As the 2015 Mets write their own World Series history this postseason, let's take a look back at some of the franchise's best performances in the Fall Classic. From Hall of Famers Tom Seaver and Gary Carter, to out-of-the-blue heroes of the ilk of Daniel Murphy in this year's NLDS and NLCS, there have been some clutch performances by Mets players in October. Join us as we turn back the clock…
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Donn Clendenon (1969)
Clendenon made the most of the only postseason of his 12-year career. After providing a spark upon being acquired by the Mets in the summer of 1969 (similar to the effect Yoenis Cespedes had on New York after joining the team at the trade deadline in 2015), he had a World Series performance to remember. Hitting cleanup, Clendenon wielded his influence on the series early on by hitting a solo home run in the fourth inning of the Mets' 2-1 Game 2 win to help notch New York's first-ever Fall Classic victory. He then homered in Games 4 and 5 as well, and boosted the Mets to a Game 5 win by helping them overcome a 3-0 deficit by smashing a two-run homer in the sixth. Wrapping up the series with a .357 average, 1.509 OPS, three home runs and four RBI, Clendenon was named MVP of the series.
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Al Weis (1969)
While Donn Clendenon was justly named MVP of the 1969 World Series, Al Weis delivered a clutch performance in the Fall Classic that will forever live in Mets lore. A career .219 hitter who only hit a total of seven home runs in his 10-year big-league career, Weis played out of his mind in the World Series, hitting .455 with a home run and three RBI. It wasn't his statistical success but rather the timeliness of it that made him a World Series hero, though. It all began in Game 2 with runners on the corners and the score tied, 1-1, in the top of the ninth. Weis, the No. 8 hitter, hit a single to left and drove in the game-winning run. He played the role of game-changer in the Mets' series-clinching Game 5 as well by hitting a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh to even the score at 3-3. Above: With the White Sox early in his career.
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Tom Seaver (1969)
The Hall of Fame right-hander had a few stellar performances in the World Series in his career, including outings in which he notched double-digit strikeouts in the 1973 Fall Classic, but his most memorable World Series start came in Game 4 in 1969. After picking up the loss with a shaky outing in Game 1, the Mets needed Seaver to deliver in Game 4 as they aimed to close out the series in Game 5 before having to head back to Baltimore. He did just that. Seaver outlasted Mike Cuellar in a pitchers' duel through seven innings and continued on into the ninth with a 1-0 lead. Orioles third baseman Brooks Robinson tied the game with a sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth, but Seaver returned to the mound for the 10th and worked his way out of a jam to allow the Mets to walk off in the bottom of the 10th to win Game 4.
MLB Photos via Getty ImagesRich Pilling
Rusty Staub (1973)
Although the Mets lost the 1973 World Series to the Oakland A's in seven games, Staub put together one of the most memorable postseason performances in a single game in franchise history. With the A's up 2-1 in the series after taking Game 3 in New York, Staub singlehandedly tied up the series with a sensational offensive performance. In his first at-bat of Game 4, the right fielder bopped a three-run home run, giving the Mets a key early lead. For good measure, Staub knocked in two more runs on a single in the bottom of the fourth to give the Mets a decisive 6-1 advantage. In addition to driving in five runs in Game 4, Staub hit safely in all but one of the Mets' seven World Series games that year.
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Ray Knight (1986)
Knight's final games in a Mets jersey preserved his legacy in New York. After having a solid regular season, for which he drew MVP votes, the third baseman had a spectacular World Series, hitting .391 with a 1.005 OPS, a home run and five RBI. However, it was Knight's clutch performance that earned him the MVP of the 1986 World Series. After driving in runs in the Mets' Game 3 and 4 wins, Knight came up big in Game 6. With New York trailing, 5-3 in the bottom of the 10th, Knight, who already had an RBI on the day, singled to center field to drive in another run and keep the Mets' rally going with two outs. After the Mets won Game 6, it was none other than Knight who delivered in Game 7. With the score tied at 3 in the seventh, he crushed a solo home run that gave the Mets a decisive lead and boosted them toward their most recent title.
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Gary Carter (1986)
While Ray Knight was named the 1986 World Series MVP, Carter would've been a worthy recipient of the award as well for his major influence on the series. After the Mets dropped two straight games to the Red Sox, Carter helped lead the team to a 7-1 victory over Boston in Game 3 by driving in three runs. He would play a key role in each of the Mets' World Series victories that year. The Hall of Fame catcher delivered an encore in Game 4 by driving in three more runs, this time on a pair of homers. When the Mets fell to within one loss of elimination, Carter tied Game 6 with a sac fly in the eighth, and later set up a walk-off win by starting a two-out rally in the 10th. Yet again in Game 7, Carter helped the Mets recover from a deficit and win their second World Series in franchise history. In total, he drove in nine runs in the series.
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Al Leiter (2000)
The 2000 World Series was forgettable for the Mets. Overwhelmed by the Yankees' dominant pitching staff, they lost the Subway Series in five games. While there weren't many highlights to cherish, Al Leiter's performance against a Yankees lineup that included Derek Jeter, Tino Martinez and Paul O'Neill was impressive. Taking the mound in Game 1, Leiter held the Yankees to two runs over seven frames and struck out seven. The Mets eventually lost on a walk-off hit in 12 innings, but the veteran lefty put the team in a good position to begin the series with a win. Leiter started again in an elimination game in Game 5, and pieced together another solid performance. Working 8 2/3 innings, Leiter struck out nine batters while giving up three earned runs. The Mets lost the game and the series, but not without a fight from Leiter.