On this date in 1973, the Mets’ Jon Matlack threw a one-hit shutout at Shea Stadium over the Houston Astros, 1-0.
Tommy Helms doubled in the sixth for Houston’s only hit, and Duffy Dyer’s double drove in Rusty Staub for the game’s only run.
With the victory, the Mets improved to 36-46, sixth place in the National League East, 12 games off the pace.
It was a different time then, but the message is the same. Those Mets didn’t give up on the season and reached the World Series. The road is different today, but looking back history tells us good things can still happen in this season.
Rusty Staub was one of the good guys in Mets’ history, not to mention one of their better players. Who can forget him playing the 1973 World Series with basically one arm?
STAUB: Pinch-hitter delux
Staub developed into one of the game’s great pinch-hitters. On this date in 1983, Staub tied Dave Philley’s then major league record with his eighth consecutive pinch-hit in the first game of a doubleheader against Philadelphia.
Staub played 23 seasons in the major leagues, including nine with the Mets. He broke in with Houston in 1963 – the Astros’ second year of existence – then played with Montreal (1969-71); the Mets (1972-75); Detroit (1976-79), where he had three of his best seasons; another brief stint with the Expos at the end of the 1979 season; Texas in 1980; and finally five more years with the Mets.
Staub finished with 2,716 hits and 292 homers.
After his career, Staub worked on Mets’ telecasts, then own and operated two restaurants in Manhattan. He is a chef and wine connoisseur.
The Expos retired Staub’s No. 10 in 1993.