This Date In Mets History: May 2—Al Jackson pitches a gem in Cincinnati

Joe Crawford - Rick Stewart/Getty Images

We also celebrate the birthday of another talented lefty, Joe Crawford.

After back-to-back one-run losses in which Mets pitchers squandered a three-run lead, left-hander Al Jackson took the mound in Cincinnati on May 2, 1964, and made the three runs he was given stand up. As it turned out, that was two more than he would need as he pitched a masterful two-hit shutout to outduel Reds ace Jim Maloney.

It was only the Mets’ third victory in 14 games and Jackson had two of them. For their fourth win, the Amazins would have to wait until Al’s next start, in which he once again went the distance against Maloney and the Reds. Final score: 3–2.

Birthdays

Happy 43rd birthday to left-hander Joe Crawford, who made his major league debut not as a pitcher, but as a pinch-hitter on April 7, 1997. A career .455 batter in the minors, he struck out for John Franco in the top of the 15th inning, then took the mound and was nicked for a run and tagged with the 3–2 loss to the Dodgers. Overall he was a very effective pitcher that season. In 19 games he went 4–3 with a 3.30 ERA, 1.1 WHIP and 1.9 K/BB. He left for Japan that winter, reasoning that, “I was an older rookie and I had to follow the money over there.”"

Ed Bressoud, turning 71 today, was imported from the Red Sox in 1966 as a stopgap shortstop until Bud Harrelson was deemed ready to take over. When Harrelson was brought up to stay in August, Bressoud showed his versatility at the other three infield positions. He was rewarded for his yeoman-like work by being traded that winter to St. Louis, where he would earn a World Series ring in 1967.

Amazin’-ly Tenuous Connection
On May 2, 1972, Bruce Springsteen auditioned for Columbia Records’ A&R man John Hammond. We’re told it was a success. On October 3, 2003, following a Mets season in which there was little to cheer about, Springsteen and the E-Street Band brought the crowd at Shea Stadium to its feet as they concluded their year-long, worldwide “The Rising” tour.

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