On May 8, 1973 — On a rainy night at Shea Stadium, with the bases loaded in the seventh-inning a line drive off the bat of Atlanta’s Marty Perez strikes Jon Matlack’s forehead so hard that the ball ricochets into the Mets dugout. All three runs will score and Perez scampers into second not sure of what happened.

“They came out and checked me on the mound. I thought I got hit in the mouth because it really hurts. I’m reaching to see if I’ve got any teeth left and (catcher) Jerry Grote grabs my hand and says, ‘Wait for the trainer.’ As I’m looking up, I could see my forehead. That’s when I realized I got hit there, because it’s swollen.”

“So they cover me with a tarp to keep my dry. My wife, who’s in the stands, thinks I’m dead! People had umbrellas up, and she’s trying to peer around the umbrellas. They told me later that she’s only the second woman other than (Mets owner) Joan Payson to get in the clubhouse. I didn’t feel bad at that point, except very, very tired with a headache.”

Phil Hennigan came in to relieve Matlack. He intentionally walked Hank Aaron then served up a grand slam to non other than Davey Johnson. The Braves went on to a 10-6 win.

Fortunately, the 23 year-old southpaw sustains only a hairline fracture of his skull, and will return to the mound on May 19 to blank the Bucs for six innings at Pittsburgh.

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