Mets Card of the Week: 1979 Lee Mazzilli


I am one of those people who favor an inclusive MLB all-star game, with at least one representative from each team selected to participate.

And it all comes down to my Metsian DNA.

Many years during the late ’70s/early ’80s, I would sit glued to the game waiting to see if any of the token Mets players would get to make a cameo. All I asked for was 1/3 of an inning for Pat Zachry, or a late-game AB for John Stearns, but all too often our boys stayed on the bench.

Then came 1979. Stearns was joined on the NL roster by Lee Mazzilli, that switch-hitting amalgamation of Vinnie Barbarino and Arthur Fonzarelli.

Come the top of the 8th inning in the Kingdome, the AL was up by one run, and Maz finally made it into the game, pinch hitting for Gary Matthews. And before you could say “Sit on it!” the game was tied—home run down the left-field line off Jim Kern.

The game stayed tied until the top of the 9th, when Maz drew a bases-loaded walk off Ron Guidry to drive in what would prove to be the winning run.

It rankles me to this day that Dave Parker won the game’s MVP award over Maz. I mean, sure it was a nice throw, but without Carter’s tag, it’s nothing. Plus, he threw out Brian “The Incredible Hulk” Downing, who stole a total of 50 bases (and was caught 44 times) over the course of a 20-year career.

Is it too late to demand a recount?

4 comments for “Mets Card of the Week: 1979 Lee Mazzilli

  1. Brian Joura
    July 12, 2011 at 8:10 am

    I always tell people this:

    If Lee Mazzilli had two outfield assists and Dave Parker had a HR and the game-tying and game-winning RBIs — Parker would be the MVP.

    Maz got hosed.

    • July 12, 2011 at 8:54 am

      I’ve been saying that for 32 years, Brian! We are friends for a reason…

      • Nasser Montes
        August 18, 2011 at 2:44 pm

        He did get hosed, but I tell you Lee was probably living his dream on being on the All-Star team, and then hitting the home run that won the game. Not a thing from a kid from Brooklyn!

        I know the trade to Ranger ticked alot of us who were Met fans. But in a way, Lee being traded, led to bring Ron Darling to the Mets and the Mid to Late 80’s years were on the way. With that trade, the Mets also got Walt Terrel (who), well they took Walt Terrel and got HoJo from Detroit.
        I think what I remember his character, about him that he was willing to take minor league contract in 1986 in hopes that he may be part of the Mets again. Then he also won another ring as a Yankee in 2000 (against the Mets!)

        All I can say, not bad for a kid from Brooklyn.

  2. July 15, 2011 at 11:33 am

    I totally agree. It was a travesty that Parker was named MVP. Nobody watches the All-Star game because they hope to see an outfield assist.

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