Sep 4, 2016

Remembering Mets History: (1965) Jim Hickman Becomes the First Met to Hit Three HRs In A Game & Hit For the Cycle (1963)


Friday September 3rd, 1965: Jim Hickman, known as "Gentleman Jim" was the Mets first regular center fielder. Hickman was an original Met playing with the club for five seasons, until he & Ron Hunt were traded to the L.A. Dodgers for Tommy Davis.

On this 1965 evening, Wes Westrum's tenth place Mets (45-92) were at Sportsman's Park in St. Louis taking on Red Schoendienst seventh place Cardinals (67-69). The Mets highly touted pitching prospect; Dick Selma (0-0) was on the mound making his big league debut, going against (future Met) Ray Sadecki (2-11).

 In the 2nd inning Hickman connected for his 10th HR of the season, putting the Mets on the board. In the 3rd, Dick Selma reached base after Goose Goossen who had singled was forced at second. Roy McMillan's single brought in Selma.

In the 4th Hickman connected again for another HR putting the Mets up 3-0. Bill White answered with a two run shot off Selma in the bottom of the inning. In the 6th Ron Swoboda drew a walk, and Jim Hickman stepped in & did something no other Mets had done before, in the clubs first four years of existence. Hickman hit his third HR of the game, his 12th of the year. In the 52 years of the team, this feat has only been done by eight players.


The Mets went on to a 6-3 win, giving Selma his first career victory. In four seasons with the Mets, Selma, who had come out of Fresno, California & was a friend of Tom Seaver, would pitch for the Mets for four seasons going 17-21 with three saves & a 3.16 ERA.
 

 ________________

 Wednesday August 7, 1963: The 9,977 fans who came out to the Polo Grounds on this day caught a piece of Mets history. The Mets had only 35 wins by August 7,1963. Facing Johnny Keane's second place St. Louis Cardinals was a tough task for the second year Mets, but on this day they battled hard. Mets starting pitcher Tracy Stallard pitched a complete game victory, allowing three runs on six hits while striking out four, earning his 5th win of the year (5-10).

The offensive star of the day was Jim Hickman. Hickman became the first Met to ever hit for the cycle, even doing it in order. 

In the 1st inning, Hickman singled off Cards pitcher Ernie Broglio to lead off the game. In the 2nd, Jim Hicks was hit by a pitch & Choo Choo Coleman singled. Al Moran & Tracy Stallard grounded out bringing in two runs. Hickman followed with a double but was stranded on second base.

 In the bottom of the 4th, with two outs Hickman came up with Stallard on second base. Hickman tripled in the Polo Grounds vast alley, scoring Stallard putting New York up 3-1. He would score on Duke Sniders two run single. Frank Thomas added an RBI single and the Mets had a 6-1 lead. 

In the bottom of the 6th, Hickman made Mets history, becoming the first player in team history to hit for the cycle. He led off the inning with a HR off Barney Schultz, Hickman's 10th HR of the year. He came to bat once more but flew out to left field. But Hickman's spot in Mets history is secured.

In his Mets career Hickman hit 60 HRs with 210 RBIs & a .241 average. In 1963 he hit his Mets career
high 17 HRs.

No comments: