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  • Tom Seaver's almost perfect game

    Newsday jogged my memory today about Tom Terrific's near-perfect game on this date 40 years ago. With the weather around here this year it hardly seems possible that we're nearing the middle of July. I'm still waiting for May.

    I grew up in Connecticut and in the latter half of the 1960s we had family living on Long Island. Levittown and Babylon. We'd visit often during the summer. One of my aunts would take my brother and I to see the Mets at least once a week for a couple of summers. She must have been in her early 30s at the time, and she didn't pick games at random to take us to. She'd look to see who was pitching first, and she loved Tom Seaver.

    So on that Wednesday afternoon she bundled my brother and I into her little VW Beetle and off we went to the upper deck at Shea Stadium to see the Mets take on the Cubs. 55,000+ at Shea Stadium for a Wednesday night game! What a concept.

    I don't remember the building tension as the game went on, but I think that was the day I learned that you don't talk about a no-hitter while one is going on in front of you. It makes other people angry. And when some scrub named Jimmy Qualls broke up the perfect game in the 9th I distinctly remember the groan of the crowd and the reaction of Seaver. As far as my brother and I were concerned the game was ruined even thought the Mets won, but my aunt explained to us on the way back out to Long Island that we had actually seen something very special even though it wasn't perfect. It took a couple of years before I was able to appreciate that she knew exactly what she was talking about.

    God how I miss that summer. I miss Tom Seaver's 25-7 record. I miss the 2.2 ERA. I miss the 1969 Mets and I sure as hell today am missing Shea Stadium from that night 40 years ago. Most of all, today especially, I miss my aunt. She was so good to us. More than we knew at the time.

  • #2
    Awesome story! Thnks for sharing your personal experience with the "Imperfect Game".

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by StillShea View Post
      Newsday jogged my memory today about Tom Terrific's near-perfect game on this date 40 years ago. With the weather around here this year it hardly seems possible that we're nearing the middle of July. I'm still waiting for May.

      I grew up in Connecticut and in the latter half of the 1960s we had family living on Long Island. Levittown and Babylon. We'd visit often during the summer. One of my aunts would take my brother and I to see the Mets at least once a week for a couple of summers. She must have been in her early 30s at the time, and she didn't pick games at random to take us to. She'd look to see who was pitching first, and she loved Tom Seaver.

      So on that Wednesday afternoon she bundled my brother and I into her little VW Beetle and off we went to the upper deck at Shea Stadium to see the Mets take on the Cubs. 55,000+ at Shea Stadium for a Wednesday night game! What a concept.

      I don't remember the building tension as the game went on, but I think that was the day I learned that you don't talk about a no-hitter while one is going on in front of you. It makes other people angry. And when some scrub named Jimmy Qualls broke up the perfect game in the 9th I distinctly remember the groan of the crowd and the reaction of Seaver. As far as my brother and I were concerned the game was ruined even thought the Mets won, but my aunt explained to us on the way back out to Long Island that we had actually seen something very special even though it wasn't perfect. It took a couple of years before I was able to appreciate that she knew exactly what she was talking about.

      God how I miss that summer. I miss Tom Seaver's 25-7 record. I miss the 2.2 ERA. I miss the 1969 Mets and I sure as hell today am missing Shea Stadium from that night 40 years ago. Most of all, today especially, I miss my aunt. She was so good to us. More than we knew at the time.
      Nice story, thanks. The Met's forum needs more posters like you.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by StillShea View Post
        Newsday jogged my memory today about Tom Terrific's near-perfect game on this date 40 years ago. With the weather around here this year it hardly seems possible that we're nearing the middle of July. I'm still waiting for May.

        I grew up in Connecticut and in the latter half of the 1960s we had family living on Long Island. Levittown and Babylon. We'd visit often during the summer. One of my aunts would take my brother and I to see the Mets at least once a week for a couple of summers. She must have been in her early 30s at the time, and she didn't pick games at random to take us to. She'd look to see who was pitching first, and she loved Tom Seaver.

