June 11, 2005: Marlon Anderson
In parts of four seasons with the Mets, Marlon Anderson was always a part-time player, never notching 300 at-bats in a single season with the Amazins. However, some players just have the knack for coming through as a pinch-hitter, and on one June night at Shea Stadium, Anderson’s trip around the bases was the star.
He came in, as one would expect, pinch-hitting in the 9th inning for first baseman Chris Woodward. The Mets were playing the Los Angeles Angels and were down 2-1 with one out in the bottom of the 9th. Anderson was facing star Angels closer (and future Mets closer) Francisco Rodriguez. On a 3-1 count, Anderson skied the ball to the gap in right-center. It bounced off of center fielder Steve Finley’s glove, then his leg, and rolled far away from both outfielders. Anderson hustled around second, than third, and then tried for home as the relay throw was coming in.
Though the throw beat him to home plate, Anderson managed to slide in under the tag of José Molina to score the tying run. Molina vehemently argued the call with the home plate umpire, though Anderson was clearly safe. It was his first home run as a Met, and one of seven that he hit in 2005.
For added excitement, the game went to extra innings. The Angels went ahead in the top of the 10th on an RBI single from Darin Erstad, but Cliff Floyd was the ultimate hero that night when his two-out, three-run homer won the game in the bottom of the frame.
Though Anderson was banged-up after the game thanks to the collision at home, he was all-smiles in his postgame interviews.
“When you get a win like that, nothing hurts,” Anderson said.
Anderson’s heroics marked the Mets’ first inside-the-parker at Shea Stadium since Darryl Strawberry 16 years prior, in 1989. His most recent Mets-related involvement was serving as the hitting coach for the Brooklyn Cyclones in 2018.