Tom Seaver strikes out 10 straight Padres

Part of the INSIDE PITCH series
Written by: Craig Muder

With one out in the top of the sixth inning, Cito Gaston of the San Diego Padres hit a Tom Seaver pitch into the glove of the New York Mets' Art Shamsky in right field.

Ten batters later, no other San Diego batter had managed to hit another fair ball against the New York ace. And when the game was over, Seaver walked off the Shea Stadium mound with 19 strikeouts and a National League pitching masterpiece.

On April 22, 1970, Seaver authored a two-hitter against the Padres for a 2-1 win. He fanned 19 of the 31 batters he faced, including the last 10 in a row.

After Gaston's flyout, Seaver fanned Al Ferrara – whose second-inning home run accounted for the Padres' only run on the night – to end the inning. Seaver then struck out Nate Colbert, Dave Campbell and Jerry Morales in the seventh, and followed that up by striking out Bob Barton, Ray Webster and Ivan Murrell in the eighth. Van Kelly and Gaston fanned for the first two outs in the ninth – and Ferrara ended the game as the victim of Seaver's 19th strikeout.

In winning the game, Seaver became the first victorious pitcher to strike out 19 batters in a nine-inning game. Steve Carlton – like Seaver, another future Hall of Famer – had set the record with 19 strikeouts in a nine-inning game in 1969, but Carlton lost that game, 4-3, to the Mets.

Seaver finished the 1970 season with 283 strikeouts to go along with an 18-12 record. In the years since, Roger Clemens (twice) and Kerry Wood have both struck out 20 batters in a nine-inning game. But neither got within one punchout of Seaver's mark of 10 in a row.

Seaver finished his career with 3,640 strikeouts, sixth on the all-time list. He is one of just 16 pitchers to crack the 3,000-strikeout plateau.

Glove used by Tom Seaver of the New York Mets to record his 19 strikeouts on April 22, 1970. B-185.74

Seaver was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1992. He received votes on 98.84 percent of all Baseball Writers' Association of America ballots cast that year, the highest percentage ever.


Craig Muder is director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
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Part of the INSIDE PITCH series