When the Mets acquired Lenny Randle from the Texas Rangers, he had just finished serving a 30 game suspension for punching manager Frank Luccchesi. Obviously no longer welcomed in Texas, the Rangers started looking for a trading partner and found one with the Mets. The Mets needing a leadoff hitter traded minor leaguer Rick Auerbach to the Rangers for Randle’s services.
Despite his baggage, the trade turned out wonderfully for the Mets, at least for the first season. Randle enjoyed the finest season of his career batting out of the leadoff position and playing third base. He led the Mets in hitting with a .304 average and set the franchise record for most stolen bases in a season with 33. He also led the team in runs (78), hits (156), triples (7), on-base percentage (.383) and total bases (207).
Randle was also the hero in the Mets longest game of the season, on July 9 against the Montréal Expos Randle hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 17th inning to win the game. It was one of five home runs he would hit on the season.
Unfortunately his second season in New York was nothing like the first. In 1978, his average plummeted to .233 and he stole only 14 bases. However, he did drive in 35 runs.
Randle lost his starting third base job to Richie Hebner during Spring Training in 1979 and the Mets decided to release him prior to the season.
In his two seasons with the Mets Randle hit .272 with 7 home runs and 62 RBIs.
As a bit of trivia, Lenny Randle was the batter on July 13,1977 when the entire city of New York was paralyzed by a massive blackout.
While with the Mets Randle wore number 11.
Lenny Randle also played for the following teams:
Washington Senators – 1971
Texas Rangers – 1972-1976
New York Yankees – 1979
Chicago Cubs – 1980
Seattle Mariners – 1981,1982