Acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies prior to the 1975 season along with Del Unser and Mac Scarce in exchange for Tug McGraw, Don Hahn and Dave Schneck, John Stearns would go on to catch 678 games in a Met uniform (4th most in team history) and be selected to four different All-Star teams. The heart and soul of some pretty bad Met teams; Stearns never let the Mets place in the standings affect his play.
After two seasons serving as backup to Jerry Grote, Stearns became the Met fulltime catcher in 1977. He took full advantage of the situation, leading the team with 25 doubles and tying for the team lead with 12 home runs. For his efforts, he was selected to be the Mets lone representative in the All-Star game. He continued his strong play in 1978 and even broke the National League record for most stolen bases by a catcher in a season with 25. Stearns would play four more season as the Mets catcher, earning three more All-Star appearances in 1979, 1980 and 1982, before a rash of injuries took their toll forcing him to cut his career short just as the Mets had turned the corner and became one of the top teams in the league.
During his 10 years with the Mets Stearns hit .259 with 46 HR’s and 312 RBI’s. Stearns would return to the Mets in 2000 and 2001 serving as a coach. He also spent two seasons managing in the Mets minor league system, 2003 with the Binghamton Mets and 2004 with the Norfolk Tides.
While with the Mets Stearns wore number 16 in 1975 and 1976 and number 12 from 1977-1984.
John Stearns also played for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1974.