On this date in 1977, mustachioed Mets second baseman Felix Millan plays what will turn out to be the final game of his 12-year career, thanks to a fight with Pirates catcher Ed Ott.
After Ott breaks up a double play with a legal but brutal flying block, Millan responds by socking the Bucs backstop in the jaw while still holding the baseball. Ott, a wrestler in high school, then picks Millan up by the left leg and slams him to the ground from shoulder height, delivering a career-ending break to the second baseman's collarbone.
"What is a man to do when he's punched in the face with a baseball?" rants Bucs skipper Chuck Tanner to The Sporting News. "He don't fight with no guts. Millan got what he deserved. He deserved more."
Well, maybe he did... and maybe he didn't. Millan's career-ending injury was certainly another unfortunate blow for Mets fans, who just two months earlier had to endure the profound disappointment of seeing Tom Seaver traded to the Reds.
But while Millan never got to play another game in the bigs, the slap-hitting second sacker was issued a Topps card for '78 — ironically picturing a Pirates player coming hard into second while he makes the pivot. That player? Dave Parker, who would be involved in a famously injurious collision in the summer of '78 with Mets catcher John Stearns.