Not everyone play on the field is as easy as a 6-4-3 double play. As these New York Mets moments on the field show, sometimes things get weird.
The New York Mets are familiar with strangeness both on and off the field. Many interesting characters have donned the orange and blue over the years, from Turk Wendell and his animal tooth necklaces to announcer Lindsay Nelson and his famously loud suits.
But as we Mets fans know, many of the strangest moments in Mets history have occurred in-game, on the field. At least once per Mets game, it seems, something happens that prompts Gary Cohen or Keith Hernandez to exclaim, “I’ve never seen anything like that, and I’ve been watching baseball for over 50 years!”
The Mets are many things, but boring is certainly never one of them. Here are a few of the oddest things to happen during Mets games over the years. Honorable mentions include the famous “black cat” incident in 1969 and the parachuting man from Game 6 of the 1986 World Series.
2006: Paul Lo Duca’s double play at home plate
When Mets fans think back to remarkable defensive plays during the 2006 postseason, their minds likely go straight to Endy Chavez’s incredible catch in game 7 of the NLCS. Nearly as remarkable was a strange play that happened during the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers. In the second inning, Jeff Kent and J.D. Drew opened up the action with back-to-back singles. Russell Martin followed with a line drive to right field that seemed destined to plate two runs for the Dodgers.
Mets right fielder Shawn Green came up with the ball quickly and fired a throw to second baseman Jose Valentin, who then promptly threw home. Expecting only one play at the plate, catcher Paul Lo Duca was able to tag out Kent as he came barreling towards home.
However, Kent had hesitated while rounding second base. Drew had not, meaning that as Kent was trying to score, Drew was still right behind him. As soon as Lo Duca tagged out Kent, he turned around and also slapped a tag on Drew sliding into home plate. Both runners were out. Two Dodgers for the price of one.
I had barely a year of baseball watching under my belt when this play occurred, but even nine-year-old me registered this sequence as highly unusual. Sure enough, the Mets have not replicated it since.