Todd Zeile came up in the sixth inning, two on, nobody out, for his last at-bat -- not only of the game, but of a 7,573 at-bat career. The opposing squad was the expos, playing, incidentally, their last game under that name. Ziele watched three balls zip by. "This would be totally appropriate, to walk in my last at bat," Zeile thought to himself. "I'm kind of the steady guy, never the superstar but always a solid player, the kind of guy who could work the count and get a walk."
Ball four, Zeilie insists, was called a strike by the home plate ump -- either a nice or a tough break, depending what happened next. So Zeile had a count for letting 'er rip, and clouted the next pitch, a high fastball from Claudio Vargas, over the wall in left.
"I floated around the bases," Zeile said. He came down to earth -- and tapped home plate -- on this date, 2004.
Jack Lamalie (1936-2007) was a right-handed relief pitcher for seven different clubs in the sixties. A Long Island native, he began 1967 with the White Sox, pitched in 16 games with the Mets, then finished up the year a World Series winner with the Cardinals. Climb that ladder.
Game of Note
Anything can happen in this game. If you're the St. Louis Cardinals of Lou Brock, the New York Mets of 108 losses can wipe their feat on your door mat and thrash you in your own home. On this date in 1964, St. Louis was still fighting for the pennant when the Mets clubbed five home runs and burned through eight Cardinal pitchers in an unaccountable offensive display. The home run sluggers were Bobby Klaus, Joe Christopher, Charley Smith, Ed Kranepool, and George Altman, their combined bats accounting for 10 of the Mets' 15 runs. Sadly, the spoiler moxie wore off the next night when the Cards rolled over the Mets and into the World Series. It wasn't all bad -- they beat the Yanks in seven.
Amazin'-ly Tenuous Connection
It started when Teresa Bellissima, mistress of the Anchor Bar, did not receive the chicken backs and necks she used in her spaghetti sauce; by a mix up she had gotten wings. That according to her son Frank. According to her son Dom, there wasn't any kind of a mix up, but only inebriated Friday night tavern regulars in an age when Catholics eschewed meat on that day. Wouldn't it be nice, Teresa thought, to serve a finger-lickin' treat at the bar when Friday slid away at the stroke of midnight? October 3, 1964 rolled on in and -- in a corner of city of Buffalo -- the fried sauced chicken wing (race) was born. Or crap, this should have been a story about Vegas!