This Day in Mets History: Al Jackson throws the team's first one-hitter

Pittsburgh Pirates v New York Mets
Pittsburgh Pirates v New York Mets / Herb Scharfman/Sports Imagery/GettyImages

On June 22, 1962, the New York Mets played a pair of games against the Houston Colt .45s. The first was scheduled at 6pm which worked out well because the second game ended with a 16-3 loss for the Amazins.

Game one was much different. Against their fellow expansion team, the Mets sent Al Jackson to the mound hoping to get as many innings out of him as they could. A one out single from Joey Amalfitano in the first inning was the first sign of trouble. Two batters later, Norm Larker walked.

Jackson escaped the inning by striking out Carl Warwick. Richie Ashburn then led off the bottom of the first inning with a home run. There was no looking back. Jackson cruised his way through the Houston lineup.

Al Jackson pitched the first one-hitter in NY Mets history on June 22, 1962

Jackson didn’t pitch a messy one-hitter either. Until a leadoff walk in the ninth inning, no other Colt .45 batter reached base. The Mets hitters were nothing special in this particular outing. They gave him only two runs of support. A walk, sacrifice bunt, and a single to start off the sixth was how they got that runner across.

Little did the Mets know, this early blown no-hitter was the beginning of a long stretch where many pitchers would come close but fall short.

Jackson finished his first year with the Mets with an 8-20 record and 4.40 ERA. It was his first of two 20-loss seasons in New York. As bad as it looks on the ledger, Jackson was often the victim of poor run-support.

The Mets had two other one-hitters in the 1960s. On May 4, 1966, Jack Hamilton surrendered a third-inning single to Ray Sadecki. On July 9, 1969, a ninth-inning single by Jim Qualls ended Tom Seaver’s first bid at history.

Mets history could have been much earlier and in a historically bad season. Instead, fans had to wait almost a full 50 more years before Johan Santana took the mound against the St. Louis Cardinals on June 1, 2012.

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