Ron Hunt – His New York Mets Career 1963-1966

ron-huntOn October 11, 1962, the New York Mets purchased the contract of Ron Hunt from the Milwaukee Braves. Having been stuck in the Braves minor league system Hunt welcomed the opportunity to play for the Mets.  In an interview on April 20, 1963 Ron Hunt told the New York Times, “I was happy to be traded here. I knew I’d be with a bunch of guys my own age. We can at least give other teams a lot of trouble in the league.”  Ron Hunt would play 4 seasons for the Mets and go on to become the franchise’s first legitimate star.

Ron Hunt made his Mets debut on April 16, 1963, a 7–4 loss to the Cincinnati Reds.  As the Mets number two batter he went 2 for 3 with a walk and a run scored.  Three days later he was the star of the game, knocking in the tying and winning runs with a double in the bottom of the 9th inning against the Milwaukee Braves.  He would go on to bat .272 with 10 home runs, 28 doubles (the most in the franchises young history) and 42 RBI’s. Despite having very similar numbers Ron Hunt finished second to Pete Rose in the National League Rookie of the Year voting.

Ron Hunt got off to a fast start in 1964 hitting .300 over his first 10 games.  Along the way, he hit the first home run by a Mets player at Shea Stadium, their new state of the art ballpark, on April 23rd.  Hunt would go on to hit .303 for the season to lead the team.    For his efforts, he was elected the starting second baseman for the National League in that year’s All-Star game, the first Met player to be so honored.  In the game, which took place at Shea Stadium, Ron Hunt went 1-3.

Hunt suffered through an injury plagued 1965 season hitting just .240 with a homer and 10 RBIs in just 57 games.  He bounced back in 1966 and was selected to his second All-Star game after hitting .293 in the first half of the season. He finished the season with a .288 average.  But with his power numbers beginning to trail off, he had just 3 home runs with 33 RBI’s in 1966, the Mets traded him during the off-season to the Los Angeles Dodgers along with Jim Hickman in exchange for Tommy Davis and Derrell Griffith.  

In his 4 seasons with the Mets Hunt appeared in 459 games hitting .282 with 20 home runs and 127 RBI’s.   

While with the Mets Hunt wore number 33.

Ron Hunt also played for the following teams:

Los Angeles Dodgers – 1967
San Francisco Giants – 1968-1970
Montreal Expos – 1971-1974
St. Louis Cardinals – 1974

 

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