Remembering Mets History (1966) Jack Hamilton Tosses A One Hitter

Wednesday May 4th,1966: A small crowd of 7,924 came to the newly opened Busch Stadium in St. Louis, to see Wes Westrum's New York Mets (6-8) take on Red Schoendienst Cardinals (8-11).

In a year where the Mets went 62-99, this night was one of the few early team highlights the team had. In that 1966 season, they put up what was their best record to date, in their brief five-year history. This was three years prior to the Amazing Worlds Championship Miracle year of 1969.

This game would be Jack Hamiliton's Mets gem. Jack Hamilton spent parts of two seasons with the Mets (1966 -1967) going 8-13 in 74 games making 14 starts with a 3.90 ERA.

In 1966 he posted a 6-13 record with a 3.93 ERA. After going 2-0 in 1967, he was traded to the California Angels where he would infamously hit Boston's Tony Conigliaro in the head with a pitch. It is still considered one of baseballs' worst beaning's, ruining the promising career of Conigliaro. Jack Hamilton never got over it & was never the same on or off the field.

In Hamilton's last start he had earned his second win of the year, allowing three earned runs in 6.1 innings of a 14-11 Mets win at Wrigley Field. In his first three starts he earned two runs or less including a complete game win over the Atlanta Braves in the second game of the season. 

Today he went up against the Cardinals Ray Sadecki, who was a twenty-game winner two years earlier in the Cardinals 1964 Championship season. Sadecki was becoming more of a reliever & would pitch for the Mets from 1970-1974 & again in 1977 ending his career.

It was a big day for the Mets offense, right off the bat. In the 1st inning Eddie Bressoud singled & was forced at second on a Roy McMillan ground out. With two outs, Jim Hickman walked, then young slugger Ron Swoboda socked a three run HR making it 3-0 New York. It was Swoboda's first HR of the year.

In the 2nd inning, Mets center fielder Billy Murphy walked & advanced on a botched pick off play. Eddie Bressoud then singled him home to make it 4-0 Mets. Later that inning, Ken Boyer brought Bressoud in with an RBI single to left field, making it 5-0 Mets.

Jack Hamilton retired the side in order in the first two innings. In the bottom of the 3rd inning he served up a base hit to pitcher Ray Sadecki. It was to be the only hit he allowed on the day.

Hamilton then issued a walk to Hall of Famer, Lou Brock. Sadecki went to second base & these would be the only base runners St. Louis would have the rest of the game.  From there on, Hamilton retired the next 19 batters in a row, completing a one hit, one walk shut out. Along the way Hamilton he struck out six Cardinal batters as well.

In the top of the 4th, Eddie Bressoud continued with his big three hit day, hitting a solo HR off Sadecki, making it 6-0 Mets. It was Bressoud's first HR of the year as well.

In the top of the 8th, Jim Hickman singled & Ed
Kranepool walked. Then another botched St. Louis pickoff paly brought home Hickman with the Mets seventh run. Ron Hunt then hit a grounder to first, that was misplayed by Tito Francona causing Kranepool to score, icing the Mets 8-0 win.

Trivia: The one hitter was just the second of the 40 career one hitters thrown in Mets history.


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