Jul 3, 2018

Remembering Mets History: (1972) Tom Seaver Throws July 4th One Hitter

Tuesday July 4, 1972: On this Holiday afternoon, it was an old fashioned 4th of July, twin bill at Shea Stadium.

Yogi Berra's second place Mets (43-28), just one game behind the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Mets hosted Don Zimmer's last place; San Diego Padres (25-47). For the Mets, Tom Seaver who was already 10-4 was going up against Clay Kirby (5-7).

On this Independence Day, Seaver was terrific, living up to his nickname of "Tom Terrific". He threw a one hit masterpiece, shutting out the Padres 2-0, while striking out eleven batters and walking four. No Padre got past second base in the entire game.

Seaver rolled along, striking out at least one batter every inning with the exception of the top of the 4th. Four times in the game he struck out two batters in an inning. The only Padres to reach base did so by drawing walks. In the 4th, Seaver walked Leron Lee & Nate Colbert. In the 8th Seaver walked two pinch hitters; Lary Stahl & Garry Jestadt.

Seaver carried the no hitter into the ninth inning, once again attempting to make Mets history.

In the top of the 9th, the first batter, Dave Roberts grounded out to second base for the first out. The Shea crowd held their breath for two more outs. 

They had seen Seaver take a no hitter into the 9th inning back in July of 1969. In that game with two outs, the Cubs Jimmy Qualls lined a base hit to left field breaking up not only a no hitter but a perfect game.

On this 4th of July, the next Padres batter; Leron Lee would spoil the no hit effort. Lee sailed a base hit into centerfield. The Shea Faithful were heartbroken as was Seaver, they gave him a standing ovation as he went about his business, to seal a victory.

The next batter was slugger Nate Colbert, who was now the tying run at the plate. Colbert grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the game. It was Tom Seaver's second no hitter for the New York Mets. He would go on to pitch five Mets one hitters in his fabulous career.

The Mets won the game, as Seaver went to 11-4 with a 3.04 ERA on the season. He would finish 1972 going 21-12 with a 2.92 ERA & a league leading 249 strikeouts.

All the Met scoring came in the bottom of the 3rd inning. Short stop, Bud Harrelson singled and then stole second base.

Then pitcher Clay Kirby walked four straight batters; Wayne Garrett & John Milner, loaded the bases. Kirby then walked Jim Fregosi & Ed Kranepool, bringing in the two Mets runs. It was all the Mets needed in Seaver's 2-0 one hit shut out.

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