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Mets Furious Over “Home Run” Call at Candlestick

May 18, 1963 - The New York Mets still felt angry today about the game that ended in frustrating defeat in the early hours of this morning in San Francisco. The record says the Giants won, 4-3, on Joey Amalfitano’s home run off Roger Craig with 1 out in the 11th inning. The Mets say Amalfitano’s high drive along the left-field line was clearly foul. They stormed around Frank Walsh, the third-base umpire who made the call without stirring from his position, and cursed him in their biggest mass protest of the season. Naturally, it got them nowhere. Duke Snider, playing left field, was incredulous when he saw Walsh signaling fair ball. “I ran over into the corner where the ball was coming down,” Duke said, “and saw the ball go past the foul pole by about two feet on the foul side. I started going back to my position for the next play — and saw him waving Amalfitano around the bases. There was no way that ball could be fair. There’s a screen two feet wide attached to the foul pole — that’s what the screen is there for. In order to be fair, the ball would have had to hit this screen or the pole itself, and of course it didn’t. How can you misjudge a ball by that much?” Walsh has had this sort of trouble before. Last year, the Mets believe, he was totally wrong on two “foul homers” at the Polo Grounds. What did Walsh say when Snider ran in to protest? “His face was dead white, but he didn’t say a word,” Snider said. “He had a faraway look in his eyes, like he just wanted to get out of there. I think he knew he blew it.” Snider’s description of the “home run” made sense, in terms of the physical layout involved, and when the game was over, dozens of Giants fans kept pointing to the spot where the ball hit, just as Snider said. In 17 years of National League play, Snider has rarely complained about any umpire’s decisions, and the vehemence of his testimony in this case is backed up by his reputation. “I’m damned mad,” said Casey Stengel (pictured last night). “I’m sick of getting the short end from these guys. We played so hard, and then to have one of those…” His voice tailed off, and the rest was left unsaid — but expressively.

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