Now Commenting On:

Shea moment No. 9: Imperfecto!

Shea moment No. 9: Imperfecto!

NEW YORK -- The Mets don't have a no-hitter to their credit. Nolan Ryan, Dwight Gooden and Al Leiter, just to name a few, would collect one either before or after joining the organization.

That means no perfect game, either. But an "imperfect" game? Tom Seaver delivered that on July 9, 1969, facing 28 Cubs batters -- one above the minimum -- in what would have been pitching perfection if it weren't for a Jimmy Qualls single to left-center field with one out on the ninth inning.

Seaver's dominance was recognized by the fans on that day and by the fans who voted the feat the No. 9 moment in Shea Stadium history.

The venue roared as the ace stepped to the plate in the eighth inning and laid down a bunt. He didn't even have to run to first to earn the applause, receiving his ovations for allowing nary a hit or a walk in the first eight frames of a 4-0 victory. Though he would surrender his flawlessness to the next three batters, fans finally felt as though they had found their star before the end of the "imperfect" game.

"It started as he took that slow walk to the plate. Remember how slowly Seaver walked to the plate?" Mets radio announcer Howie Rose said, recalling the at-bat. "It was like thunder from all over Shea. You couldn't hear anything else. We're 15-year-old kids, and we're in the middle of it. It was so over-the-top.

"And I remember thinking ... 'We've got one now, the Mets have their Mantle or their Koufax.' They'd been around almost eight seasons, and they had their superstar and they were in a pennant race and the focus of all baseball. That was the Mets' bar mitzvah.' "

Jon Blau is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español