The New York Mets are bringing the black jerseys back! However you feel about them: excitement, disgust, or apathy, you do have to admit there was a time when some huge Mets moments took place in the darkened uniforms.
Although the lifespan of the black uniforms included some lean years, they came around just as the team was getting competitive in the late 1990s.
The black jerseys have been worn during some memorable franchise moments. Bobby Valentine’s “disguise game”, Robin Ventura’s impression of Mike Piazza during the rain delay, and even some record-setting events such as Piazza’s home run to make him the all-time leader for catchers. I’m not going to consider those for this list because those are moments from games we don’t really remember much about. Instead, I would like to focus on the big blackout games.
October 17, 1999 – Mets win on Robin Ventura’s walk-off grand slam single
Easily one of the most memorable playoff moments in Mets history that had nothing to do with actually clinching, the Game 5 walk-off grand slam single off the bat of third baseman Robin Ventura had an opportunity to be a major momentum shifter.
After losing the first three games to the Atlanta Braves, the Mets came won Game 4 to stay alive. In Game 5, it took them until the 15th inning to finally take the victory.
It all started with a Shawon Dunston single and a stolen base. A walk, a sacrifice bunt, and an intentional walk loaded the bases for Todd Pratt. Trailing 3-2, the Mets desperately needed a run. Pratt patiently waited for his pitch to hit and never got it. Instead, he drew a bases loaded walk.
This brought Ventura to the plate where he famously smacked one over the center field wall for a grand slam! Except, his teammates mobbed him in between first and second base nullifying the opportunity to cross home plate.
The Mets won 4-3 and managed to stay alive for another night.