Remembering Mets History (1965) Rookie Dick Selma Sets Franchise Mark with 13 K's

Sunday September 12th, 1965: Wes Westrum's last place Mets (45-100) took on Bobby Bragan's fourth place Milwaukee Braves (79-62). Tonight 13,500 fans came out to see the highly touted young Mets pitcher Dick Selma take on Bob Sadowski (5-7).

In May of 1963 he was signed by the New York Mets. Dick Selma was a star pitcher from his hometown of Fresno California, a childhood friend of Tom Seaver. Early in his career, his manager Eddie Stanky, said the young Selma has a chance at becoming the best relief pitcher in baseball. By 1965 young Nolan Ryan was said to maybe throw as hard as Selma does!  

In January1965 he had calcium deposits removed from his shoulder, he was then slowly brought thru the minors which included an All-Star game at the A ball level & promotion to AAA Buffalo. With the Bisons he pisted a 2.45 ERA going 1-3 in nine games. 

He was called up to the Mets when the September roster expanded. Selma had made his MLB debut on September 3rd, earning a win pitching five innings, allowing three runs to the Cardinals in St. Louis. 

Selma started out the game striking out Rico Carty, Carty would bat .310 that year his sophomore season. He was a lifetime .299 hitter who won a batting title in 1970. Sme jitters set in as he hit Mack Kones & then gave up a base hit to Felipe Alou. But from there he struck out Eddie Mathews & Joe Torre.

In the 3rd inning, he started out by striking out the pitcher Sadowski & Rico Carty for the second time. He collected at least one strike out every inning until the 6th. In the 8th he gave up a leadoff walk to Jesse Gonder but then got Ty Cline to pop up trying to bunt, then struck out Mack Jones & Felipe Alou.

The game was still scoreless in the 9th, Selma struck out his eleventh batter Eddie Mathews, it was the third time the Hall of Fame slugger went down on strikes. Selma then whiffed Joe Torre for the second time for his 12th strike out.

In the 10th inning, Selma retired pinch hitter Frank Bolan & Johnny Blanchard. The pitcher Bob Sadowski came up & struck out for the third time, establishing what was then a Mets franchise record of 13 strike outs. 

The Shea fans showed their appreciation to the young pitcher with a fine ovation as he left the mound.

On the other side, Bob Sadowski pitched a fine game as well. Through nine innings he had shut out the Mets on just three hits, he had eight strikeouts & no walks.

In the bottom of the 10th, Joe Christopher led off with a base hit. Ron Hunt came to pinch hit & bunted to advance Christopher to second. After Ron Swoboda grounded out, Charley Smith came on & hit a single to center field. Joe Christopher scored with the game winning walk off run, for an exciting 1-0 win.

Selma had gone ten innings, throwing a four-hit shutout, fanning 13 & walking just one, a fine start to his career. He would go 2-1 that year in four appearances. 

Trivia: Selma spent parts of four seasons with the Mets never becoming the star his childhood friend Tom Seaver did, Selma was 17-21 with a 3.16 ERA in 105 Met appearances. He was chosen by the San Diego Padres in the 1968 expansion draft. In 1970 he saved 22 games for a fifth place Phillies team becoming one of the better relievers in baseball that season.


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