Tom Seaver, Closer?

tom seaver jimmy qualls

Tom Seaver won 311 games during his great career. He won 198 of those games with the Mets.

He also saved one career game.

The year was 1968. The day was July 7th. The Mets were playing the Philadelphia Phillies in a doubleheader that Sunday afternoon at Connie Mack Stadium. The Mets had already lost lost the first game 4-3. Danny Frisella was starting game two for the Mets, facing off against the Phillies Larry Jackson.

Frisella went 8 innings that afternoon and the Mets held the lead 4-2 going into the bottom of the 9th. It wasn’t Tom Seaver that was handed the ball, instead it was Jerry Koosman. Jerry faced one batter, hitting Tony Gonzalez. With zero out and one on, then it happened – Tom got the call from the pen.

Tom struck out cleanup hitter Dick Allen on three straight pitches. Johnny Callison came up next and Seaver quickly got him to fly out to center for the second out.

With two out and the tying run at the plate, the only man who stood in the way of Tom’s only career save was third baseman Tony Taylor. On an 0-1 pitch, Seaver got Taylor to fly out to Cleon Jones in left field to end the game and pick up his one and only career save.

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About Roger N - Big Mets Fan 128 Articles
Roger is a lifelong Mets fan since 1981, now married with kids and still knows that there is no such thing as a bad day at the ballpark with your child. Growing up, he wanted to be either the Second Baseman for the Mets - or their statistician. Follow him at @BigMetsFan1. email him at
  • Harvey33

    Very neat!

  • Justin Anthony

    One save. Same amount as Frank Francisco had last season for us

  • RyanF55

    Is he available as a specialist in the pen?

  • bostongregg

    ….the reason both Koosman and Seaver were used in relief that Sunday was that it was the day before and the 1968 All Star break (both were going) and Hodges was keeping them sharp.

  • mikeb

    Nice catch. Hodges was smart. Seaver speaks about him in awe. And he was no nonsense. If a manager did today what he did to Cleon Jones, walking out to SS to take him out of left field for not hustling, the union would file a grievance.

  • Niko Goutakolis

    awesome blog!

  • Harvey33

    Welcome aboard!

  • Harvey33

    Just like to let fellow MB bloggers know that many people have stated that they are joining MMO.

  • Flatbush0460

    Show me the evidence Seaver wasn’t on steroids, lol.

  • Flatbush0460

    Cleon still denies that was the case

  • BehindTheBag

    Good thing there weren’t blogs and WFAN back then, Hodges would have gotten reamed a new one for not letting them get full rest before the AS game, a la the great debate over Harvey this year.

  • Big Mets Fan

    Awesome! Let’s Go Mets!

  • bostongregg

    ….I’m showing my age, but I was listening to that double-header at my grandparent’s place. I still remember thinking “why are they putting Koosman and Seaver in the game?”. I can’t remember if Murphy/Nelson/Kiner explained it on the air or I read about the reasoning in the next day’s Daily News.

  • Run Support Group

    Thanks. Formerly niesesnose on metsblog

  • Run Support Group

    Eh, it was a different time. Pitchers threw 140 pitches and were expected to throw a complete game most starts.

  • Harvey33

    I’ve seen you post a few times today on MetsBlog. LGM!

  • Run Support Group

    I’ll probably post there from time to time to check updates on free agency, but that’s about it. I’ll post here in game threads when the season starts. LGM!

  • Cervant

    Finally switched over to Disqus… nice!

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    Fla has to trade stanton, just a matter of when. The sooner the more they should get. I dont thonk he wants to sign a contract extention. Maybe…just maybe…..we can put a deal together.

  • Joey D.

    I’ll admit not remembering that double header but it does sound indeed like something Gil would do considering the three days off heading into Houston.

    Glad Tom had better luck with Richie Allen (as he was called then) that afternoon than he did the final day of the season. I was there at Shea when Tom was nursing a 2-0 lead going into the sixth inning when Allen belted a two run homer off him to tie the game. Allen went on to hit three monster shots that afternoon as the Mets went on to be creamed.

