When Casey Stengel was forced to step down as Met manager in 1965 due to a broken hip the Mets named Wes Westrum the second manager in franchise history. Westrum a former catcher with the New York Giants was serving as pitching coach at the time.
Westrum managed the final 68 games of the 1965 season and under his guidance, the Mets went 19 and 48. In 1966, his first full season, Westrum led the Mets to a 66 – 95 record, a 16 game improvement, and though it still marked the Mets 5th consecutive losing season it also marked the first time the Mets didn’t lose 100 games and the first time they didn’t finish in last place; they finished in 9th. Though they were not expected to win a World Series heading into 1967, there were still many who expected the Mets to build on the previous year’s 9th place finish. However, the Mets did not show much improvement and Westrum sensing that he was not going to be retained for the 1968 season resigned with 11 games left in the season. At the time, the Mets were 57 and 94 and fully entrenched in last place.
Westrum’s final record with the Mets was 142 and 237.
While managing the Mets Westrum wore number 51 in 1965 and number 9 from 1966-1967
Wes Westrum also managed the San Francisco Giants in 1974 and 1975.
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