On May 23, 1963, the Mets acquired outfielder Jimmy Piersall from the Washington Senators in exchange for Gil Hodges, who would go on to become the Senators manager. Piersall was best known for overcoming a nervous breakdown while a member of the Boston Red Sox during his rookie season in 1952.
Piersall’s career with the Mets was uneventful except for one memorable home run. On June 23 against the Philadelphia Phillies Piersall’s home run in the top of the 5th inning gave the Mets a 2-0 lead in a game they would eventually win 5-0. It was also the 100th home run of Piersall’s career and to celebrate the occasion he ran the bases backwards. Piersall came up with the idea after he observed that teammate Duke Snider received very little fanfare when he hit his 400th career home run earlier in the season. The Met fans loved his stunt – but management, especially manager Casey Stengel did not. Piersall was released a month later.
In 40 games for the Mets Piersall hit .194 with 1 home run and 10 RBIs.
While with the Mets Piersall wore number 2 and number 34.
Jimmy Piersall also played for the following teams:
Boston Red Sox – 1952-1958
Cleveland Indians – 1959-1961
Washington Senators – 1962,1963
California Angels – 1963-1967