  • George_Theodore

    i don’t post a lot, but i came over here because of the decline at MB… and that horrible comments section

  • Harvey33

    Dick Allen! Very underrated offensive player.

  • Harvey33

    I have seen you around there before! Welcome to the best Mets site around!

  • Pike Miazza

    Is Tom available to close this season ??

  • Tired_OF_FakeRumors

    Im definitely going to bookmark this Mets blog.

  • kw_all

    only difference is, frank made alot more money …. lol

  • whensly

    On August 3rd of 1969 I went to my first Mets game vs the Braves . I was 8, I don’t remember who was the starting pitcher for the Mets that day but Seaver was my hero already. The game went into extra innings and by the 11th Hodges had Seaver up in the Bullpen (which was right underneath our seats). My heart was pumping that Seaver was indeed going to pitch the 12th. But Jerry Grote, (unlikely batting hero) lined a rope over the right centerfield fence vs Atlanta pitcher Claude Reymond to make the score 6-5, a walk off win for the Mets. Later that season that game was cited as the turnaround game that put the Mets on the march toward the “Miracle of 69”.

    Atop of that they had secret weapon Tom Terrific in the Bullpen warmed and ready. That was the first day of my Mets fanaticism. Still here wanting more.

  • mikeb

    You’re right. Long time ump, Tom Gorman, who the players referred to as God, said there were two players who made the bat hum when they swung, Billy Williams and Dick Allen. He said that once Allen was facing Sandy Koufax, and Allen was swinging and missing, and frustrated, blurted out, “I see it, but I just can’t hit it.” When I was a kid and watching the Mets vs. the Phils, when Allen(known then as Richie) came up in a key situation, I’d change the channel during the Mets pitcher’s windup. I couldn’t bear to watch the pitch. He killed the Mets on occasions. And every swing was from his heels. You could almost hear the hum on TV. Scary hitter. To me, he’s a HOFer. When he played for the A’s, he had Wampum on his jersey. Didn’t know why, but he’s from Wampum, PA.

  • coyote521

    Gil hodges, tom seaver, jerry koosman, cleon jones….danny frisella…those names are magical to this day. I’m so glad to have the experienced that time.

  • lovemymets

    When I saw a couple of months ago, a fan poll for favorite Met and Tom Seaver got 4% of the vote, I knew something was wrong. These fans today don’t know their team history!! Carlos Beltran a better centerfielder than Tommie Agee?!?! Surely they jest! The magical names of our past, Jerry Koosman, Buddy Harrelson, Al Weis, Ed Charles, etc., are all linked to today’s squad. Let’s never forget Donn Clendenon and Ray Knight, our two World Series MVPs (who both wore #22, coincidentally) who forever should be enshrined in our Mets Museum at Citi Field and why they’re not, I’ll never understand. We’ve only won two World Series and both our MVPs should be given the respect they deserve — we wouldn’t have won either one without them. A museum should reflect a team’s history and if the black cat of 1969 can be mentioned, so should Clendenon and Knight.

  • lovemymets

    I’ve been a diehard Mets fan since 1970 when my grandfather took me to my first game (Jim McAndrew started against the St. Louis Cardinals). I became hooked and do indeed love my Mets. But my highlight as a fan — in person — was Johan Santana’s no-hitter on June 1, 2012 against the Cardinals. To witness something like that in person, having tears streaming down my face as I knew the pains it took to finally get that no-hitter with all the rehabbing Johan endured, was just incredible. I want him back, to finish his career as a Met and then become pitching coach. Hey, a girl can dream!

  • lovemymets

    Why didn’t Tom Seaver ever become a pitching coach? He would’ve been awesome with the wealth of knowledge he has. The hell with broadcasting, the man should’ve been in the dugout or bullpen in some capacity.

  • joeythew

    Way to hi-jack a thread honoring Tom Seaver.

  • joeythew

    Never thought I’d live long enough to ever see someone compare Tom Seaver to Frank Francisco. lol

  • lovemymets

    Nah, was just reminiscing and commenting to a fellow fan’s comment.  No harm, no foul.  Love Tom Terrific and would never dis the man.