Pete Alonso‘s victory in last night’s Home Run derby ranks up there for best personal Mets All-Star Game memory. It also made me think about some of the more memorable moments I have involving Mets players in an All-Star Game.
Jacob deGrom Dominates
Before retiring the side on seven pitches in this year’s game, there was his 2015 performance. That year’s outing is one of my all-time favorite Mets All-Star moments. The reigning, defending, undisputed N.L. Rookie of the Year struck out the side on 10 pitches. As Joe Buck said at the conclusion, “Hi, my name is Jacob deGrom and I have the chance with my stuff to dominate baseball for years to come.” Indeed.
Lance Johnson Shines in ’96
While the ’96 Mets didn’t achieve much, there were a few all-star caliber milestones. Todd Hundley broke the single-season home run record by a catcher with 41 dingers. And in his first season with the Mets, Lance Johnson led the National League in hits, becoming the first player in MLB history to lead both leagues in hits in back-to-back years.
So it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that Johnson had three hits in the game. As a teenage boy rooting for a mediocre team, it was awesome seeing Johnson play the entire game and contributing offensively. Who knows, he may have been the game’s MVP had it not gone to some catcher named Mike Piazza.
Saberhagen is the Lone Wolf in ’94
The Summer of ’94 was amazing. The N.Y. Rangers had just won the Stanley Cup. The World Cup was taking the U.S. by storm. And Bret Saberhagen was the lone Mets representative in 1994. OK, so maybe the latter doesn’t fit completely, but you get the idea. I remember watching this game with my cousin waiting for Saberhagen to pitch. That moment never came, even though the game went extra innings.
That said, the ’94 Mid-Summer Classic is one my favorites. The game ended in the 10th-inning when future Met Moises Alou hit a shot in the gap, scoring Tony Gwynn from first base. The game ended the National League’s six-year losing streak.
Jones Ks Griffey Jr. and McGwire
Pitcher Bobby Jones – who went 10-2 in the first half of ’97 – was the lone Mets All-Star that year (Todd Hundley made the team, but DNP due to injury). Down 3-1 in the 8th inning, Jones was tasked with keeping the N.L. in the game. And he delivered by ending the inning with Ks of Ken Griffey Jr. and Mark McGwire. I watched this game solo and remember being super pumped by his outing. I’d say this is my second-favorite memory of Bobby Jones. The first is his one-hit shutout vs. SF in the 2000 NLDS to clinch the series.
R.A. Dickey Gets His Moment in 2012
R.A. Dickey‘s road to the 2012 Cy Young Award was nothing short of magical. The only true disappointment in this season was being snubbed as the N.L All-Star starter in favor of Matt Cain (seriously?!). Unfortunately, I couldn’t tell you how R.A. Dickey performed because I got food poisoning from a turkey burger in San Diego! Thankfully, I found R.A.’s outing on YouTube.