Ask me where I left my cell phone or a family members birthday or where I put my glasses and I stand and stare like a dumbass trying to remember, but ask me where I was on April 22nd 1970 and I can remember vividly.
It was Easter vacation and I spent my time off where I spent all my time off at my favorite resort, the school yard of P.S. 105 on 59th St off 10 Ave in Brooklyn playing baseball. While we played we listened to the Mets-Padres game from Shea on a transistor radio because Tom Seaver was on the mound for the Mets. What’s better than no school, playing ball and listening to Lindsay Nelson, Bob Murphy and Ralph Kiner call a Mets game with Seaver pitching?
Now this is the beginning of the Mets first season as reigning World Series Champions, and the Highlanders were a few years removed from their glory days (although the Highlanders got off to a slow start the did rally to win 93 games in 1970 but they still finished 15 games behind Earl Weaver’s Orioles who won 108 games and the World Series that year) now, as juvenile as I am at 52 years old just think what a little asshole I was at 12 years old (Moiser (Bobby Murcer)? Wadda ya snififn’ glue or somethin’? fuckin’ Tommy Agee’s ahundred fuckin’ times betta ‘dan Moiser. Get the fuck outta here!) so I berated all my Highlander fan friends (believe me they have given it back to me in spades over the years) to the fact that my team the Mets, were the best team in baseball.
It was a typical Seaver game, pitch lights out and get no run support but this was the San Diego Padres, give Seaver one run and this game would be over.
After 6 innings Seaver had K’d 10 and the Mets held a slim 2-1 lead, the only Padre run, a solo home run from Brooklyn born and raised Al Ferrara. In the top of the 7th Seaver sent Nate Colbert, the Padres top hitter, Dave Campbell (yes THAT Dave Campbell) and future Met Jerry Morales down on strikes. Come the top of the 8th and same thing 3 up and 3 down all on strikeouts. That’s 16 K’s in 8 innings for Tom Terrific. Now Seaver has all our attention. We leave whoever was in the dugout, in charge of letting the rest of us know when it was the top of the 9th inning. When we here “the Padres are up” we all run to the radio to hear the finish of this remarkable game.
BANG-BANG-BANG, the last punch-out was Seaver’s 19th and the 10th batter in a row to go down on strikes, a new all time record for strike outs in a game (since topped by Roger Clemens) and the most consecutive batters struck out, a record that still stands (by the way, Ike Davis’ dad Ron K’d 8 batters in a row for the Highlanders on May 4th, 1981). Al Ferrara played a major part in this game, he hit the solo home run for San Diego’s lone run and he was the first and tenth strike victim of the streak.
Wow, what an unbelievable game, I remember it like it was yesterday…….. Hey, anybody see my keys?