Mar 19, 2021

Remembering Mets History (1965) Mets Pitch A Spring Training No Hitter

Spring Training- March 21st 1965: On this day a classic but forgotten exhibition game, was played at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg Florida. 

At the time, this was the Spring Training home of the New York Mets. The Mets hosted the Pittsburgh Pirates & sent pitcher Gary Kroll to the mound.

The Mets offense supported Kroll today, by scoring six runs, giving the team a nice lead.

Kroll had a rough start, as he walked three
batters in the 1st inning, but got out of the jam. He then went on to had one of the best outings of his career. He would not allow a hit & shut out the Pirates for six innings. 

Manager Casey Stengel, then brought in reliever, Gordie Richardson. Richardson came on & blanked the Pirates in the 7th. In the 8th inning, veteran catcher Del Crandall hit a grounder to short stop Roy McMillan. Crandall reached first base as McMillan was charged with an error. 

Richardson then retired the side without any harm done. He held the Pirates hitless in the 9th inning as well, finishing off a combined no hitter.

It was the first no hitter a Mets pitcher had thrown in their short three year history. Of course this was an exhibition game so it didn't count in official stats. 

Too bad for the Mets, although they had long history of great pitching, the organization would not see a no hitter thrown by one of their own until Johan Santana did it in 2012. 

That was 50 years into the team history & 47 years after the Kroll/Richardson no hitter. Before Santana, the Mets had 36 one hitters thrown in team history & since then, four more have been tossed.

By Spring Training 1965, the Mets had been victim to two no hitters thrown against them, Sandy Koufax in 1962 & Jim Bunning's perfect game in 1964. The Mets management made a press opportunity of the event the next day. The 1965 Mets year book also celebrated the event. 

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