        So on that Wednesday afternoon she bundled my brother and I into her little VW Beetle and off we went to the upper deck at Shea Stadium to see the Mets take on the Cubs. 55,000+ at Shea Stadium for a Wednesday night game! What a concept.

        I don't remember the building tension as the game went on, but I think that was the day I learned that you don't talk about a no-hitter while one is going on in front of you. It makes other people angry. And when some scrub named Jimmy Qualls broke up the perfect game in the 9th I distinctly remember the groan of the crowd and the reaction of Seaver. As far as my brother and I were concerned the game was ruined even thought the Mets won, but my aunt explained to us on the way back out to Long Island that we had actually seen something very special even though it wasn't perfect. It took a couple of years before I was able to appreciate that she knew exactly what she was talking about.

        God how I miss that summer. I miss Tom Seaver's 25-7 record. I miss the 2.2 ERA. I miss the 1969 Mets and I sure as hell today am missing Shea Stadium from that night 40 years ago. Most of all, today especially, I miss my aunt. She was so good to us. More than we knew at the time.
        Ah, the "imperfect game." Now they play one every night.

        The day before, another centerfield scrub named Don Young messed up two fly balls in the bottom of ninth inning, and the Mets scored three to win. Manager Leo Durocher and pitcher Ferguson Jenkins were brutal on the poor kid in the media; times have changed for the better in that regard. In any event, that's why Qualls was in the lineup the next night.

        Who would've predicted that fully 40 years later, we still haven't had a Met no-hitter.

        Comment


        • #5
          I had a lot of snide comparisons to this year's team in mind while I was writing that but I resisted the temptation to get any shots in.

          Originally posted by Mister B. View Post
          Who would've predicted that fully 40 years later, we still haven't had a Met no-hitter.
          It's really quite remarkable. They've had quite a few 1-hitters. Some stand out more because they came in big spots. The Bobby Jones game against the Giants in the 2000 NLDS stands out. Gooden against the Cubs in September of '84. He was like 19.

          Whoever finally does do the honors will be an instant Mets legend forever. I hope when (if) it finally does happen it's in a game that means something.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by StillShea View Post
            I had a lot of snide comparisons to this year's team in mind while I was writing that but I resisted the temptation to get any shots in.



            It's really quite remarkable. They've had quite a few 1-hitters. Some stand out more because they came in big spots. The Bobby Jones game against the Giants in the 2000 NLDS stands out. Gooden against the Cubs in September of '84. He was like 19.

            Whoever finally does do the honors will be an instant Mets legend forever. I hope when (if) it finally does happen it's in a game that means something.
            Yeah, OK, color me "snide," sorry.

            I remember that night, watching at home on Channel 9, BIG buzz from the first pitch on. Agee led off the bottom of the first with a triple, followed by someone (Boswell?) hitting a double; unusual sequence on an unusually memorable night.

            Me, I went the next afternoon with day camp, 40 years ago today. We were so far out in the leftfield upper deck, I can still see Agee's leadoff homer landing on the other side of the 410 mark. Alas, it was the "letdown" game and they lost, 6-2.

            I think the last legitimate shot at a Met no-hitter was Glavine on a Sunday afternoon about 5 years ago; few strilkeouts but no hard-hit balls at all, until (sigh) someone rapped a double off the rightfield wall with two outs in the eighth. Crazy thing; Forbes Field never had a no-hitter and maybe the Mets never will, either.

            As for the Seaver game: thanks for marking the occasion for those of us old enough to remember it.

            Comment


            • #7
              All about Jimmy Qualls:

              http://bioproj.sabr.org/bioproj.cfm?...2613&pid=11531

              It was Ron Santo who hung Don Young out to dry, rather than Jenkins.
              Last edited by VIBaseball; 07-10-2009, 08:21 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by VIBaseball View Post
                All about Jimmy Qualls:

                http://bioproj.sabr.org/bioproj.cfm?...2613&pid=11531

                It was Ron Santo who hung Don Young out to dry, rather than Jenkins.
                Nice article. Sounds like a regular guy who got a taste of pro ball and went on to live a normal, decent un-famous life after that.

