAN-DU on the radio. I start screaming and cheering as I am driving! My parents were also! Great memory. This was one of those games that gave us fans hope. We were so starved. This was the foreplay for the release that was about to happen several years later.
February 26, 2013
As the years go by, my VHS tape of homemade highlights from 1980 means more and more to me, because I had the luck to have the machine (mostly) running during this ninth-inning comeback. I watch this home run about once a year. Amazin'.