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Tim Harkness
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Tim Harkness
Tim Harkness
Ultimate Mets Database popularity ranking: 296 of 984 players
Harkness
Thomas William Harkness
Born: December 23, 1937 at Lachine, Quebec, Canada
Throws: Left Bats: Left
Height: 6.02 Weight: 182

Tim Harkness was the most popular Ultimate Mets Database daily lookup on October 18, 2012, and November 10, 2012.

1b of

First Mets game: April 9, 1963
Last Mets game: July 28, 1964





Share your memories of Tim Harkness

HERE IS WHAT OTHER METS FANS HAVE TO SAY:

TIM HARKNESS JR.
As a very proud son I would just like to say, to be a young Canadian playing pro baseball in the 60's and having accomplished what my father did is second to none. I am very proud of the 14th inning grand slam he hit for the the Mets and just the chance he got to play for a great organization. I am also a very big Mets fan in Ontario. Go Mets go!

Tony Renwick
The 14 inning game mentioned was on a sweltering afternoon on June 30th 1963 at the Polo Grounds against the Chicago Cubs. I well remember that day being the last term day of school (3rd grade) for me - sick in bed with chicken pox listening to the whole game (radio-only broadcast on WABC) and its dramatic finish. I think Grover Powell started for the Mets - but Tim sure finished it! About 2 months later - in a weeknight game at the Polo Grounds, Jim Hickman did the same thing in bottom of 9th inning against the same poor Cubs to save Roger Craig from going into history (at that time) as pitcher with longest losing streak. I remember those early games even better than those of later and even current times! We Met loyalists of those days savored every victory as they didn't come too often - or too easily in those now bygone years!

Dennis Klein
April 29, 2001
My memory is hazy, but I remember being at the Polo Grounds in '63 in a game that last 16 innings. I believe that Tim Harkness ended it with a 3-run homer. Can anyone confirm?

Mike Dolitsky
July 4, 2001
I happened to see Tim Jr's comments about his dad, and it brought back some great memories. I was an 8-year old fanatical Mets fan who was listening to the 14- inning game on the radio in my back yard in 1963. When Tim Harkness came to bat with 2 outs and the Mets trailing in the bottom of the 14th, I couldn't bear to listen (I could never stand to hear the last out of a Mets loss back then, especially in an exciting game like that one had been). Instead, I had to walk around the outside of the house, fully expecting to return and find out that the Mets had lost again. When I returned to the radio, I heard the crowd noise and then heard that Harkness had won the game with a grand slam. All these years later, I still remember lefty first baseman Tim Harkness and his game-winning grandslam. As you know, there weren't many positive highlights for the Mets back in those days, and Tim's grand slam is one of the few that I can distinctly remember. If Tim Jr. reads this post, please extend my best wishes to your dad and please let him know that there are plenty of old-time Mets fans who will always remember Tim Harkness for that great moment.

Bill Van Alstyne
December 7, 2001
Yes, I was at that September 1, 1963 game at the Polo Grounds against the Milwaukee Braves. Harkness indeed hit a game winning 2 run homer in the bottom of the 16th inning off Bob Tiefanauer. He earlier had hit a solo home run (that cleared the right field roof) off of Bob Sadowski. Larry Bearnarth was the winner; I believe he threw 6 or 7 shutout innings for the win. Hank Aaron hit doubles in consecutive times at bat in extra innings, but each time overslid 2nd and was tagged out. Was one of the most exciting games of the season.

Pochs72a
February 18, 2002
Tim Harkness was my favorite Met in the early days of the team. In fact I cried when he was traded , I believe for wayne Graham. Maybe because he was left handed like me was a reason I took to liking my favorite met, Tim Harkness

rich edwards
March 14, 2002
I remember the grand slam Tim hit in 1963 to beat the Cubs in a midweek day game at the Polo Grounds. He hit it off Jim Brewer (the same Jim Brewer that Billy Martin once punched out). The next day Newsday had a picture of Harkness standing at the top of the clubhouse steps in centerfield and the fans were on the outfield grass cheering him. Very similar to the picture of Bobby Thompson.

Eric
July 20, 2002
The 14 inning game mentioned was the first game I ever attended. I was 8 years old and my uncle took me. I believe the grand slam came on a 3 - 2 pitch and he fouled off several pitches before connecting. Also the Cubs scored 2 in the top of the 14th I believe. The crowd went nuts and it made a lasting impression on me and turned into a Mets addict for life. I got a chance to meet Tim at a card show a few years ago and shared the story with him. Seemed like a real nice guy.

