43 years ago today – on July 9, 1969 – the Chicago Cubs’ Jimmy Qualls stepped up to the plate with one out in the ninth inning to face the Mets’ Tom Seaver. Seaver had a perfect game going and needed to retire just Qualls and one more batter to make Mets history.
But, as evidenced by the existence of his Web site, Seaver would not make history that day.
Qualls singled to left field and Seaver finished with a 4-0 win and one of three one-hitters during his Mets career. Qualls would achieve just 30 more hits during his brief 3-season career. (Where is Qualls now? Catch up with him in this recent Palm Beach Post story.)
Here’s the text from the Mets’ Web site of play-by-play announcer Bob Murphy’s call: “And it’s hit hard to left field … It’s going to be a base hit … A base hit by Jimmy Qualls and it breaks up the perfect game … Now the applause for Tom Seaver… Eight and one-third innings of perfect baseball by Seaver.”
Fourty-three years later, we finally shook the curse.