Skip to main content

The 5 Ws and Howe

Who: Tom Seaver

What: Pitching and winning a baseball game

When: June 12, 1977

Where: Houston Astrodome, Houston, Texas

Why: Everyone else is gonna write about the Yankees or Phillies today. I'm going to write about the 32nd anniversary of Tom Seaver's first "last start" for the Mets.

And How: Art Howe, former Astros second baseman.

I happened to have a copy of this game on audio tape, and in listening to it, a couple of things stood out.

* There was no mention at any time of Tom Seaver dealing with any issues with Mets management or the media. This despite the fact that a trade with the Reds was within three days of occurring, and was the dominant subject in the New York Times game story the next day. Seaver's post-game comment: "Leave me alone, please."

* One-minute commercial breaks really speed up a game.

* This may be sacrilege for a Mets fan to say this, but I didn't like Lindsay Nelson's announcing. The accent was too strong for me, and his description was not strong enough. He felt like what he was- a tv announcer doing radio. On the other hand, Ralph Kiner was quite good (Murph was Murph...that goes without saying).

* Tom Seaver showed Johan Santana-like gumption finishing this game after putting two men on base with two outs in the ninth. A Joe Torre mound visit was nothing more than to break up the mood, the Mets manager noted afterward. But you get the feeling that Seaver told him that it was the starter's game to win.

The Mets didn't get the lead in this one until late, and Seaver had to bat against Floyd Bannister with his team trailing, 1-0, in the 8th inning. His successful sacrifice set up Lenny Randle's game-tying single and the subsequent run-scoring wild pitch that put the Mets ahead.

The one aspect of Lindsay Nelson's broadcast I did like was his call of the final batter. When Art Howe launched a deep fly to left, Nelson (and Joe Torre) nearly had a coronary. His voice rose to Russ Hodges/Bobby Thomson levels, but this wasn't the Polo Grounds.

It was the Astrodome, where long fly balls make a Citi Field-esque home just shy of the fence (newspaper writer Parton Keese notes the Mets were saved by the Astros moving their fences back 10 feet the previous winter).

Howe missed a walk-off home run by a hair. Instead, the Mets had a 3-1 win. And that's good because it would have sucked for Tom Seaver to have lost his first goodbye game as a Met. And Howe.

The true Mets fan knows Howe...Art Howe hit 3 of his 43 career home runs vs Tom Seaver, tied with Vida Blue and John Candelaria for his most against any pitcher.

Highest Career BA vs Tom Seaver
Minimum 35 PA

.444- Terry Puhl
.391- Dave Concepcion
.389- Willie Davis
.389- Art Howe
.375- Lee Lacy
>> Out of 161 total hitters

Comments

Stormy said…
Great stuff, as always!

Lindsay was before my time. I do miss Murph.

Popular posts from this blog

Minutiae Break: Worst Mets Relievers

It occurs to me after 79 straight walk-off related posts and some fatigue still remaining from Saturday's finish that I did promise to bring Metspective on other issues related to the Flushing 9, so I offer this posting up as a "Minutiae Break." This came about after several discussions related to the offhand Dick Tidrow/Danny Graves remark the other day , the conclusion of which indicated that it would be fun to create a list of the worst Mets relievers of all-time. I don't want to step on the territory of other bloggers, like " Faith and Fear in Flushing ," Mets Guy in Michigan " and " Metstradamus ," so I'll tread carefully here, aided by their influence. Should any friends, family members, or fans of these pitchers visit this site, I mean no harm. I'm just here to have a little fun with this topic. The ground rules are as follows: The pitcher must have had a Mets stint as long as Dick Tidrow's (11 games, 15 2/3 innings), for

The best Mets ejections I know

When you think of the Mets and famous ejections, I'm guessing you first think of the famous Bobby Valentine mustache game, when after Valentine got tossed, he returned to the dugout in disguise. You know it. You love it. I remember being amused when I asked Bobby V about it while we were working on Baseball Tonight, how he simply said "It worked. We won the game." (true) But the Bobby V mustache game of June 9, 1999 is one of many, many memorable Mets ejection stories. And now thanks to Retrosheet and the magic of Newspapers.com , we have a convenient means for being able to share them. Ever since Retrosheet's David Smith recently announced that the Retrosheet ejection database was posted online , I've been a kid in a candy store. I've organized the data and done some lookups of media coverage around the games that interested me post. Those newspaper accounts fill in a lot of blanks. Without further ado (and with more work to do), here are some of my findings

Walk-Offs in Movies, TV, and Other Places

Note: I'm leaving this post up through the end of the week, a) because I don't have time to pump out something new and b)because I was hoping to build a really good list of entertainment industry walk-offs...so if you're looking for something new, check back on Monday or so... Of course, if there's a major trade or move, I'll adjust and try to post something... In the meantime, click on the "Table of Contents" link as well. It has been updated. SPOILER ALERT: Read at your own risk Caught the ending of "A League of Their Own" on one of the movie channels the other day and it got me to thinking that it would be fun to compile a list of walk-offs from movies, television, and other forms of entertainment. Here's the start, and only the start, as I spent about 30 minutes or so thinking it over Help me fill in the blanks by filling out the comments section. "A League of Their Own"-- Racine beats Rockford for the All-American Girls