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 (46-44) barely over .500 & ten games back of the first place Pittsburgh Pirates. Tonight, the Mets hosted 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 make a slight come back from that surgery. Stone had gone down at the end of July in 1974. He made his first start of 1975 on June 13th & this was his 6th start of the year.

His opponent on this night was Ken Forsch (3-7) of the Astros. Forsch the brother of pitcher Bob Forsch, spent 11 years with the Astros as both a starter & reliever going 114 -113 with 50 saves & a 3.18 ERA. He finished his career with the California Angels (1981-1986).

 In the 1st inning Wilbur Howard & Kevin Gross both singled. Then ground outs by Enos Cabell & Bob Watson brought in both runners giving the Astros a 2-0 lead.

In the 2nd, Larry Milbourne singled to right & 
Wilbur Howard doubled him home for a 3-0 lead. 

In the bottom of the 2nd, Rusty Staub hit a solo HR, his 12th HR of the year. Later Dave Kingman added a solo HR, his 19th of the year, giving the Mets their only two runs of the night.

In the Astros 3rd, Bob Watson & Cliff Johnson both singled, Roger Metzger hit a triple making it 5-1. Houston knocked out George Stone by the 3rd inning, knocking him around for five runs on eight hits.

The Astros tacked on another run, after two hits & ground out in the 4th off reliever Ken Sanders.

Torre's Four Double Plays: 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.


Felix Millan
In the bottom of the 8th inning, Del Unser singled for the second time, Felix Millan then collected his fourth hit of the nigh with a single to right. Torre came to bat & grounded to short stop Roger Metzger. 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 Joe 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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