#9 The Grand Slam Single
On a warm mid-October afternoon, the Mets faced elimination at Shea Stadium against their bitter rivals. The Atlanta Braves once again won the NL East with 103 wins, the Mets only having 97 in 1999. This series was contentious, but the Mets fervently refused to cede a World Series berth to their Southern adversaries.
Despite being the superior team, the Braves were dragged through fifteen innings and multiple lead changes. A lengthy gridlock ensued with a run drought enduring from the top of the fourth through the top of the fifteenth. This was finally dismantled with the Braves scoring to start the fifteenth inning.
However, with their season on the line, the Mets responded in turn and equalized the score. Todd Pratt‘s walk drew the ballgame even and the heroics were not yet concluded.
The following batter, a player with a reputation for flourishing with the bases loaded, Robin Ventura stepped in the left-handed batter’s box brimming with the hope of winning this game. This resiliency was seen the night prior, as well, as the Mets worked out a win to force a game five and an opportunity to move the series down South.
Well, Ventura unloaded on a 2-1 pitch that shot out like a bullet, landing directly above the white 371 inscribed on the padded blue wall. The blistering ball thudded against the black backdrop below the sizable Chase advertisement on the lower third of the immense Shea Stadium scoreboard.
As Ventura rounded the bases, between first and second, collecting his RBI’s he was mobbed by the utterly glowing Todd Pratt, where his other teammates followed and the celebration ensued. Thus he was only credited with a single. Hence the “Grand Slam Single”.
This was a joyous moment in Mets’ history, yet when the series moved to Atlanta the Mets were promptly defeated. The glory of this single moment and the Mets valiant effort to disallow their excellent rivals from clinching in Queens was vastly impressive.