Mike Jacobs: Breaking bats, breaking records. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
The Mets and Giants split a Candlestick Park twinbill on this date in 1975. The visitors jumped out to an early 7-0 lead in this one, with a Dave Kingman grand slam accounting for the bulk of the scoring. Del Unser and Mike Phillips would add RBI hits and the Mets staved off a late San Francisco charge to earn a 9-5 victory. Too bad they didn't save any offense for the nightcap. As it turned out, the aforementioned run-scoring single off the bat of Mike Phillips would be the last hit the Mets got all day.
In game two, Ed Halicki of the Giants easily dispatched all comers to the plate, becoming the third San Francisco pitcher to toss a no-hitter. The 6' 7", 220 lb. righty used a big, heavy fastball to stifle the Mets, getting them to pound pitch after pitch into the infield dirt. Not that Halicki needed much help from his fielders. He recorded ten strikeouts against two walks and only allowed four fly balls to reach the outfield. The blanking had special significance for Halicki, a New Jersey native, as it came against the team he rooted for as a kid in Kearny.
- Former prospect Butch Benton is 55. The Mets selected the well-regarded high school catcher with the sixth overall pick in the 1975 June amateur draft. The young backstop didn't do much to merit his high slot, hitting just a buck twenty over two partial seasons in New York. Then again, the fact that Benton made it to the majors at all put him ahead of most of his fellow draft classmates. Only a dozen of the 24 first rounders from 1975 donned big league uniforms. Those who did posted a combined career WAR of 4.4. To put that in perspective, Cliff Floyd was worth 4.4 wins in 2005 alone.
- Perhaps best known as the other guy the Mets got in the Kazmir for Zambrano deal, Bartolome Fortunato (2004, '06) turns 38 today. Like the man he was traded with, Fortunato was a live-armed position player that the Devil Rays tried on the mound. Also like the man he was traded with, Fortunato was injured for long stretches of his Mets tenure and generally ineffective when healthy.
Game of Note
It's safe to call Mike Jacobs a one-tool player, right? The oafish first baseman never hit higher than .265 in a full season, didn't steal bases, couldn't stick defensively at easiest position to play, and while his arm was probably decent seeing as he was a converted catcher, it's hard to show off the gun from the bench. The one thing Jacobs could do was hit the ball a long way and that's exactly what he did on this date in 2005 against the Diamondbacks. Playing in just his fourth major league game, the rookie put two balls into the right field stands at Bank One Ballpark and narrowly missed another bomb on a fence-scraping double to the right center gap. All told, Jacobs amassed 11 bases total, scored five runs, and drove in four, boosting his OPS to a ridiculous even for a small sample size 2.163. The matched set of homers also gave him four on the season, making him the first player in MLB history to start a career with four round trippers in four games. Final score: Mets 18, Diamondbacks 4.
Amazin'-ly Tenuous Connection
Nearly fifty years after Seward's Folly, the 586,412 square miles of prime arctic real estate known as Alaska finally became an official U.S. territory on this date in 1912. Lefty Dave Williams is the only man from the Last Frontier to play for the Mets, though a young Tom Seaver did suit up for the Alaska Goldpanners in 1965 for the Midnight Sun Game, a tilt held annually on the summer solstice. You can actually watch a clip of Tom Terrific from that game here.