Tom Terrific

Tom Seaver received his 1969 Cy Young Award in a pregame ceremony on April 22, 1970–fifty years ago today.  He was the starter that day for the New York Mets against the San Diego Padres.  How’d he do? Well, he pitched a complete game, a 2-1 victory with the only run against him being a solo homer in the second inning.  He struck out 19 batters—at the time the most ever in a single game that the pitcher’s team won (Steve Carlton also struck out 19 against the Mets in 1969 while pitching for the Cardinals, but his team lost that game 4-3).  Seaver’s record stood for 16 years until Roger Clemens had 20 in a game in 1986.

Seaver also set another MLB record that day, one that still stands:  he struck out 10 batters in a row.  This happened to be the last 10 Padres batters of the game too.

3 thoughts on “Tom Terrific

  1. I watched that game. We were flabbergasted. Of course, those were the 1970 Padres….BTW my thoughts go out to Seaver, who is passing his twilight years with increasingly wasting dementia on his winery ranch in California. I remember when Joe Morgan (or maybe Tony Perez) said hitting his fastball after his curve set you up was like trying to drink coffee with a fork. May he suffer as little as possible. We love you, Tom, and thanks for all the thrills and wonders.


    1. Alzheimer’s is ultimately what took my father a few years ago. I second your wishes for him.

      I grew up a Reds fan, but Seaver was my favorite pitcher even with the Mets. I was very excited when he joined the Reds.

      I got to meet him once, about 25 years ago. During the short conversation he asked me if I ever played ball. I replied that I did play as a kid but one thing held me back from going pro. He replied, “What’s that?” “I don’t have any talent.” He looked ill after falling for that one. Johnny Bench overheard and laughed loudly.


      1. Some time soon I oughtta prepare a little story about how idiotically the Mutts lost him to the Reds. It was a move even Lil’ Wilpoon wouldn’t be dumb enough to make.


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