The blog for Mets fans
who like to read

ABOUT US

Jason Fry and Greg Prince
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

Got something to say? Leave a comment, or email us at faithandfear@gmail.com.

Need our RSS feed? It's here.

Visit our Facebook page, or drop by the personal pages for Greg and Jason.

Or follow us on Twitter: Here's Greg, and here's Jason.

Steve Henderson Does His Thing

Time to forget the current plight of 2010 for a moment and cheer up. Travel via the magic of video to the heart of The Magic Being Back in 1980.

If you’ve never seen it in its full context, here it is, the most talked about home run ever hit by a member of a team that would finish a season 67-95. It’s courtesy of our own LarryDC, an unparalleled Met video pastiche auteur. The June 14, 1980 game action begins at the 1:00 mark and the home run comes just after the 2:00 mark but watch from the beginning for a little bonus coverage of what Metsomania was like as that summer broke, and for goodness sake stay tuned to the whole thing and watch Mets fans react like Mets fans just don’t react anymore.

21 comments to Steve Henderson Does His Thing

  • mikeinbrooklyn

    If you take that helmet off his head, Steve Albert actually kinda looks like Mad Dog. And who was that sportscaster from the news? The one after Warner Wolf? Looked like Rich Little. Man, what a talent!

  • Inside Pitcher

    True gold!

  • patrick o'hern

    tree-mendous! great memories of watching this game with my late father up in syracuse.Believe they were re-doing some of the upper deck and were able to sell out the next game at 44,000 the following day.Greg,your past posts about this year(1980) are right on.Thanks for this great site.It gets me through a lot of cold, baseball-less nights.(and Mets road games this year.)

    • I love that you remember the construction-limited figure of 44,000. It was a huge deal for the Mets to draw 25,000 in those days, so it was unbelievable there’d be a sellout, even a limited sellout.

  • LarryDC

    I was 14 1/2 when I made this tape. I remember sitting in the den of my house in Great Neck with my best friend watching this game, and being stunned — I mean, flabbergasted — at the outcome. A bottom-of-the-ninth homer to win a game? By the Mets? Unfathomable.

    I’m not sure the word “walkoff” even existed then. And there certainly was no hint of today’s almost-choreographed home-plate celebrations. If you look carefully, you’ll see some Mets try (and fail) to lift Hendu on their shoulders. What, did they think this was the 1950s, a Yankees-Dodgers World Series game? How charming.

    One final reason I recall being so struck by this was that an opposite-field home run was pretty rare back then, particularly at Shea. Today, these mega-sluggers with their mega-muscles flick their wrists and clear fences in all directions. I do not think that was the case back then, making Hendu’s homer that much more amazin’.

    It’s been great fun, and a revelation, to see how many people also remember so vividly this one home run from 30 years (and one week) ago.

    • Watching this, I waited for a big jump into the crowd at home plate and then remembered that hadn’t been invented. The high-five was about as exultant as it got. Also not seen: the manager of the New York Mets, tonight managing against the New York Mets in Los Angeles.

      As Steve Albert mentioned, the Mets were come-from-behind maniacs during that period, this game the most blatant example. It wasn’t just the walkoff element, it was the comeback — and the unlikelihood. For element of regular-season ninth-inning surprise, I rank it in the golden circle with Carl Everett’s grand slam in September 1997 (down 0-6, win 9-6), the five-run ninth that beat Curt Schilling in May ’99 (down 0-4, win 5-4), Marlon Anderson’s inside-the-park pinch job off K-Rod (whoever that is) in June ’05 (down 1-2, but a dead 1-2; win 5-3) and the five-run ninth that rolled the Cubs in May ’07 (down 1-5, win 6-5). Everett and Anderson needed help from their teammates (Gilkey and Floyd, respectively) in extra innings to finish the job but they were all stunners. Wonderful, positive stunners.

      And Henderson’s was first. In my heart it probably always will be.

  • Lenny65

    Thanks for that, I haven’t seen it since I watched it happen on my old black & white set. It was the first time in ages that the Mets were getting all the NY press, heady times indeed.

  • If only you had mentioned this home run before.

  • Guy Kipp

    This could well have been the last homestand ever with the green outfield fence at Shea. I believe that by the time the Mets returned home from the subsequent West Coast trip, the outfield wall had been painted blue.

    • I think you’re right about the fences. Blue was intended to Mets things up and I think it worked — that and the National League team pennants that lined the wall. Green looked great, too.

      You know what doesn’t work for an outfield fence? Black.

  • CharlieH

    This is frikken AWESOME! Nice pants, Fred…

  • If ever there was a time when this clip could be smuggled to the Mets masses, it’s right now. I hope it stays up forever. Like Lenny65, that’s the first time I’ve ever seen it in color. And boy was I glad I hadn’t turned it off in disgust at 6-0. But in 1980 what else was on on Saturday night and what else did I have to do?

    And that was Hendu’s first home run of the year on a team that hit only 61 (and was hounded by a Daily News Roger Maris graphic for much of the season). So Hendu’s homer wasn’t just Amazin’…putting it in 1980 context…that was pure Magic!

  • Ken K. in NJ

    Thanks so much for that video (haven’t seen it since I watched it happening in ’80), as well as for the walk thru 1980 memory lane.

    (Also not seen: the manager of the New York Mets)

    Yes, I think I did spot him, very much in the back of the pack while the group was making thier way towards the dugout.

    I’m wondering exactly when the “jumping up and down in unison” at home plate thing started. I’ve been watching the World Series video set in chronological order and there is something resembling it with the Joe Carter Home Run but then it dissapears for several years. Hard to nail it down.

    • Standardized jumping seemed to come into vogue around 1999 with the Wild Card-contending Reds. In September 2000 the Mets got swept in St. Louis and there was a lot of plate jumping. My friend Rob referred to it in an e-mail as that “stupid ass jump” which cracked me up because I read that as “stupid ass-jump” and it seemed appropriate to how much I hated the Cardinals for sweeping the Mets.

      It probably took hold in the steroid era since the players had to come up with ways to amuse themselves once high-fiving became old hat and homers were coming every three seconds.

  • LarryDC

    Those who would cherish, feed and care for their very own copy of my amateurish 1980 highlight tape can email me their contact info at

    larnold202 (at) yahoo.com

    If it’s a small-enough list, I can make copies on DVDs and send them out. Greg can attest to my bizarre delight in sharing these with others …

  • JimmyD

    Thanks for posting this great Met memory. Hard to believe 30 years gone by. I remember this as the greatest Met comeback, pre-Buckner, and its the first home run I think of when anyone mentions “walk off”-although I don’t think anyone called them “walk-offs” back then. By the way, was that the first curtain call at Shea? Another great moment from that season was the July 4 double-header against the first place Expos. Two very exciting games. Mets winning the first, but dropping the second in a close one in their drive for .500. Highlight was John Stearns storming out of the dug out and tackling Expos Gullickson and both benches clearing. I believe Gullickson(I think he was a rookie) had just given up an HR to Youngblood and he brushed back Jorgy. Jorgy took exception(he had nearly been killed by a bean ball a year earlier) and Stearns came flying out of the dugout in his defense. Shea was rocking(at least it seemed so on TV) and Stearns was ejected. He wasn’t even in the lineup at the time. Bad Dude!

    • I’ve heard it referred to as the first curtain call. On the radio, Bob Murphy said the fans wanted Steve to come back out and “take a bow”.

      Great recall on that doubleheader. Hated Bill Gullickson the rest of his career.