Saturday, September 03, 2005

Losing Creates Illogicical Flashbacks

Sometimes, as losing streaks occur that threaten your favorite team's season as the Mets current three game losing streak poses a minor threat, you normally tend to flash back to happier times when things weren't so rough.

Why then, as the Mets have lost three straight during this September stretch drive, do I flash back to Joel Youngblood?

It's probably because he was mentioned during the telecast of the Cardinals/Astros game tonight. I have no idea why they mentioned him, but it created a warm fuzzy in the pit of my heart.
For those too young to remember, Joel Youngblood was the only player in history to record a hit for two different franchises in the same day...August 4th, 1982. Youngblood drove in two runs for the Mets against the Cubs at Wrigley field in the third inning, then left town as he was traded to the Expos for Tom Gorman (not Tom Gordon, as I mistakenly got my eras mixed up, thank you g-fafif!) He arrived in Philadelphia during the third inning of the Expos' game against the Phillies, and guess what? He got a hit.

The entire story of that nutty day can be found here. Check out the two pitchers that Youngblood got the hits off of: Fergie Jenkins and Steve Carlton. Not bad, eh?

That fact escaped me in my young life. But what stayed with me was that Youngblood grew a beard every September to deal with the cold weather, and because he was an avid outdoorsman and hunter. That I remember (go figure).

There were many Lee Mazzilli fans in those late 70's/early 80's days. A lot of John Stearns fans too (well, relatively). I was a Doug Flynn/Joel Youngblood guy. Flynn was a gold glover who couldn't hit, and had a big white fluffy dog named Woody. I liked him because he was involved in a lot of late inning comebacks and attempted comebacks (I remember he started them more than he finished them, but he definitely finished one.)

I don't think Joel Youngblood had a dog. But he had a big fluffy beard every winter. He also played some second base and some third base along with primarily being an outfielder (mostly in right, sometimes in center as he was during his final game as a Met).

I also like the the way the Shea P.A. announcer would draw out "Yyyyyyyyyyyyyyounggggg-bloooooooooooood" as Joel strode to the plate. And "Youngblood" just might very well be the coolest name in Met history.

He also had his best season in 1979, my first full season of predicting Mets disaster...which is probably why he is burned in my memory forever. He hit 16 homers and drove in 60 runs and hit a respectable .275. But in 1982, with George Foster, Mookie Wilson, and Ellis Valentine (yikes) on the scene, there was no room for Joel Youngblood...thus the trade to Montreal, baseball history, and a conversion from childhood hero to distant memory.


G-Fafif said...

I invite you to visit

and read up on Greatest Met No. 53 to learn more on the subject of Joel Youngblood, hunting and dogs.

(PS: Gorman, not Gordon. Even seers sometimes don't see all typos.)

Metstradamus said...

Oh my, that was worse than a typo, that was a serious short circuit of brain cells. That must be what happens when you have a Joel Youngblood flashback while half asleep, and you type when you have absolutely no business typing! Inexcusable on my part. I thank you!!!

Thanks for the background info on the former #18, I was hoping someone would remind me of the turkey shoot story ("Amazin" is a great book!)

I promise I'll do a better job with my Doug Flynn flashback, which will require an Entenmann's cake, some Labatt's Blue, and watching Kaz Matsui pop-up 28 more times to acheive.

G-Fafif said...

The man himself checks in at No. 92: