Friday, April 18, 2008

Overheard on Extra Innings: Tom Seaver Had A Rubber Arm

Did you know Tom Seaver won both games of a doubleheader once? True story.

On tonight's Sports Time Ohio broadcast of the Indians-Twins game, the announcers were reminiscing about 20+ inning games of the past, apropos of, well, you know.

STO color man and former MLB outfielder Rick Manning described a 25* inning game he played in for the Brewers against the White Sox in 1984**, which at 8:06 is the longest game ever played in the MLB by time (and tied for the 2nd longest by innings).

The game began on May 8, 1984, and was suspended at 6-6 after 17 innings. Play resumed on May 9, and the teams played another scoreless 7 innings before Tom Seaver entered the game in the top of the 25th. He retired Bill Schroeder, Robin Yount and Cecil Cooper in order. In the bottom of the 25th, Harold Baines came up for the White Sox with 1 out and hit a solo home run to win the game, 7-6.

Since the teams were already scheduled to play each other on the 9th, they went ahead and played just like it was the second game of a doubleheader. According to Manning, Seaver stayed loose between games by throwing in front of the dugout. He started the second game and threw an impressive 8 1/3 innings for the 5-4 win.

By 1984, Tom Seaver was on the downside of his career, but he still threw 230+ IP and went 15-11 with a 3.95 ERA that year. His real rubber arm days, however, had come years earlier. From 1967 to 1978, he threw fewer than 250 innings just once - 236 IP in 1974. He topped 270 IP in 7 of those seasons, topping out twice at 290 innings. Ye gods.

Just for that, let's get one more picture of Tom Terrific.

Incidentally, I can't even remember Seaver playing for the White Sox. As far as I'm concerned, he was a Met first and a Red second. Let's just pretend the South Side period never happened. Deal?

*I probably shouldn't throw Manning under the bus like this, but he thought it was a 26 inning game.

**He also thought the game happened in 1983.

Finally, this has nothing to do with either Tom Seaver or Rick Manning, but I thought you would want to know that Carlton Fisk caught all 25 innings of that first game, and went 3 for 11 at the plate.

All together: Carlton Fisk had rubber knees.


Michael said...

Carlton Fisk was my favorite play as a young'un.

Remember, Tom finished as a Red Sox as well. Then again, since that was 1986, maybe I shouldn't remember it either.

Michael said...

er...player. Sorry.

TK said...

Thanks for visiting, Michael. I knew that Seaver finished as a Red Sox; it was the whole White Sox era that escaped me somehow.