Shea Remembered: 10 Memorable Mets Moments (1970’s)

SHEA REMEMBERED: 10 MEMORABLE METS MOMENTS (1970s)

Shea Remembered is a series featuring 10 memorable Mets moments by decade. This feature is intended to stir great Mets memories at Shea Stadium throughout franchise history. This list is not exhaustive, nor is it recorded in any order of importance. Finally, the moments are exclusive to baseball and does not include non-Met events (i.e., concerts, other sports, etc.). We hope this content triggers great memories for you.

April 22, 1970: Tom Seaver pitched the New York Mets to a 2‐1 win over the San Diego Padres, striking out 19 batters—10 in a row. He retired the last 16 Padres and broke the club record of 15 strikeouts. Seaver did all this on 136 pitches, 65 of which were fast ball strikes. “Everybody congratulated me when I got No. 16 in the eighth inning,” Seaver said. “I just told them, let’s get some more runs. All I could think of was that Carlton had struck out 19 of us and still lost.”

May 14, 1972: In his first game as a member of the New York Mets, Willie Mays hits a home run off San Francisco Giants reliever Don Carrithers at Shea Stadium. The Mets win the Mother’s Day special, 5-4. “It’s a strange feeling to be batting against the club I played with for 20 years,” Mays told the New York Times. “You look up and see ‘Giants’ written on their shirts, and feel you should be out there.”

June 9, 1973: The New York Mets retire No. 14 to honor the life and career of the late Gil Hodges. He played two seasons with the Mets (1962-1963) and managed the team for four seasons (1968-1971) including a World Series title in 1969.

September 25, 1973: The Mets hold a post-game ceremony for Willie Mays at Shea Stadium. Following the Mets 2-1 win over the Montreal Expos, Willie Mays Night includes Mets owner Mrs. Joan Payson and a large crowd to say goodbye to the future Hall of Famer.

September 11, 1974: The New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals play a 25-inning marathon at Shea Stadium. The game ended at 3:13 a.m. with the Cards defeating the Mets, 4-3. The eventual winning run scored when Bake McBride came all the way from first base on a pickoff throw by Mets pitcher Hank Webb.

July 16, 1977: The annual Old-Timers Day at Shea Stadium is highlighted when Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, Duke Snider and Joe DiMaggio walk through the center field gates. It’s one of the few appearances the four New York great centerfielders make together in public.

July 13, 1977: New York City experiences a blackout, plunging Shea Stadium into darkness as the Mets hosted the Chicago Cubs. In the bottom of the sixth inning, at approximately 9:30 p.m. during a game between the Mets and the Chicago Cubs and Lenny Randle at the plate, the lights go out. The game was eventually completed on September 16.

September 20, 1973: New York came into the game in third place, 1½ games behind their opponent, the Pirates. In the top of the 13th inning, with the score tied 3-3, Pittsburgh outfielder Dave Augustine sent a long fly to left. The ball took a clean bounce off the very top of the fence, straight up, and back into the hands of an amazed Cleon Jones. The relay nailed Richie Zisk at the plate. New York then won in the bottom of the 13th, took over first place the next day, and held on the rest of the way.

October 8, 1973: Game Three of the 1973 National League Championship Series turns ugly when a bench-clearing brawl broke out after Pete Rose took out Bud Harrelson on a double-play ball. When Rose returned to his position in left field, the fans heaved bottles, cans, and garbage toward him, nearly causing a forfeit. 

1973 World Series: Game 3, Game 4 and Game 5 of the 1973 Fall Classic between the Mets and Oakland A’s was played at Shea Stadium. Watch a segment of Game 3 featuring Tom Seaver facing the A’s. The Mets won two of three at Shea, but lost the final two games in Oakland.

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National League baseball in New York was redefined on March 6, 1961 when the New York Metropolitan Baseball Club Inc. formally received a certificate of membership from leave president Warren Giles. Of the 30 Major League Baseball clubs today, the case could be made that no other team has a more compelling franchise history than the New York Mets. From Casey Stengel to Yogi Berra, Marv Throneberry to Tom Seaver, Willie Mays, Tug McGraw, Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, Keith Hernandez, Bobby Valentine, Pedro Martinez and Matt Harvey, the Mets are loaded with character(s). Then there are the Amazin’ seasons — 1962, 1969, 1973, 1986, 2000, 2006-2008 and 2015 — full of miracles, joy, hope and heartbreak. Mets Rewind is designed for that purpose: To share team history in a distinct and entertaining format. We hope you — the baseball fan — enjoy the content. We encourage you to share your memories.
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