The other enshrined four: Mets who broke up no-hitters in the ninth

What do these four Mets have in common?

Clearly, Johan Santana is the now the king of this site, but, which obsessively tracked the New York Mets franchise’s futility in no-hitters, has enshrined these four other players into their own mountain carving. Why you ask? All four – from left to right, Bud Harrelson, Hubie Brooks, Ron Hodges and Eddie Bressoud – are Mets players who broke up no-hitters in the ninth inning.

Oddly, none of these games wound up as one-hitters, and the Mets went on to win three of the four. Here are some details:

My Eddie Bressoud baseball card

  • Eddie Bressoud, Sept. 30, 1966 – In a game that remained scoreless until the bottom of the ninth, Houston Astros pitcher Larry Dierker took the mound with a perfect game still in tact. No runs. No walks. No errors. And no hits … well, at least until Mets’ third baseman Eddie Bressoud stepped up to the plate.
  • Bressoud hit a double to left, killing both Dierker’s perfect game and his no-hitter. That must have done something to Dierker, who threw a wild pitch to Ron Hunt (pinch-hitting for left fielder Danny Napoleon), allowing Bressoud to reach third.

    Hunt hit a walk-off single to right and the game was over – Mets 1, Astros 0. New York’s Jack Fisher got the shutout complete-game victory despite giving up six hits.

    My Bud Harrelson baseball card

  • Bud Harrelson, July 21, 1970 – The San Diego Padres were down 1-0 at home this day, but Padres starter Clay Kirby still had a no-hitter in tact in the bottom of the eighth inning when Padres manager Preston Gomez pulled him for pinch hitter Cito Gaston. (I wonder how Kirby felt about that decision after Gaston struck out.)
  • That left the no-hitter in the hands of reliever Jack Baldschun, who gave up a leadoff single to left to Mets’ shortstop Bud Harrellson. The no-hitter was done, but the game was not over.

    Ken Singleton advanced Harrelson to second on a sacrifice bunt, so Baldschun issued an intentional walk to Art Shamsky (replaced by pinch runner Mike Jorgensen). After Cleon Jones singled to load the bases, second baseman Wayne Garrett struck out looking and it seemed like Baldschun might escape the inning down by just a run. But third baseman Joe Foy stepped up and singled to left, driving in Jones and Jorgensen. The Mets won 3-0, as Jim McAndrew retired the final three batters for a complete-game, three-hit shutout.

    Meanwhile, The Padres still have not thrown a no-hitter, and this game might have been their best chance. If it wasn’t for Bud Harrelson, the Mets might be alone in the no no-no club.

    My Ron Hodges baseball card

    Ron Hodges, July 6, 1973 – When Atlanta Braves hurler Ron Schueler entered the bottom of the ninth with a 2-0 lead, the crowd at Shea had yet to see a Mets hit. Backup catcher Ron Hodges (who had already killed Schueler’s perfect game in the third inning with a base on balls) led off the inning from the eighth spot and hit a single to right, erasing Schueler’s no-no. Ed Kranepool (pinch-hitting for starter Jerry Koosman) then flied out to center and Willie Mays struck out looking. Second baseman Felix Milan singled to center to keep the rally going, but the inning and game ended when Ken Boswell flied out to center. Mets lose 2-0.

    My Hubie Brooks baseball card

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