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Doing Righty By Whitey

I'm a couple days late on this, but the Mets have a new Hall of Fame inductee- Whitey Herzog.

Herzog was a farm director for the Mets and spent one season in an on-field role in 1966, as the team's third base coach.

In terms of eventful events, 1966 had a few, most notably drafting catcher Steve Chilcott with the No. 1 pick instead of Reggie Jackson, then lucking into Tom Seaver when the team's name was drawn out of a hat in a special drafting procedure.

On the field, the Mets avoided losing 100 games for the first time in franchise history, going 66-95. Their roster included a number of players who became major contributors on the 1969 team- Kranepool, Harrelson, Jones, Swoboda, McGraw, and Ryan.

Ryan has been in the news recently, as the Texas Rangers, for whom he is team president, are being sold, and Ryan said he will leave the team if it is sold to the ownership group headed by agent Dennis Gilbert.

Ryan appeared in only two games, but he must have made quite an impression on Herzog, who supposedly said years later that he wouldn't have traded Leroy Stanton for Jim Fregosi, let alone a pitcher who went on to win 300+ and strike out 5,000+ (though in fairness, who's to say he would have done that as a Met?)

Anywho, this game not only featured those future 1969 Mets, but the underlying theme to it could have been the guys who got away and had a heck of a lot of sucess elsewhere- not just Ryan and Herzog, but the Brave who homered off Ryan, as the fifth batter the fireballer faced in his debut at Shea on September 11, 1966. He's another future Hall of Famer too.

Joe Torre.

True Metzogs know...Four of the five walk-off RBI that the Mets had in 1966 came from future members of the 1969 team- a walk-off walk and walk-off home run by Ron Swoboda, a walk-off home run by Cleon Jones, and a walk-off single by Jerry Grote.

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