It took eight years, but the Mets clinched a winning record for the first time in franchise history on this date in 1969. Tom Seaver twirled a gem against the Chicago Cubs, allowing just five hits in a complete game 7-1 victory. The win was Seaver's 21st of the season and the Mets' 82nd. The triumph also pulled the team within a half game of the Cubs for first place in the newly-formed National League East. As it turned out, September 9 would be the last day of the 1969 season that the Mets held any place other than the top spot in the standings.
- Mike Hampton turns 40 today. The stocky left-hander officially retired last year after missing significant portions of the previous six seasons due to injury. Now that he's free to live wherever he chooses, presumably Hampton has within the boundaries of the Dallas Independent School District, as it's home to the best schools in America according to U.S. News & World Report.
- Like Mike Hampton, Kazuhisa Ishii was a lefty with spotty control who spent a single season with the Mets. When asked what pitch Ishii had the most difficulty throwing, Jim Colborn, his old Dodgers pitching coach replied, "strikes." Ishii returned to Japan after posting a K/BB ratio of 1.08 in 16 starts for the 2005 Mets.
- Todd Zeile (2000-01, 2004) is 47. The Mets were one of ten teams Zeile played for during his 16-year career, which ended in 2004 after a second stint in Flushing. He's one of 41 players to homer in his last MLB at-bat, though Zeile is probably best known among Mets fans for hitting the ball didn't quite clear Yankee Stadium's left field fence during Game One of the 2000 World Series.
The Mets and Nationals beat up each others' starting pitchers on this date in 2008. Neither Oliver Perez nor John Lannan could make it past four innings, as both were both offenses were firing on all cylinders early. Turning the game into a battle of the bullpens would have seemed to favor the Nationals, but somehow a combination of six Met relievers kept things close enough for the team to ride a timely pair of back-to-back home runs from Dos Carloses–Beltran and Delgado–to a 10-8 win.
Amazin'-ly Tenuous Connection
On September 9, 1926, RCA formed the National Broadcasting Company, the first major television network in the United States. Sixty years later, Vin Scully would make this iconic call involving the Mets while speaking into an NBC microphone.