Remembering Mets History: (1975) Joe Torre Grounds Into A Record Four Double Plays

Monday July 21, 1975: A small crowd of 13,414 came out to Shea Stadium to see Yogi Berra's third place Mets, just over .500 at 46-44. ten games back of first place, take on Preston Gomez's last place Houston Astros (34-63).

The Mets sent George Stone (2-1) to the mound. Stone was recovering from rotator cuff surgery & although he was never as effective as he once was especially in the 1973 Mets pennant season, he was one of the first pitchers to come back to pitch after the surgery.

His opponent that night for Houston was Ken Forsch (3-7). 

Starting Lineups

Houston knocked out George Stone by the 3rd inning, knocking him around for five runs on eight hits. In the 1st inning after Wilbur Howard & Kevin Gross singled, ground outs by Enos Cabell & Bob Watson gave the Astros a 2-0 lead.

In the 2nd, Wilbur Howard doubled home Larry Milbourne for a 3-0 lead. In the 3rd, Roger Metzger hit a triple with two on, making it 5-1.

The Mets scored in the bottom of the 2nd, on a Rusty Staub solo HR, his 12th of the year. Later Dave Kingman added a solo HR, his 19th of the year, to add to the 6-2 Mets loss.

On this night Mets Brooklyn born, third baseman; Joe Torre  set an MLB record by grounding into four double plays in the game. Each time Torre came to bat, Mets second baseman Felix Millan had reached base ahead of him, getting four base hits.

In the 1st inning Millan singled, Torre followed up grounding out to the pitcher Ken Forsch who turned the double play. In the 3rd inning, Del Unser & Millan both singled, Torre killed that inning by hitting a double play ball to the short stop.

In the 6th, Millan got his third hit of the night, with a single to right field. He was quickly erased when Torre grounded out to second baseman Larry Milbourne who turned the double play.

In the bottom of the 8th inning, Del Unser singled for the second time, followed by Felix Millan who collected his fourth hit of the night. Torre came to bat & grounded to short stop Roger Metzger.

Felix Millan
Metzger threw to Milbourne who stepped on second, then threw to Bob Watson at first, successfully turning the double play.

With that Torre became the first player in MLB history to hit into four double plays in one game.

Twenty other players in MLB history had grounded into three double plays in a game, but never had anyone done it four times. The Mets own Teddy Martinez had grounded into three DPs in a game the previous year.

Quotes: After the game Torre joked “I’d like to thank Felix Millan for making this all possible, I’ll just tell the kids they were all bullets”.


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