Sunday, November 22, 2009
SEAVER'S IMPERFECT GAME- 07/09/1969
The New York Mets have been blessed with many fantastic pitchers over the years. Perhaps none better than Tom Seaver. It would be "The Franchise" that would flirt with a no-hitter on July 9, 1969 only to fall short of the elusive goal. A feat that would be denied all Mets pitchers during the history of Shea Stadium.
Seaver was throwing a perfect game into the ninth inning. He retired the first 25 Chicago Cub batters before a hit from Jimmy Qualls ruins the no-hitter. It would be just one of many performances for the Mets to continue the inexplicable drought.
Tom Seaver recounted the event in his book, "Great Moments in Baseball" (Birch Lane Press-1992):
"We played the Cubs—a far better team "on paper"—sixteen times in 1969, and won ten. These were the first "big games" the Mets had ever played in their history. One of the wins was the famous "Jimmy Qualls game", in which I had a real shot at my first no-hitter, going to one out in the ninth, only to have Qualls get a base hit to spoil it. After the game my wife, Nancy, met me in tears, but the fact that I kept my composure and got the last two outs showed we were a team of maturity—a team ready to play more "big ones".
Seaver was the postgame interview for Ralph Kiner following the game. "Your wife, Nancy, was there, she was in tears, but you weren't bothered at all by losing the no-hitter?" Kiner said. Seaver explained that he told his weeping spouse, "What's the matter? I just pitched a one-hit shutout, didn't walk anybody and struck out 10."
Years later it was this game that Tom would share during a press conference with Mets legends recalling their memories of Shea Stadium.
Jimmy Qualls signed his card in the set from an autograph request sent to his home on January 17, 2012. Adding "69 Cubs" and "Tom was great that day as he was many more."