September 7, 2006: José Reyes
For all of the fanfare about José Reyes’ speed, and the fact that he holds the franchise records for stolen bases and triples, it is somewhat surprising to me that he only hit one inside-the-park home run as a Met. This remarkable achievement occurred during his best overall season in Queens, one in which he hit 17 triples, scored 122 runs, and led the Major Leagues with 64 stolen bases.
On that memorable September night, the Mets were facing the Dodgers, their future Division Series foes. On the mound, Tom Glavine squared off against Brad Penny. In the bottom of the 6th inning, after a successful sacrifice bunt from Glavine that moved Jose Valentin to second base, Reyes stepped up to the dish. He drilled a 2-1 pitch from Penny into right-center field, where it bounced off the fence, eluded center fielder Matt Kemp, and scooted away into no-man’s land.
Reyes never broke stride as he rounded the bases and slid in triumphantly at home, driving in three runs (including himself) and knocking Penny out of the game with his inside-the-parker. The Mets went on to win 7-0 and solidify their stranglehold on the NL East division, which they ended up winning by 12 games.
This inside-the-park home run hit by Reyes was also the last one hit by a Met at Shea Stadium.
The Mets actually hit two inside-the-park home runs in 2006; the other was hit by Kaz Matsui on April 20 against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park, and you can read about here.
Want your voice heard? Join the Rising Apple team!
Inside-the-park home runs are rare across Major League Baseball, and less than 1% of all home runs stay in the park. I certainly hope to witness a Mets inside-the-park home run in person one day, though I have a feeling that if I did, I would be as out of breath cheering for it as the player would be running the bases.