Barry Lyons – 1988 Topps
March 6, 2011
Don’t Sit Him Next To John Tudor At The Old-Timers Banquet
Lyons had a brief and non-descript career as Gary Carter’s backup for the Mets, and then for other teams.
He didn’t hit much, and his defense wasn’t that good, but he kept his mouth shut and did his job.
He’d be pretty much forgotten, except for a brief moment in time when he lost his home (and his 1986 World Series Ring) in Hurricane Katrina, had not the events of April 19, 1987, happened.
(Well, at least he’s not forgotten by me).
The Mets were at St. Louis. It was a Sunday, and Lyons was making his first start of the year. John Tudor was relaxing in the dugout. He beat the Mets two days earlier 4-3 on his third start of the year. The Mets figured to repeat as the NL East champs, and the Cardinals were thought to be their only serious competition.
During the game a Cardinals player skied a pop foul near the dugout. Lyons, being a scrappy backup rookie catcher, tore after it. He didn’t make the play, and then tumbled onto the Cards bench.
Right on top of John Tudor.
Breaking his leg.
Lyons stayed in the game. Tudor was lost until August. But when Tudor returned, the Cards could not lose. They went 12-1 in the games after his return from the DL.
The Mets were in a funk for most of the season. In August and September they turned on the juice but couldn’t catch the Cards.
Were the Cardinals energized by the freak accident in the St. Louis dugout? Who knows, but it could be enough. The Cards were never lower than second, and held the lead in the division from May 19 to the end of the season, beating out the Mets and the surprising Expos.