2) Mets catcher Todd Pratt plays hero on 10/9/1999
There’s a trend with these great walk-off home runs. Teufel was a part-time player. Flores was essentially a fifth infielder who played often. Agbayani was a starter for the Mets in only a limited capacity. The trend continues with Todd Pratt. On October 9, 1999, he had his quintessential Mets moment.
It was Game 4 of the NLDS when Pratt was starting in place of an injured Mike Piazza. You’d never notice the difference. On this day, Pratt looked like a home run-hitting catcher.
In the bottom of the tenth with one out, Pratt stepped to the dish to face Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Matt Mantei. The Mets were a win away from advancing in the postseason for the first time since 1986. They hadn’t been in the playoffs since 1988 but fell to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the best of seven NLCS. A long ball from Pratt secured the win.
Backup catchers aren’t supposed to triumph on the field like Pratt did on that October day. It’s against the odds. It’s against the way rosters at built.
But there’s a reason why we play the games. Magical moments like that can happen in the playoffs. On this day, it worked in favor of the Mets.