Jul 3, 2021

Remembering Mets History: (1967) Fourth of July - Mets Beat Juan Marichal & The San Francisco Giants

1967 Mets Team Photo
Ever since the New York Mets brought National League baseball back to New York City in 1962, the games against the two former National League teams that moved West; the Giants & Dodgers were always something special.

In 1967, it was just ten years since the New York Giants & Brooklyn Dodgers had left town. Many of the old fans were still heartbroken & never got over the move. So, when those two teams came to town, the Mets would always draw bigger crowds than usual.

Juan Marichal
Expansion was not what it was today, so the first few years were bad losing ones for the New York Mets. They always played the former New Yorkers tough but they had some good teams out West in those days as well.

As for the San Francisco Giants, they were coming into Shea Stadium on the 4th of July 1967, led by manager Herman Franks, in fourth place 6.5 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals, who would eventually go on to win it all.

On this day they sent future Hall of Fame pitcher with the high leg kick delivery; Juan Marichal "The Dominican Dandy" to the mound (11-6 up to that point). Marichal had just come off a stretch where he won twenty games or more & struck out 200 plus batters, the past four seasons.

That year he would fall to 14-10 but returned in 1968 with a 26-9 season, 218 K's & a 2.43 ERA. More importantly for the Mets, he had beaten them 19 consecutive times since 1962, he was 19-0 against them, never taking a loss, until this day.

Jack Fisher
The 1967 Mets finished tenth in a league of ten, NL teams winning 61 games while losing 101 under manager Wes Westrum. Westrun was a former New York Giants catcher & served as Mets manager for parts of three seasons. 

He would walk away from his position, with just 11 games to go at the end of the season, when he learned the Mets were getting Gil Hodges to replace him for 1968.

26,767 fans came out on this Independence Day to watch the Mets Jack Fisher take on Mr. Marichal, and his Giants team, that included Willie Mays & Willie McCovey. 

The Giants struck first by scoring a run in the first inning. Tom Haller singled & with two outs,
Jim Ray Hart doubled to bring in Haller.

But the Mets answered back; with two outs, Tommy Davis reaching on an error. Then the Mets got four straight singles from Ed Kranepool, Ron Swoboda, Ed Charles & Jerry Buchek, making it 3-1 Mets.

In the top of the 3rd the Giants tied it as Fisher walked Tom Haller, allowed a single to Mays & Jim Ray Hart (which brought in Haller). McCovey then grounded out to Fisher, but the great base runner Mays scored anyway to tie it.

The Glider Ed Charles
In the bottom of the 3rd, Mets veteran Ed Charles who had come over from the Kansas City Athletics, hit a HR off Marichal. It was one of just three HRs Charles "the Glider" hit all year.

Both pitchers rolled along into the 6th inning. In the bottom of the 6th, Jerry Grote led off with a base hit. He was sacrificed over to second base by pitcher Jack Fisher & advanced to third on Buddy Harrelson's base hit.

Next center fielder Larry Stahl, walked bringing up Tommy Davis, by far the best hitter on the club. Davis, a former two time batting champ with the Dodgers, doubled bringing home two runs.

Tommy Davis
After Ed Kranepool was intentionally walked, Ron Swoboda singled to left field bring home Stahl & Davis, finally knocking Marichal out of the game. The Mets were up 8-3 but Jack Fisher ran into trouble in the 8th inning. With the bases loaded Norm Siebern singled, driving in two runs, which sent Jack Fisher to the showers.

Mets reliever Ron Taylor came in & served up an RBI single to veteran Dick Groat. He then got Jim Davenport to ground out to Jerry Buchek at second. 

In the 9th inning Ron Taylor served up a lead off single & manager Westrum went to the bull pen for Donnie Shaw, who got Tom Haller out on a sacrifice bunt.

Hal Reniff
Westrum then went to reliever Hal Reniff who got the final two outs, including Willie Mays grounding out. 

Reniff earned his first save of the year, he would finish with four, second on the club to Ron Taylor's eight. Jack Fisher earned the win & Juan Marichal the loss, he was now 19-1 vs the Mets.

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