One year ago today R.A. Dickey threw his second consecutive one-hitter as the Mets beat the Orioles at Citi Field 5-0.The only hit came in the fifth inning: a clean, line-drive single to right-center field by Wilson Betemit, after which the Mets' ace knuckleballer received a standing ovation from the fans. Dickey's game-ending strikeout of Chris Davis was his 13th of the game, breaking his own personal best of 12 that he set in his previous start. The shutout improved Dickey's record to 11-1, lowered his ERA to an even 2.00, and made it 42.2 innings since Dickey had last surrendered an earned run.
Dickey himself scored what would prove to be the winning run, leading off the sixth inning with a single and scoring the game's first run courtesy of Ike Davis's grand slam.
Outfielder Ben Johnson turns 33 today. Acquired from the Padres in a deal that sent Heath Bell to San Diego, he showed little offensive potential in his brief stint with the 2007 Mets. Filling in for the injured Shawn Green, his most notable accomplishment was striking out 11 times in only 30 plate appearances.
Left reliever Felix Heredia, who turns 39 today, pitched only 2.2 innings for the Mets in 2005 before an aneurysm in his pitching shoulder required him to undergo season-ending surgery. He was released after the season and, plagued by charges of steroid use and continuing arm woes, never pitched in the majors again.
Happy 47th birthday to catcher Sandy Alomar, who finished his playing career with a handful of games as a Met in 2007. The six-time All-Star served as the team's catching instructor in 2008-09. He was the third Alomar to play for the Mets, following his brother Roberto (2002-03) and father, Sandy Alomar Sr. (1967).
It looked as if lefty-swinging Dave Schneck, turning 64 today, was finally coming into his own at the start of the 1974 season. In his first 52 plate appearance, Schneck, who platooned in center field with Don Hahn, hit four home runs and drove in 12 while compiling a .948 OPS. He hit one one round-tripper the rest of the way and barely doubled his RBI total while posting a .474 OPS over his last 220 plate appearances.
Amazin'-ly Tenuous Connection
Leading up to the Mets broadcast on June 18, 1963, WOR-TV's "Million Dollar Movie" screened the 1955 western "Wichita." The Mets were playing in St. Louis, the National League city nearest to that storied Kansas town, which made it as close to a homecoming as Wichita native Rod Kanehl could get during the season. Kanehl had a rare night off when manager Casey Stengel didn't call on his favorite utility man to pinch hit, pinch run, or take over for defense late in the game. It was also a night for watching Canadians named MacKenzie, with reliever Ken pitching the eighth inning for New York and singer Gisele guest-starring on a rerun of "The Jack Benny Program."