Remembering Mets History: (1965) Jim Hickman Becomes the First Met to Hit Three HRs In A Game

Friday September 3rd, 1965:
Jim Hickman, known as "Gentleman Jim," was the Mets first regular center fielder. Hickman has the distinction of doing many "firsts" in team history. He was the first Met to hit a walk off grand slam as well as the first Met to hit for the cycle. On this day he was the first to hit three HRs in a game.
 
On this 1965 evening, Wes Westrum's tenth place Mets (45-92) were at Sportsman's Park in St. Louis taking on Red Schoendienst seventh place Cardinals (67-69). The Cardinals were still the current reigning World Champions.

The Mets highly touted pitching prospect: Dick Selma (0-0) was on the mound making his big-league debut. Selma had grown up a childhood friend & little league rival of Tom Seaver. Selma was signed first by the Mets at 20 years old. Tonight, he went up against (future Met) Ray Sadecki (2-11).




In the 2nd inning, with two outs, Hickman stepped in & connected with a solo HR, it was his 10th
HR of the season. 

In the 3rd, the Mets put up another run. Goose Goossen led off with a base hit. He was forced on a Dick Selma ground out. Selma advanced to second when Ron Hunt grounded out. Short stop, Roy McMillan then singled to left, bringing in the pitcher Selma, making it 2-0 Mets.

In the 4th, Hickman connected once again off Sadecki, his second HR of the day put the Mets up 3-0. 

For the Cards, Bill White answered with a two-run shot off Selma in the bottom of the inning. The first HR Selma surrendered in his career.

In the 6th consecutive base hits from Curt Flood, Lou Brock & Ken Boyer gave St. Louis their third run.

In the top of the 6th, after Charley Smith flew out, Ron Swoboda drew a walk. Then, Jim Hickman stepped in & did something no other Met had done before, in the clubs first four years of team history. 

Hickman hit his third HR of the game, all coming off Ray Sadecki. It was his Hickman's12th HR of the year & one for the books. 

Trivia: Since then, the Mets have had 14 players in team history hit three HRs in a game.

Hickman hit 15 HRs with 18 doubles 40 RBIs & batted .2236 on the year. He spent five seasons with the Mets hitting 60 HRs 78 doubles 9 triples batting .241 with a .306 on base %. He would move on to the Chicago Cubs & had an All-Star Year in 1970 with 32 HRs & 115 RBIs.

The Mets went on to a 6-3 win in this game, giving Selma his first career victory. 

Selma pitched five innings, allowing three runs on six hits. He didn't strike any one out & walked two. Gordie Richardson came on to pitch four shout, hitless innings. In four seasons with the Mets, Dick Selma, would go 17-21 with three saves & a 3.16 ERA.

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