May 2, 2020

Remembering Mets History (1968): Bud Harrelson Gets A 3-0 Count In the On Deck Circle

Thursday, May 2nd 1968: On this evening Gil Hodges Mets (8-10) hosted Gene Mauch's Philadelphia Phillies (9-9) in front of 9795 fans at Shea Stadium. 

The starting pitchers were Nolan Ryan for the Mets against the Phils' Woodie Fryman.

Starting Lineups

In the home 4th, Fryman walked Ron Swoboda to start the inning. Greg Gossen then struck out swinging. Catcher, Jerry Grote singled to centerfield scoring a hustling Swoboda from first base. Next "The Glider" Ed Charles hit a HR over the left field fence making it 3-0 Mets. It was all they would need for the win.

Nolan Ryan would strike out ten Phillies, shutting them out on three hits in seven innings pitched. The young erratic Ryan also walked seven. Ron Taylor earned a two inning save.

Trivia: The HR was Ed Charles' second of the  year. The Glider would lead the 1968 Mets with 15 HRs on the season.

In the top of the 8th inning, John Boozer came on to pitch for the Phillies. In his warm up pitches, he repeatedly touched his fingers & went to his mouth while on the mound. The home plate umpire Ed Vargo warned Boozer of his actions & issued a ball one count to the batter waiting to lead off the inning, Bud Harrelson, in the on deck circle.

Phillies manager, Gene Mach was infuriated by the call & told Boozer to do it again, which he did for ball two & again for ball three. This resulted in Boozer & Mauch getting tossed from the game, when Mauch came out to argue. Boozer became one of just four pitchers in MLB history to be officially ejected from a game for use of a "spitball".

Trivia: Strangely Phil Regan of the Cubs,  would get officially ejected later that season, because there was too much movement on his pitches. The umpire accusing him of throwing a "spitball" but he was later cleared, although it ruined his reputation. Hall of Famer, Gaylord Perry was ejected for use of "the spitball" in 1982 as well.

Harrelson became the first batter in history to gain a 3-0 count before even stepping up to the plate. He would end up grounding out to the new pitcher, Dick Hall.

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