Rick Malwitz
January 20, 2003
My memory of the 14th inning home run was that the Mets were down by two or three runs, with bases loaded, two outs and a 3-2 count. The Cubs had gone ahead on an extra base hit down the left field line that hugged the fence. It may have been Billy Williams, and it may have been an inside-the-parker. I have to look that up. By the game's end my buddies and I sat on the first base side, having crept in from our $1.30 seats. Thanks for the memories, guys.

Jim
October 3, 2003
Although I can't remember the grand slam like it was yesterday, I believe it was 2-out 3&2 count. Just like it was scripted. I'm pretty sure it went just to the left of dead center where the distance said 475 ft!

It was a blast. Probably one one the longest Hr's hit at the Polo Grounds. Although he is not listed as on of the three players to hit it in the centerfield bleaches. I know Lou Brock is one of them. Does anyone know if there is a film of Tim's Grand Slam?

leetch2messier
February 1, 2005
Besides the extra HR he hit, Tim Harkness was a minor league defenseman in the Montreal Canadiens organization. I really liked this guy, so much so that the Yankee fans in my neighborhood called me "TIM". Those were awful but exciting days in Mets baseball. The late Bob Murphy would say during games like the 14 inning affair, "They are chewing aspirin like salted peanuts."

Bob P
June 3, 2005
Now that retrosheet has added boxscores going back to the 1960s, we can finally sort out the confusion about Tim's famous grand slam!

The homer came on Wednesday afternoon, June 26, 1963 at the Polo Grounds against the Cubs. The Mets had battled back from a 4-0 deficit to tie it in the eighth, but the Cubs scored two in the top of the 14th.

Tim hit the home run off Jim Brewer with two men out. We still don't know if the count was 3 and 2 though!

I hope this helps clear up any and all confusion on this terrific win for Tim and the Mets!

Lee
October 13, 2005
Tim Harkness was my baseball hero when I was in Jr. High school. My father was a team physician for a minor league team and brought me my prized possession of an autographed baseball: "To Lee, Best Wishes, Tim Harkness." It is still a treasure.

Bob Scandurra
October 13, 2005
I was at that Tim Harkness grand slam game in 1963 that you wrote about. Yes, the count was 3-2, and I believe Harkness fouled a couple as well with the full count! The most memorable thing about that homer was the "curtain call" Harkness took from the top stairs of the Mets' clubhouse in centerfield in the old Polo Grounds. That photo was on the front page of the Daily News the next day, and was later in Look Magazine. I appeared in the crowd in that photo. I recently went to the Hall of Fame site and found the same photo! It now hangs on my wall with a description of the event. I was 13 and will never forget that moment!

MarisFan
March 29, 2006
Hello! Great to see this page. I was referred here from the MLB Met discussion board when I wondered something about Tim. And I wonder if anyone here might know the answer -- maybe even Tim Jr.?

Although I'm a Yankee fan, I've followed the Mets through the years and I genuinely like them too. I remember the great start that Tim had in '64 -- was over .400 for a while!! -- and then he slumped a little, but then picked it up again and was on a tear.

But then, suddenly, he just disappeared -- not just from the Mets, but from the major leagues totally. Although he was on a hot streak, he left the lineup after 7/28/64 -- and never played a game again.

WHAT HAPPENED? Does anyone know? Did Tim have some career-ending injury? I've checked, and I just don't find any record of anything like that. But I figure SOMETHING must have happened, because ordinarily you just don't see a young player like Tim just disappear for no reason, especially when he was on a hot streak!!

P.S. Thanks to everyone here for sharing their memories of Tim.

VIBaseball
April 1, 2006
After going 1 for 4 in that 9-0 loss to the Dodgers on 7/28/64, Harkness was sold to San Diego of the Pacific Coast League. This was to make room for Bobby Klaus, whom the Mets acquired on waivers from Cincinnati on the recommendation of coach Don Heffner.

At first Tim refused to report. He blasted Casey Stengel in the papers for sleeping on the bench and playing favorites (guess he wasn't one of them).

He played at Triple-A in 1965 (Atlanta, Milwaukee Braves farm club) and in 1966 (Buffalo, Reds chain). No sign of him after that.

Mark C.
April 1, 2006
Thanks much, VIBaseball!! Great info. Of course it still leaves it as pretty weird that he never again played in the ML. I wonder if he was marked down as being a "bad actor" (that's what they called guys who they considered troublemakers, usually unfairly) -- not that I ever had any reason to think anything like that, but from what you point out, and in view of how players hardly spoke out about anything at the time, it's easy to imagine that could have happened after he said that about the Mets. And yes, I guess for whatever reason he wasn't one of Casey's "favorites" -- so maybe he was saying stuff WHILE he was on the team too, even though I imagine it was never reported. I certainly never heard anything about it at the time, and I was a big fan.

