When Madison Bumgarner went against the Mets’ Noah Syndergaard last Sunday it was a fun matchup featuring the established veteran against the promising phenom. However, on this date in 1965, Shea Stadium was the site of an underappreciated pitching duel between two future Hall of Famers, the Mets going with retread Warren Spahn against the Phillies’ Jim Bunning.
Bunning, who pitched a perfect game against the Mets the previous season at Shea, bested Spahn on a four-hitter, winning 1-0, in a game when both pitchers went the distance in a nifty 1:52. The only run scored that day off Spahn came on Bunning’s homer in the sixth.
Spahn pitched 21 years in the majors (20 with the Milwaukee Braves) and compiled a 363-245 record. Many forget he |was 4-12 for the Mets in 1965 before he was released July 17. He signed with the Giants two days later. Spahn won three games with the Giants and retired after that season.
It is conceivable Spahn might have won 400 games had he not spent three years (1943-45) serving in the military during World War II.
The most Spahn ever made during his career was $73,500 in 1965. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1973. Spahn died in 2003 at 82 and is buried in Oklahoma.
Bunning was 18-11 with a 2.48 ERA in 36 games (34 starts) lifetime against the Mets, including 10-6 at Shea.
Bunning went 224-184 in nine seasons with Detroit, six with Philadelphia, two with Pittsburgh and one with the Dodgers. He was inducted in the Hall of Fame by the Veteran’s Committee in 1996.