The 1999 New York Mets were certainly on their way to potentially winning it all. They had a fantastic offense and it showed with how often they were able to win games in the final at-bat.
The season included a total of 12 different walk-off games. In all but two of them, the Mets were victorious.
In the regular season, only a Mark Kotsay home run against Armando Benitez had the Mets on the losing side. The other—we’ll get to that shortly.
The postseason, and the days leading up to it, included some very memorable finishes to Mets games. You want dramatic finishes? The 1999 Mets had a lot of them.
The 1999 Mets were involved in five walk-offs in October alone
The month of October included five walk-offs involving the Mets. The first two were in the regular season.
On October 1, the Mets defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2 at Shea Stadium in 11 innings. An RBI single by Robin Ventura ended the game and helped the Mets add a much-needed win to the standings.
As we would soon learn, they needed every single win they could get.
Two days later, against those same Pirates, the Mets won the final game of the season in a wild way. In the bottom of the ninth, a wild pitch by Brad Clontz scored Mike Piazza. The errant pitch helped the Mets tie the Cincinnati Reds for the wild card spot. They would win that game too, not in walk-off style. The bats came to life and Al Leiter completely shut down Cincinnati for nine innings.
Less than a week later, the ball club from Flushing found themselves playing the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NLDS. In the best of 5 series, New York was ahead 2-1. The tenth inning featured an at-bat by Todd Pratt that all fans remember. With one out, Pratt hit a solo home run against Diamondbacks pitcher Matt Mantei for the win.
This brought Amazins into a battle with their nemesis, the Atlanta Braves. A game away from elimination in the NLCS, it took 15 innings for one team to come away as the winner.
After the Braves took the lead in the top half of the inning, the Mets were desperate to stay alive. That’s when one of the most famous walk-off home runs in franchise history took place. The bases were juiced for Robin Ventura. The score, now tied after a walk to Pratt, Ventura sent one into the night over the outfield wall for a grand slam! Except, Ventura’s teammates wouldn’t let him even get to second base before the celebration began. Thus, the grand slam single was born.
The final walk-off took place two days later. Sadly, this one broke hearts in New York. Again, with the bases loaded in the bottom half of an extra inning, the game would end. This time, it wasn’t the Amazins on the winning side. Pitcher Kenny Rogers couldn’t find the plate against Andruw Jones. A ball four gave Atlanta the win and the series. The season was over!
Several of these walk-offs remain at the forefront of franchise lore. We remember them for the good times but also the bad.
Want your voice heard? Join the Rising Apple team!
A year later, the Mets would be involved in two different walk-offs in the postseason. One was a home run off the bat of Benny Agbayani. The other, Jose Vizcaino and the New York Yankees took a game in the World Series after a single.