I wonder how he did in the minors in '64 and '65. I'd have GUESSED he tore it up pretty good, because he was still a legitimate ML hitter, and since he was just 26, it's not like his skills were likely to deteriorate suddenly. Especially if he did well in the minors, it's very strange that nobody ever again gave him a chance in the ML. I smell "blacklist" or something like it.

Here's what Tim did in his last 10 games with the Mets: 13 for 29, .448.

Jim
April 19, 2007
"Wednesday afternoon, June 26, 1963 at the Polo Grounds against the Cubs. The Mets had battled back from a 4-0 deficit to tie it in the eighth, but the Cubs scored two in the top of the 14th. Tim hit the home run off Jim Brewer with two men out. We still don't know if the count was 3 and 2 though!"

--------------------

I'll never forget that day - it was my first MLB game and I was 12 years old. I lived in Northern New Jersey and my friends and I were up-and-coming Little League stars!

We saved our weekly allowances for months [.25 cents a week] and planned to go to a Mets game. Told our parents we were going fishing and snuck up to the corner bus station and took a bus across the George Washington Bridge - subway to the Polo Grounds [different back then, 12 year olds could survive the subway system by themselves].

I had saved $2.75 for this memorable event. It was enough "cash" for the bus, the subway, bleacher seats, 2 cokes. During batting practice I actually got a ball in the right field bleachers where our seats were located.

We were crushed when the Cubbies went ahead by 2 runs in the top of the 14th. Tim Harkness came to bat with bases loaded, 2 outs, 3-2 count, several foul balls.

Suddenly - CRACK!!!!!!!

The Polo Grounds exploded!! I'll never forget it!

Salute to Tim Harkness!

Bob P
May 10, 2007
Jim, Thanks for posting that. Your quote was from my posting a couple of years ago.

Not that I didn't trust you (and the many others who have posted about the grand slam) but thanks to NY Times Select, I was able to go back and look up Gordon S. White's story about the game in the next day's paper. The story confirms that the count was indeed 3-2 when Harkness hit the home run, a "long, hard shot to right."

VIBaseball
July 21, 2007
Tim's minor-league performance after leaving the Mets was nothing special:

1964, San Diego: 6-19-.277 1965, Atlanta: 13-66-.246 1966, Buffalo & Columbus: 9-39-.233

That was the end of his pro career (thank you, Professional Baseball Player Database). I'll see if I can find any evidence of blacklisting, but the numbers tell a more likely story.

Ross Henderson
January 1, 2008
I'll never forget when I was a youngster and I got to play a little bit of backyard baseball with Tim and the whole family at my uncle's house. My Uncle George (Tim married my cousin) had a bat of Tim's that he kept beside the bar downstairs. I'll always remember how heavy and big that bat was! Fond memories that I will always cherish.

Ed K
April 18, 2008
Two things:

One of the first banners ever in the Polo Grounds said: "Hit One into the Darkness, Harkness."

As to the larger picture of Tim's departure, keep in mind that it was tied to the status of Ed Kranepool. At one time, the Mets viewed Kranepool's future more in LF than 1B. Hence, Harkness was the prospect that replaced Marv Throneberry as the everyday firstbaseman in 1963. Kranepool spent some time in AAA (Buffalo) in early 1964 but they recalled him in May just in time for him to play all 32 innings of the infamous doubleheader loss against the Giants. Thereafter, Kranepool basically won the position leading to Tim's departure.

Jim Eckert
February 17, 2011
Tim Harkness was another player on the long list of Casey Stengel name butcherings. Stengel'd call him "Harshman".

He was referred to in the Mets 1964 yearbook as the "tall lantern-jawed Irishman".

I seem to remember his picture in the paper for hitting that game winning grand slam. He was making a wide-eyed laughing face with his forefingers and thumbs curled in circles around his eyes like spectacles and his other fingers sticking up and out to the sides (whatever that was supposed to mean). Why do we remember things like this?!

Mike T.
October 19, 2011
Recently I was blown away to receive my TTM autographed cards from Tim Harkness from Canada! Both 1963 and 1964 Topps. PLUS he included a very nice and gracious hand-written letter. In this time of athletes, former and current, needing to wheedle a buck out of their careers, it is always refreshing to get a returned SASE with another autograph for my cherished collection, especially with a letter of thanks for being a great baseball fan including his own words of appreciation for having the good fortune to play in MLB. I am going to write back with a photo print of his cards in my collection and a strong suggestion to check out this amazing site that I literally look at every day for some reason or another.

David Frankel
April 6, 2014
In that game on June 26, 1963 I was 16, and sat in the upper deck on the first base side. It was a 3-2 count and I think he fouled off the pitch before. Everyone in the whole stadium were screaming from before the pitch. The ball landed in the upper deck near the first base line. I think Brewer gave up another game-winner that year to the Mets.









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