Thursday, January 07, 2010

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Mets Scorecard Flashback - July 26, 1980

Dan Twohig, Mets Police Detective

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I've been keeping score at ballgames since the mid to late 70's, and I started saving all my scorecards in 1980. I thought it would be fun as we go through the off-season to pull out some of them and take a look back.

Today it's July 1980

Steve Henderson graces the cover - remember Hendu Can Do? OK, many of you have no idea who he is but back then he was a big deal in Flushing - or at least the Mets tried to make him one. He was one of the main players the Mets got back when they traded Tom Seaver to the Reds. Henderson wasn't a bad player - he actually finished 2nd for Rookie of the Year in 1977 (Andre Dawson just beat him out). Following the 1980 season Hendu was traded to the Cubs for Dave Kingman

So let's see what we have inside. Hey look, it's an article about the new owners, Nelson Doubleday and some other guy from Brooklyn.

Seriously I liked Doubleday - and he always seemed to be dedicated to the Mets. Meanwhile this other guy from Brooklyn - well, they are already mentioning his Dodger connections in this article. Cue the foreboding music.

Moving along we find an article on the Mets pitching staff for 1980. Let's see, the rotation that year was Ray Burris, Pat Zachary, Pete Falcone, Mark Bomback, and Craig Swan, all pictured. Only Bomback, at 10-8, had a winning record. Also pictured here is a young Mike Scott - you know that guy in 1986 that almost single-handedly kept the Mets out of the World Series.

And what would a scorecard from 1980 be without our old friend and Mets Police favorite, Brooklyn's own Lee Mazzilli. Here we learn that after 44 games at first base, Joe Torre has finally put Mazz back where he belongs - patrolling CF at Shea.

Ah, finally we come to why we have a scorecard - to keep score. Back then (I was 13 at the time), I was still experimenting with score keeping. Sure there is an "official" method of keeping score, but everyone has their own methodology. I was still trying to find mine.

What I do see here on the first page - hm, this guy Foster had 2 doubles and a single. Griffey (now known as Griffey Sr.) had a good eye with 2 walks. Fun to see that the Reds third baseman was Ray Knight.

Just a few years removed from the Big Red Machine and no Morgan, Rose, Perez, or Bench in this line-up. At least I got to see Concepcion.

OK, now on to the home town Mets. Mazz leading off had a bad day (0-4). Frank Taveras did well - 2-4 with 2 SB. Other guys I used to love - Doug Flynn, Mike Jorgenson, Joel Youngblood - all appeared in the game.

But the real story about this game isn't in the scorecard. The game was played a week after John Stearns had made his 3rd All-Star Game. Stearns was having his best season ever - .285, on pace for over 40 doubles. And then in the first inning of this sunny Saturday afternoon, Stearns' finger was broken on a foul tip, ending his season. He never was a full-time player after that.

My brother and I were sitting with my Dad along the first base line, field level (I think). I still remember clearly seeing Stearns crumple in pain.

Oh for the record, the Mets lost the game 5-1

Our next flashback will be from 1981.

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