It is possible this game in 1969 is most remembered from that amazing season. On this date in 1969, and maybe each day since for Tom Seaver, he’ll remember Jimmy Qualls’ sinking single into the left-center gap with one out in the eighth inning to break up his perfect game bid and forced him to settle for one-hit, 4-0 shutout.
It was one of 31 hits Qualls had during his career. It was one of five one-hitters Seaver threw for the Mets. Years later, Seaver got his no-hitter, but it was while pitching for Cincinnati.
When asked which meant more to him, the one-hitter or the no-hitter, Seaver said: “The one-hitter. I had better stuff that night and we were making a move on the Cubs.’’
Seaver’s game thrust the Mets into the national spotlight as a contender. I was living in Ohio at the time and rarely did the 11 p.m., sports feature clips from games other than the Indians, but they did on this night.
I always followed the box scores then, but after that game I started following them a little more closely.
Thoughts from Joe D.
After Santana pitched his no-hitter, there was a little blurb in the Daily News about Qualls who said he was happy that the Mets finally got their no-no. There was also this little nugget regarding his own fateful hit against Tom Seaver:
Qualls heard about it from New Yorkers — first when he stood at first base at Shea Stadium, then when he got home and opened threatening mail. He recalled tears in the eyes of Seaver’s wife, who was sitting in a boxseat. There was also brief encounter with the Hall of Fame pitcher in a later series, when Seaver yelled, “You little (expletive). You cost me a million bucks!”
I gotta admit, that gave me a good chuckle.