Image: 13 years ago tonight…

Michael Baron, Contributor

It was a cold and very rainy night at Shea Stadium 13 years ago. My dad and I were in the Upper Deck, a shade around towards the third base side behind home plate. We were absolutely soaked from the nonstop rain, and a lot of the crowd had departed by the 15th inning. In the top half of the frame, Keith Lockhardt tripled in Walt Weiss to break a 2-2 tie. But even in the Mets’ bleakest moment of the season, I truly felt the Mets had another rally in them. Sure enough, Shawon Dunston led off the bottom half of the inning with a single up the middle, and the energy returned to the ballpark.

When Kevin McGlinchy walked Todd Pratt to drive home Dunston for the tying run, you just knew the Mets were going to win the game. It was how they were going to do it which was up in the air. When Robin Ventura connected for the “Grand Slam single,” I just turned to hug my dad, not realizing he had hit it out of the park – I just knew – by the sound of the ball off the bat – he hit it deep enough to score the game winning run to force a game six. We didn’t learn Ventura had hit it out of the park – nor did we learn he was never able to score – until we turned on WFAN in the car. It was one of the most amazing moments in postseason history, let alone Mets history.

It’s really hard to believe it was 13 years ago – it seems like I’m still trying to warm up and dry off from that game. It’s both a clear and fond memory of one of the greatest roller coaster rides I’ve ever been on…

Here is my original ticket to that Game Five: