For the final first round match-up, the 2/7 competition features the 1999 Mets beating the Reds in a winner take all game vs. a very memorable moment in the 1969 Mets season.
I remember that if I didn’t pitch well, we were flying to LaGuardia and not to Phoenix,” said Al Leiter, who pitched a two-hitter against the Reds that sent the Mets up against the Diamondbacks in the Division Series. “During my warm-ups, the stadium [Cinergy Field] was already full, and every one of the Cincinnati fans knew what was at stake. I had experienced a couple of World Series before that. I know it creates great television and drama. Somebody is going to be all teary-eyed, and someone is going to be jumping around like a 12-year-old.”
“What I learned about it was that we had just won 96 games, and that wasn’t good enough,” said Reds first baseman Sean Casey, now with the Tigers. “A hundred and sixty-two games and it felt like you shouldn’t have even played them. It came down to one night. For the Mets, it was exciting. For us, it was heartbreaking. To have all the marbles riding on that one game and lose after having won all those games, it was a heart-breaking loss. It made for a long offseason.”— MLB.com
Throughout the Summer of `69, Chicago Cubs third baseman Ron Santo celebrated each victory by clicking his heels in the air.
He clicked them often as the Cubs built a seemingly insurmountable 10-game lead by Aug. 13. However, he wouldn’t be clicking them on this day, although superstition would be the headliner.
That lead was cut to a half-game on this date as Tom Seaver, backed by homers from Donn Clendenon and Art Shamsky, beat Ferguson Jenkins and the Cubs, 7-1, in what will forever be known as “The Black Cat Game.’’
While the Cubs were batting, a black cat walked behind the on-deck circle where Santo was standing.
“(The cat) kept walking around their on-deck circle,’’ said Ed Kranepool in a phone interview. “The crowd kept yelling and cheering, and the cat just stayed there.’’
No, the cat wasn’t planned.
“We had a lot of cats (at Shea) because we had a lot of rats there,’’ Kranepool said.
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