                With all the expansion and dilution of talent over the years I think the majority of major leaguers today would never have even gotten a sniff of the big leagues 40 years ago. Qualls did, so that says something for his ability at least. He'd probably be pulling down 2 or 3 million a year if he was playing today, even if only as a defensive replacement bench player.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Incredible... I was born later the following year so the only memories I have is the footage of Qualls's hit and the loud groan from the crowd.

                  How many times have I seen near no hitters foiled in my lifetime as a die hard Mets fan? But the countless number of 1 hitters thrown by the Mets is outstanding.

                  My father told me about Seaver during this game, he still believes that the 19 strikeout game the following year was Seaver's greatest pitching acheivement.
                  Fan of The NY Mets!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Chuck The Mets Fan! View Post
                    My father told me about Seaver during this game, he still believes that the 19 strikeout game the following year was Seaver's greatest pitching acheivement.
                    I remember that one, too, but I watched that one on TV. A dominant performance, no doubt about that. The atmosphere is very different from a possible no-hitter where everyone is on edge and you can cut the tension with a knife.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by VIBaseball View Post
                      All about Jimmy Qualls:

                      http://bioproj.sabr.org/bioproj.cfm?...2613&pid=11531

                      It was Ron Santo who hung Don Young out to dry, rather than Jenkins.
                      You're right, I checked an old book that covered this. Durocher was pointing at Jenkins and saying how Jenkins had pitched his heart out and the kid in centerfield blew it for him. And, there was Santo as well. Brutal.

                      Well, at least some things have changed for the better in 40 years.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by VIBaseball View Post
                        All about Jimmy Qualls:

                        http://bioproj.sabr.org/bioproj.cfm?...2613&pid=11531

                        It was Ron Santo who hung Don Young out to dry, rather than Jenkins.
                        I think that Santo's behavior toward Don Young cost him some writer support for getting into the Hall of Fame.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Around 20 years ago my dad was telling me his story about being at that game. He had front row tickets in the upper deck behind home plate. And I don't remember who hit it, but there was a foul ball that went right to my dad, hit him square in the hands and he dropped it! Also when he was telling the story, my stepmother was with us and she too happened to be at the game. And she was no way a baseball fan so it was amazing that both of them happened to be at the game.


                          Now funny thing, I'm watching TV right now and ghostbusters 2 is on. If anyone remembers during the 84 season the Mets handed out Cubs Busters shirts. Those bright green shirts with the crossed out Cubs logo on them. I think it might have been a one day promotion but they were handed out on Friday night against the Cubs. It was the day Doc Gooden pitched his 1 hitter for the Mets. I was there and remember the game vividly because not only did Gooden pitch the one-hitter, but the guy next to me was drinking soooo much that by the 5th inning he was throwing up into is cup. Had great seats too, loge box even with the Mets dugout.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Heh, as long as the drunks don't get violent or curse too much, they can be the source of great entertainment at some games. God, I'm laughing just thinking about some of the things I've seen. I even offered to buy a guy a beer once just to keep him going!

                            That's a cool story about your dad. I never came close to getting a foul ball. My nightmare is if I ever do I'll drop it. The easier the catch the better the odds that I will drop it.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by StillShea View Post
                              Heh, as long as the drunks don't get violent or curse too much, they can be the source of great entertainment at some games. God, I'm laughing just thinking about some of the things I've seen. I even offered to buy a guy a beer once just to keep him going!

                              That's a cool story about your dad. I never came close to getting a foul ball. My nightmare is if I ever do I'll drop it. The easier the catch the better the odds that I will drop it.
                              Yeah drunks can be fun, but having one sitting next to you throwing up is not fun. But thank God I remember him leaving about an inning later. Sucks for him as he missed one of Doc's best games as a Met.

                              And that must have been embarrassing for my dad because most of the stadium saw him drop it. Come to think of it, I remember going to a game with my dad and the same thing happened where he dropped a pop up right to him. I remember that one hurt because his finger swelled up and he was shaking his hand the rest of the game.

                              Comment

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