One of the best things about spring training games is that teams face teams and players they may not see much in the regular season.
This was especially true in the pre-interleague era and when the White Sox were in the Grapefruit League in Florida.
Back in the day, the Sox would see National League legends Mays, Aaron, Gibson, Clemente, Koufax and Rose while training in Florida.
One of the more memorable “crossover” meetings occurred 32 years ago today.
On March 13, 1985, a New York Met great of the past met a Met great of the present in the White Sox 6-0 Grapefruit League victory at Payne Park in Sarasota, Fla.
The White Sox Tom Seaver, making his second start of the spring, was sharp. “Tom Terrific,” who came to the Sox from the Mets before the 1984 season, hurled five shutout frames and gave up just a single to Len Dykstra.
“I’ve only seen him on television,” Gooden said of Seaver in press reports of the day. “I’ve never spoken to him. I wouldn’t mind meeting him. I am sure there are some tips he could give me.”
Gooden, the reigning National League Rookie of the Year, fashioned three goose-eggs in his spring training debut.
The hard-throwing Gooden gave up just singles to Harold Baines and Carlton Fisk.
“He has good mechanics and it looks like he has a terrific arm,” Seaver said of Gooden.
Both hurlers would go on to have historic seasons.
Seaver won 15 games and notched his 300th win while Gooden was 24-4 and won the N.L. Cy Young Award.