Will Shea retire with just two no-hitters?

Shea Stadium

It’s hard to grow up watching the Mets in the mid- to late-70s without being some kind of an optimist. In that vein, NoNoHitters.com is still holding onto some hope that we won’t have to pass the Mets no no-nos torch from Shea Stadium on to Citi Field.

But with the Shea countdown dwindling down to 12 Tuesday, we have to acknowledge that it’s looking painfully likely that the ballpark might never host a Mets no-hitter.

Yes, the Mets no-hitters record to date is 0-7,463 (a .000 no-hitter percentage), but Shea Stadium’s record is slightly better (2-7,139, a .001 no-hitter percentage). Let’s reminisce about the two no-hitters that Shea has hosted.

Jim Bunning baseball card

Jim Bunning

June 21, 1964
Perfect game
Philadelphia Phillies 6
New York Mets 0

I doubt when my dad headed out to Shea Stadium to watch this Fathers’ Day contest, he thought he’d be glad to witness a New York Mets loss. But how many times in your life do you get to witness a perfect game?

Sure, it would have been nice if the Mets’ Tracy Stallard was up to the challenge, but it was the Philadelphia Phillies’ Jim Bunning that would accomplish the amazing feat.

Bunning struck out 10, with the 10th coming in the bottom of the 9th against pinch-hitter John Stephenson – the 27th straight batter he retired.

According to The Baseball Almanac, Bunning threw 90 pitches during the game, and 79 of those were strikes. Wow.

Bob Moose baseball card

Bob Moose

Sept. 20, 1969
Pittsburgh Pirates 4
New York Mets 0

The Mets were deep in a pennant race with their eyes set on winning the National League East on Sept. 20, 1969 when Bob Moose took the mound for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Moose held the Mets hitless, walking three batters while striking out six en route to no-hitting the eventual World Champions. The only real scare came in the sixth inning, when the legendary Roberto Clemente saved the day with a one-handed catch of a liner hit by Wayne Garrett.

The Mets would bounce back well from the no-no loss, winning their next nine games.

So who’s going to pitch number three?

Will it be Johan Santana, Pedro Martinez, Oliver Perez or Mike Pelfrey? Or will it be a fill-in starter such as Jon Niese or Bobby Parnell? Or, will Shea retire with a 2-7,151 record?

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