Tom Seaver added yet another Cy Young Award to his trophy case on this date in 1975. For the Mets ace, it marked the third time overall that the BBWAA dubbed him the National League's top pitcher and the second time they'd done so the in last three years. Among the gaudy stats that adorned the Seaver's final line were 22 wins and 243 strikeouts, both league leading figures. Nerds, fear not: The Franchise also posted the NL's best rWAR, compiling a 7.5 mark in 36 starts. Either way, old and new school voters alike agreed Tom was most Terrific, as he bested the second place finisher, Randy Jones of the Padres, by a healthy 98 to 80 margin. Jones would have his revenge a year later, though.
- Happy birthday to Aaron Heilman! He's 34 today. The Mets' first round selection in the 2001 draft (taken 20 picks before David Wright, incidentally), Heilman spent this past season closing out games for Triple-A Round Rock of the Texas Rangers organization. Joining the Notre Dame alum in the Express bullpen was Sean Green, one of the pitchers Heilman was traded for back in 2008. Both are presumably minor league free agents and the Mets are looking for relievers, though signing either would probably make a certain subset of Amazin' fans explode into fiery columns of pure, unmitigated rage. Plus, there's a good chance Heilman still wants to start.
- Al Schmelz, a righty who tossed three innings for the 1967 Mets, is 69. Splitting time between Single and Double-A as a 22-year old, Schmelz somehow put together a 15-5 campaign despite walking twice as many batters as he struck out (126:64). One year later, the Mets rewarded him with a September call up.
- A former first round pick of the Kansas City Royals, Gary Thurman, who turns 48, was a burner who never really put it together at the major league level. He made a final stop in Flushing before sliding out of professional baseball after the 1997 season. His Mets tenure consisted of six at-bats, a single, and a caught stealing.
The Mets granted Rusty Staub free agency on this date in 1985, though it was merely a bit of organizational housekeeping. Le Grand Orange had made his intentions to retire at season's end clear earlier in the year. Staub finished his career as the only player in MLB history to get at least 500 hits for four different teams and the first man since Ty Cobb to hit home runs before his 20th birthday and after his 40th. Let's see the Georgia Peach run a well-regarded Manhattan eatery, though.
Amazin'-ly Tenuous Connection
Forty-two years ago today, the Oregon Department of Transportation was staked with the task of disposing the mortal remains of an eight-ton sperm whale that had beached itself. Given that there wasn't much precedent for how to handle this type of situation, the DOT improvised. With dynamite. If you want to see the ensuing hijinks, Google "exploding whale" or just follow this link. What does this have to do with the Mets? Well, reading stories like this one, it's hard not to feel like the Wilpon's financial straits are several hundred pounds of viscous projectile blubber and the team is a brand-new Ninety-Eight Regency Oldsmobile parked directly under the blast zone.