It's a widely known fact that no Pond Scum Mets pitching has ever thrown a no-hitter let a perfect game. In this final year of Shea Stadium, the days are running out in which a Mets pitcher can perform such a feat in he teams stench filled storied venue.
However, that is not to say that a pitcher has never thrown a no-hitter in Shea Stadium. Bob Moose threw one in 1969 for the Pirates (I never thought Bob Moose would ever come up twice on this blog). The more important or notable no-hitter was thrown by (now Kentucky Senator) Jim Bunning.
Jim Bunning was not one of the more overpowering pitchers in baseball history but he was certainly one of the smartest. He is also known imfamously for his role in the 1964 collapse of Gene Mauch's Phillies. Bunning and Chris Short were the golden arms of that team, helping to push them to their large lead late in the '64 season. However, Mauch became consumed by the hard charging Cardinals and began to overuse (and abuse) both Bunning and Short. In fact, in the final 21 days of the season, Mauch used Bunning and Short 13 times!
In a bright spot of that 1964 season was Father Day, June 21st. Some 44 years ago today, Bunning took the mound in Shea Stadium for the first part of a double header and retired 27 straight Mets hitters. He did so in striking out 10 batters.
Philadelphia never trailed in the game and extended their lead to 6 in the 6th, leaving Bunning without the extra pressure of preserving a small lead.
As far as the kinescope goes, not much is known. From what I have gathered, only the bottom of the 9th inning and the postgame interview remains. This is common place for most 'spontaneous acheievement' games during the kinescope era. A station manager or club employee would take note of what was happening and begin to hastily record the final pitches of the game.
The kinescope of the 9th in black and white (per usual) and the transfers I've seen are in pristine condition. The broadcast is the WOR-TV broadcast with Lindsey Nelson and Bob Murphy. At the conclusion of the 9th inning, Ralph Kiner hosts 'Kiner's Korner' on the field, interviewing Jim Bunning about the feat.
What is remarkable is how receptive the New York fans and broadcasters are to Bunning's performance. The crowd stands and cheers his every pitch, Kiner seems giddy at what Bunning had just done.
Of note, in the second half of the DH, Rick Wise (another reference!) and Johnny Klippstein would hold the Mets to 3 hits over 9 innings (allowing 2 runs and 3 BBs). The Mets would go 11 innings over the DH before getting their first hit with 2 outs in the 3rd.
Hopefully, somewhere out there exists more footage of this game. If you had to ask me which games (known to have parts exist) from the 1960's I would wish to have a full broadcast of, this is one of them.
A truly Happy Father's Day for Senator Bunning.
Clips provided by "Unhittable" DVD.