Yanks to retire their 23rd uniform number

RobertRoe said:

One of my best baseball memories is being at a Mets game when Willie Mays played his last year.  Willie had a good game and actually helped score the winning run without hitting the ball.   As I recall, Willie was at-bat in the bottom of the ninth, tie game,  and the Mets had a runner on third.  The ball got away from the catcher.  Willie, seemingly trying to be helpful, pointed to the catcher the wrong opposite way from where the ball went.  In the couple of seconds, until the catcher realized he was looking the wrong way, the runner dashed home from third!  I hope my memory from fifty years ago is right on this.  Perhaps there is a way I can check.  

OH MY GOD!   Are you sure of these facts because my recollection is that he was with the Giants and they were playing the Mets at Shea.   I would have been 71 or 72.   Grote was  the catcher in my memory.   Man on second IIRC and Mays was at the plate.   There was a passed ball or wild pitch and Grote threw his mask off looking for the ball.   Mays pointed to the dugout opposite where the ball was and Grote ran there while the runner scored.  I thought it was BRILLIANT. 

So I wonder if he did this twice or we are talking about the same play and one of our memories is wrong.   In fact, I have tried on two occasions to dial in to WFAN in situations where Mays was a guest so that I could ask him if he remembered it.

I can't believe you wrote this.  I have looked for that play for a very long time in newspaper accounts, etc.  with no luck.  Amazing.


You could be right.  It was a long time ago.  But I do positively recall being at the game and seeing a play like this with Willie Mays at-bat.  The funny thing is how our memories often make stories even better than they actually were.  This is one of the wonderful things about baseball and sports.  


Perhaps we could email Willie or his agent and get the story.  I just read that Willie is 90 years old this past summer 2021.  


I still have two old school buddies that I used to go to games with.  I will try and see if they remember this play. 


This may be the game!  The miracle of Baseball-Reference.com!

August 23, 1971.  Giants at Mets.   Top of the third.   Ken Henderson on third.   Mays at the plate.   

Jim McAndrew throws a wild pitch that gets by Grote.   Run scores.   

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYN/NYN197108230.shtml

Honestly I was totally shocked to read your post because this one has really stayed with me for so long.   I thought Mays was the smartest player in the world after witnessing it.  Your post seriously made my day and year!

Note that future Hall of Famer Wayne Garrett played for the Mets in this game.


sbenois said:

This may be the game!  The miracle of Baseball-Reference.com!

August 23, 1971.  Giants at Mets.   Top of the third.   Ken Henderson on third.   Mays at the plate.   

Jim McAndrew throws a wild pitch that gets by Grote.   Run scores.   

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYN/NYN197108230.shtml

Honestly I was totally shocked to read your post because this one has really stayed with me for so long.   I thought Mays was the smartest player in the world after witnessing it.  Your post serious made my day and year!

Note that future Hall of Famer Wayne Garrett played for the Mets in this game.

Good move to pinch-hit for that middle reliever after he got two guys out in the sixth. I don't see him having much of a future.

Also, I loved watching Willie McCovey hit, but 13 errors as of August for a 1B? Ouch.


Isn't is crazy that a minor play had such an impact on two viewers that we remember some form of it 51 years later?


Mays was no doubt a really smart player.   It is hard to do, but players do sometimes totally fool their opponent.  Consider the hidden ball play by a first baseman or shortstop.   Or players like Mays pretending like they were hurt and hobbling to first; only to steal second on the next pitch.   


Dennis_Seelbach said:

It's amazing how a thread begun with the intent of discussing the Yankees has been turned into, once again, a pitiful mewling about the hapless Mets. So sad.

Now marvel at what it has turned into.


Loved looking at the lineups for that day.  Lots of 69 Miracle Mets in the lineup.  Lots of good players on each team.  


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