Getty Images provides the following caption to this photo:
It would have been obvious this was Shea Stadium anyway, as Beckert’s clearly wearing a Cubs road uniform.
Johnny Stephenson played three years for the Mets, 1964-66 — but wore No. 19 only in 1965, so we have to look only at that season.
Stephenson started four games against the Cubs at Shea in 1965 — July 7, August 6, and a doubleheader August 8. That made things easy. The July 7 game and the August 8 doubleheader were all day games, so that leaves August 6, which was a night game.
Sure enough, in the ninth inning of that Friday, August 6, 1965 game with the Cubs leading 3-0, Beckert led off by being hit by a pitch. Don Kessinger’s infield hit advanced Beckert to second, and pitcher Larry Jackson was the next due hitter.
In modern baseball? Well, you’d bat for the pitcher. In 1965, though, with a 3-0 lead and just six hits allowed through eight, Cubs head coach Lou Klein let Jackson bat. He popped up. Jimmy Stewart was the next hitter. He hit a ground ball to first. There must have been a contact play on, because Beckert broke for the plate and as you can see, was safe. Kessinger, meanwhile, was thrown out trying to take third.
It’s a good thing the Cubs did score that extra run, because the first three hitters in the bottom of the ninth hit a double, single and three-run homer off Jackson. Ted Abernathy was then summoned and he retired the next three Mets in order to preserve a 4-3 win. It was Abernathy’s 23rd save of the season; saves were still unofficial then (they wouldn’t become an official stat until 1969) but Abernathy posted 31 of them, at the time a MLB record. His 1965 season produced 3.2 bWAR, a lot for a relief pitcher.
Beckert was a rookie in 1965; he hit just .239/.275/.298 in 154 games. That kind of offense would get you sent back to the minors today, but in 1965 middle infielders weren’t supposed to provide a big bat as long as they were good defensively, which Beckert was.
Just another little slice of mid-1960s Cubs baseball.