MLB.com writer Marty Noble covered the Mets for the better part of 40 years and experienced or discovered hundreds of facts and anecdotes about the team. This being the 50th anniversary season of the Mets, Mets.com regularly will provide snippets from the club’s history, beginning with this curious set of circumstances involving the Mets’ greatest player, Tom Seaver.
This also marks the resurrection of Noble’s blog, Noble Thoughts, dormant since August, 2010. Reactions and reponses to what appears here are expected and welcome. Other baseball topics are welcome, too.
The inexplicable happened during a series of April 26ths in the 70s. Tom Seaver started for the Mets on April 26 in 1970, ’71, ’72 and ’74 — four times in five years. Not only did he win each start – and that was no surprise — Seaver also pitched a complete game in each start, hardly stunning given his prowess and stamina.
It was, however, rather remarkable, that he walked no one in the 36 innings. Imagine that. And though merely coincidental, his work on those days was beyond brilliant for other reasons. Seaver’s composite pitching line for the four starts was 36 innings, 24 hits, four runs, all earned, no walks and 25 strikeouts. His ERA: 1.00.
He happened through the Shea Stadium press box on April 26, 2007. He no longer was working as a color commentator for the Mets. He was just “there.” So I asked him to explain the April 26 phenomenon. His answer was matter-of-fact: “I was a pretty good pitcher.”
Not good enough, I told him, pushing and prodding him for a more expansive explanation. His second response provided more insight. “Okay, I was a damn good pitcher.”