This Day In Mets Infamy With Rusty: The Todd Pratt Goes Boom Edition!

An article by posted on October 9, 2013

A lot of things can happen in 14 years. Children are born, people die, presidents are elected, and fads come and go. (Remember the Macarena?) But I can’t believe it was 14 years ago today that one of the most overlooked moments in Mets history took place.

Yes, today is the 14th anniversary of when  Todd “The Tank” Pratt went boom to lead the Mets past the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 1999 NLDS.

I remember waking up just in time to see Todd Pratt, the Mets back-up catcher who was subbing for the injured Mike Piazza, take Diamondbacks closer Matt Mantai’s fastball over the centerfield wall.

I was working for the heavy metal band, Shango at the time, and I had gotten home at around 6:00 AM from an overnight gig. I generally don’t sleep into the afternoon, but I was so tired from the night before and I missed the first nine innings of the game. I turned on the television while still being barely conscious to hear Chris Berman utter (more like scream) that now famous play by play:

Oh… That’s hit well to centerfield…

Finley goes back… BACK! BACK!!!!! (long pause)

IT’S OVER!!!

I remember watching Diamondbacks centerfielder, Steve Finley make what looked to be a leaping grab of the ball, but I saw the look of despair in his eyes and when he bowed his head in shame. I was totally awake (hung-over, but awake) and screaming at the top of my lungs!

Yes the Mets would be eliminated by the insidious Atlanta Braves in the NLCS, but if it was not for Todd Pratt – a man who just a scant years before was out of baseball and working at a Dominos Pizza franchise – the Mets may not of gotten that far.

So what are your memories of that incredible Mets moment?

We at MMO wish Todd Pratt all the best in his battle with head and neck cancer which he revealed in August. So far so good, for the former Met catcher… After surgery to remove the tumors, his cancer is now in remission and he says he feels good and doctors tell him he’s healthy.

And with that said….. HERE COMES THE INFAMY!!!!!!

Mets alumni celebrating a birthday today include:

Utility man from the ’98 season, Jim Tatum is 46 (1967). In his lone season with the Mets, Tatum played every position except for shortstop, second base and pitcher!

One third of “Generation K” Bill Pulsipher is 40 (1973). Oh what could have been!

Starting pitcher from the ’06 season, Alay Soler is 34 (1979). Soler was the one of the few Cuban defectors the Mets signed in the past decade. But unlike an El Duque or a Livan Hernandez, Alay never lived up to the hype. He only pitched in eight games for the Mets, posting a record of 2-3 with a 6.00 ERA.

Reserve outfielder from the ’11 season, Jason Pridie is 30 (1983). Pridie played in 101 games for the Mets that season, batting a paltry .231 with 4 homers and 20 RBIs.

Other notables include:

The  Oakland Athletics claimed both reserve outfielder Matt Watson and utility infielder Marco Scutaro of the New York Mets on waivers on October 9, 2003. As of this past season Scutaro was still an active player with the Giants, makes you wish the Mets never put him through waivers huh?

Mo Vaughn nearly choked on his third helping of Dominos Pizza when he saw Pratt hit that homerun!!!!

About the Author ()

Proud lifelong Met fan who has a passing resemblance to Rusty Staub and is a purveyor of Mo Vaughn jokes as well as the writer of "This Day In Mets Infamy". You can follow me on Twitter at @lagranderusty.

Comments are closed.