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Showing posts from February 11, 2007

You Gotta Have...

It seems a little too easy for me to write about former Mets Bobby or Ellis on this day of amore, so I shall look for something a little more challenging.

There is another former Met with a name connection to this date and his place in team history is underrecognized. That's expected when your big league career consists of but one major league hit and your only baseball card is put out by "The Wiz."

Those are the kind of Mets who are among my favorites- the Mike Glavine's and Ross Jones' of the world. For every superstar, there is someone like this, whose name is meant to be kept alive through the magic of blogs like this.

The fellow of whom I speak today is Greg Harts, who I imagine from time to time wonders what might have been, with his three-game major league career. I can fill you in on what was. Here's what I know.

* Greg Rudolph Harts was born on April 21, 1950 in Atlanta. He was a scholastic MVP in baseball and football at David Howard High but went unsel…

Catch as Catch Can

It seems an appropriate time to tell this story, with catchers and pitchers due to report in a couple days. You may recall that Casey Stengel once said something to the effect of "You've gotta have a catcher. Otherwise, you're going to have a lot of passed balls."

Well, it took the Mets five years to bear this out, but Stengel's wisdom proved to be prophetic.

The bizarre season that was 1967 took a twist ever so unusual on that July 27, when the Mets were in Los Angeles to take on the Dodgers.

We'll pick up the action in the 7th inning, wiht the Mets trailing 3-2. With two on and two outs, backup catcher John Sullivan struck for a game-tying single to center. Mets manager Wes Westrum elected to pinch-hit for pitcher Danny Frisella with another catcher, Greg Goossen. That move, in and of itself wasn't so strange, but the companion to it- having regular catcher Jerry Grote run for Sullivan- put the Mets in the position of using all three of their catchers in t…

Pitcher-Catcher Minutiae

* Of the 799 players to have played in a game for the Mets, 374 (46.8 percent) have thrown a regular-season pitch for the team.

* Of the 799 players to have played in a game for the Mets, 71 have played catcher (8.9 percent). For comparitive purposes, 134 (16.8 percent) have played third base.

* The full list of those 21 who have caught for the Mets, who also had a walk-off RBI as a Met:

Jerry Grote
Mike Piazza
Todd Hundley
John Stearns
Ron Hodges
Gary Carter
Mackey Sasser
Duffy Dyer
Todd Pratt
Jason Phillips
Alex Trevino
Jesse Gonder
Choo Choo Coleman
John Stephenson
Ramon Castro
Tommie Reynolds
Alberto Castillo
John Sullivan
Norm Sherry
Jim Tatum
Hobie Landrith

* 115 pitchers have recorded a walk-off win for the Mets and I'm not going to list them all.

* 2 Mets pitchers had a walk-off RBI for the Mets, and the names tell you that we're playing trickery: Derek Bell and Matt Franco. No Met whose primary position was pitcher has had a walk-off RBI for the team

* 29 players have pitched for the Mets and …

Park it Right Here

Saturday, Chan Ho Park, think it was the 4th of July.
--Chicago, circa 1972

I've found that I usually prefer my misheard interpretation of song lyrics to the actual wording, but in this instance I do like the real version of the song referenced above, often played at Shea Stadium for weekend affairs.

It wasn't the 4th of July the last time that Chan Ho Park pitched in the Flushing ballpark, but rather a Sunday, May 20, 2001 and the Mets were seriously sputtering at 16-26 with the Dodgers in town. Park was starting for the visitors against Rick Reed and this was a rare occasion in which things went right for the home team early in the contest.

Back-to-back doubles by Rey Ordonez and Reed brought in two runs and Timo Perez added a single to give the Mets a 3-0 edge on Park and that lead had a long-lasting effect.

While Reed was cruising, Park was dodging bullets. The Mets had at least one baserunner in all six innings that Park worked but produced no further results. In the sixth, th…