Saturday, September 14, 2013

Shea Stadium History Part Two -------------------- The Perfect Fathers Day

 June 21 1964. Fathers Day. The Philadelphia Phillies were in a pennant race. The Mets, as usual, were in last place.
Due to some bad weather earlier in the season the Mets had to face the Phils five times over the weekend for their last meeting in June at Shea. They lost a twi-night double header on Friday. On Saturday night they kicked some Phillie butt, with both Joe Christopher and Chris Canazzaro smacking two homers each.

1963 Mets Fantazy cards^

Sunday was Fathers Day, now becoming a traditionally scheduled double header at Shea, and the New Yorkers would be contending with two of Philadelphia's best pitchers, All Star Jim Bunning and rookie Rick Wise.

1964Topps Jim Bunning & Rick Wise Rookie Cards^

The Mets lost both games of this double bill as well, and even though the game two win launched the illustrious career of Rick Wise, it's the first game that became a historic one.

Bunning, the lanky right handed ace of the Phils was 2-0 against New York so far in 1965. He would continue to dominate on this day, mowing down one Met after another.

Bunning was firing on all pistons. The Mets only hit two balls hard that afternoon. One was a drive to the right field wall that was foul by a foot off the bat of Ed Kranepool.

The other was a liner in the hole between first and second by Jesse Gonder in the fifth inning. It looked to be a sure single to right but fleet footed Philly second baseman Tony Taylor projected himself through the air and into the hole, knocking down the sharp drive and throwing out the not so fleet footed Gonder. That was the biggest threat and a perfect game saver. The rest of the game was in Bunnings complete control.

Bunning wasn't being superstitious. When Taylor came into the dugout after making the great play he thanked him enthusiastically.
He continued to gab about the perfecto to anyone in the dugout who'd listen. And they all listened.
He struck out ten of the twenty-seven Mets he faced that day. Jim Hickman K'd 3 times. The rest were scattered amongst the entire Met lineup. Casey Stengel threw three pinch hitters up against him. All failed to do their job. The Phils Johnny Callison and Dick Allen, their big guns, did damage but the most was done by catcher Gus Triandos who had two hits, 2 RBI and a run scored. Jim Bunning himself had a two RBI double! Quite a day for the future U.S.Senator from Kentucky. It was the first perfect game in baseball since Don Larsons classic perfecto in the 1956 World Series. No National League pitcher had thrown a perfect game since 1880!

^^^^1964mfc Perfect Fathers Day Fantazy card^^^^^^^^^^^^^

You can view the game statistics here at the Ultimate Mets Data Base:>>Perfect game stats.
I consider it worthy of note that the Mets got all of three hits versus rookie Rick Wise in the second game. They even scored their first run of the day without a hit in the 2nd inning. A walk, a wild pitch, an error and a ground out. Tony Taylor made the error. New York finally got their first hit of the day in the third inning, a single by Joe Christopher. This was Rick Wise's first MLB win! He would go on to pitch in the majors until 1982 and accumulate 188 career wins.
A perfect fathers day for Jim Bunning. A not so great day for Met fans. But still, this was a perfect game. At Shea Stadium. Any fan there must have had to be thrilled to be a witness to such a feat. I would have. I think around the eighth or so I would have started cheering Bunning on.
The Bullitin Board

___64t 3-D Fantazy Card^

Traditional red/cyan 3-D glasses required to view the 3-D effect.

Phillies celebrate Jim Bunnings perfect game at Shea Stadium,
June 21, 1964.

Jim Bunning with his wife and daughter after game.
 CREDITS: Ultimate Met Data Base / Batmagadanleadoff of the CPF for the Chris Cannizzaro pictures that became his 63 Fleer card / Chef Bill & Lpeters from Baseball Fever for the 3-D images they shared and for sharing how to do that.

 ________>>On a side note I went to school with Tony Taylors twin nephews Mario and Richard from 1970 to 1972, and they were very proud of their uncle, and that play he made in this game.

                                   Updated 8/14/14

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