Remembering Mets History (1970) Tom Seaver Ties MLB Record With 19 Strike Outs & K's the Last Ten Batters in a Row

Wednesday April 22, 1970: On this day, Tom Seaver was presented with his 1969 Cy Young Award in a pre-game ceremony at Shea Stadium. It was the first of the three Cy Young Awards Tom Seaver would collect in his career.

Gil Hodges reigning World Champion Mets (6-6) hosted Preston Gomez's San Diego Padres (6-8). The Padres were not yet donning the bright yellow 1970's road uniforms.

A crowd of 14,197 fans came out on this Wednesday matinee at Shea as the Cy Young winning Tom Seaver went up against the Padres Mike Corkins.

Trivia: There were many school kids in attendance on this day. As there were many school class trips scheduled since this was the very first Earth Day to be recognized in the United States.

What a thrill for these school kids to witness one of Tom Seavers many historic games.

Tom Seaver started the day retiring Jose Arcia on a fly ball. He then struck out Van Kelly looking & Cito Gaston swinging.

In the bottom of the 1st, after Tommie Agee struck out, Bud Harrelson reached on an infield single. The speedy Harrelson scored on Ken Boswell's double giving Seaver a 1-0 lead.

In the top of the 2nd, Seaver gave up one of the two hits he would surrender on the day. It was a solo HR to Al Ferrara.  

Trivia: Al Ferrara was a former L.A. Dodger who had some small acting TV roles, most notably on Batman & Gilligan's Island.

In the top of the 3rd inning, Seaver walked the leadoff batter, Bob Barton.  He then struck out the pitcher Corkins looking. After a pop out he ended the inning with his fifth strike out, fanning Van Kelly for a second time.

In the bottom half of the 3rd, the Mets Tommie Agee led off with a base hit. Bud Harrelson then brought him home as he tripled to right field. That season Harrelson had a career high eight triples. In his career he collected 45 triples.

Seaver rolled along with that 2-1 lead. In the 4th he gave up his second hit of the day, a single to Al Ferrara. He then struck out Cito Gaston & Jerry Morales to end the inning with seven strike outs thru four innings.

In the 5th inning, Seaver stuck out Bob Barton & Mike Corkins for the second time each, notching strike out numbers eight & nine. He retired the side in order as Joe Foy made a nice pay in the hole between short & third.

In the top of the 6th inning, he retired the first two batters then stuck out Al Ferrara to reach the double-digit K mark.

Ten Strike Outs in a Row: Seaver would get better as the game went on, from the last out of the 6th inning to the last out of the 9th inning, he struck out everybody. Seaver struck out the last ten batters in a row, setting an MLB record that still stands today(tied). 

In the 7th inning, Seaver struck out Nate Colbert swinging, then he got Dave Campbell & Jerry Morales both looking as the ball whizzed by them. He now had 12 K's.

In the top of the 8th, Seaver started the inning by striking out Bob Barton looking. He then struck out pinch hitters, Ramon Webster & Ivan Murrell both swinging. He now had the crowd on their feet as he had collected 16 strike outs.

In the 9th inning, the fans were really excited as they knew they were witnessing baseball history. Seaver struck out Van Kelly for #17.  Cito Gaston then went down looking for the 18th strike out of the afternoon.

On this historic day Seaver would need one more strike out to tie Steve Carlton for the single game strikeout record of nineteen. 

With two outs the last batter was none other than; Al Ferrara, the only guy who had hit Seaver all day. Seaver threw two sliders getting the count to 1-1. He then threw two fastballs past him ending the game with his 19th strike out of the day, tying the MLB single game strike out record.

Quotes: Tom Seaver: "I was still worried I'd make a mistake and Ferrara might hit it out," Seaver said. "But when I got two strikes on him, I thought I might never get this close again so I might as well go for it. Everybody congratulated me when I got No. 16 in the eighth inning. I just told them, 'Let's get some more runs.' All I could think of was that Carlton had struck out 19 of us and still lost."

In addition to the last ten batters striking out, Seaver had retired the last 16 batters of the game as well. Seaver threw 136 pitches in the game, 81 fastballs, 34 sliders, 19 curve balls, & only two change ups. 

The win was his 13th regular season win in a row, dating back the 1969 regular season. Starting out the 1970 season he was already 3-0 with a 2.14 ERA & 37 strike outs in 33.2 innings of work.

Trivia: Interestingly, Seaver's 19 strikeout performance broke Nolan Ryan's Mets record of 15 K's which he had set five days earlier against the Philadelphia Phillies at Shea Stadium.


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