Ted Schreiber – His New York Mets Career 1963

Ted SchreiberThe Mets drafted infielder Ted Schreiber from the Boston Red Sox in the 1962 Rule 5 draft.  He made his Major League debut with the Mets on April 15, 1963 as their starting third baseman and leadoff hitter.  He went 1 for 4 in the Mets 1-0 loss to the Milwaukee Braves. He spent the season splitting time between the Mets and their Triple A affiliate the Buffalo Bisons.  With the Mets, he appeared in 39 games and batted .160 with 2 RBIs. 

As a bit of trivia, he was the last batter in the final game played at the Polo Grounds, he grounded into a double play.

1963 would be Schreiber’s only season in the Majors but he did spend two more seasons in the minors with the Buffalo Bisons.

While with the Mets Schreiber wore number 43.

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Joe Hicks – His New York Mets Career 1963

Joe HicksThe New York Mets purchased outfielder Joe Hicks’ contract from the Washington Senators prior to the 1963 season.  He started his Met career playing for their top minor league team the Buffalo Bisons.  After hitting .320 with Buffalo, the Mets brought him to New York in the middle of July where he made his Met debut on July 12th, striking out as a pinch hitter against Sandy Koufax.  He moved into the starting lineup the next day and was hitting .351 after ten games. It looked like the Mets may have found an outfielder worth keeping, especially after he hit a home run in three straight games from July 16-18 while driving in seven.  He hit a walk off home run in the bottom of the 11th inning on July 17th against the San Francisco Giants to give the Mets the victory.

But unfortunately, his fast start did not last and Hicks finished the season hitting just .226 with 5 home runs and 22 RBIs in 56 games.  Hicks returned to Buffalo in 1964 and spent the next two seasons playing for the Bisons.  He put up decent numbers, a .297 batting average with 32 home runs and 105 RBIs but did not get the call back to New York.  He spent one more season playing for the Bisons in 1966 but they were now part of the Cincinnati Reds organization.  He retired following the 1966 season. 

While with the Mets Hicks wore number 22.

Joe Hicks also played for the following teams:
Chicago White Sox – 1959,1960
Washington Senators – 1961,1962

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Pumpsie Green – His New York Mets Career 1963

Pumpsie GreenThe Mets acquired third baseman Pumpsie Green from the Boston Red Sox on December 12, 1962 along with Tracy Stallard and Al Moran in exchange for Felix Mantilla.  Prior to coming to the Mets Green hit .246 in four seasons for the Red Sox.  He also was the first black player in Red Sox history.

Green would start the 1963 season with the Buffalo Bisons; the Mets triple A affiliate, before getting the call in September.  He made his Mets debut on September 4 as a pinch hitter for Galen Cisco against the St Louis Cardinals. For the record Green walked.  Pumpsie would finish out the season playing third base. He appeared in 17 games and hit .278 with a home run and five RBIs.  His one home run came on September 17, a two-run shot against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Green played the entire 1964 season and part of the 1965 season with the Buffalo Bisons before retiring as a player.

While with the Mets Green wore number 18.

Pumpsie Green also played for the Boston Red Sox from 1959-1962.

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Jim Hickman – His New York Mets Career 1962-1966

Jim HickmanThe New York Mets drafted Jim Hickman, a career minor leaguer with the St Louis Cardinals, in the 1961 expansion draft.  An original Met he would play a total of five seasons for New York before being traded to the Dodgers following the 1966 season.  While with the Mets he was a steady player who put up some solid power numbers despite not hitting for much of an average.  He also became a walking trivia answer as he became the first Met to accomplish several feats.

Hickman made his Met as well as his Major League debut on April 14, 1962 as a pinch hitter for pitcher Al Jackson. For the record he popped up to shortstop.  He would eventually become a regular member of the Mets starting lineup, playing all three outfield positions.  He didn’t hit for much of an average, just .245, but put up some decent power numbers in his first season, 13 home runs (3rd most on the team), 18 doubles with 46 RBIs.

In 1963, he hit just .229 but managed to lead the team with 17 home runs and 6 triples. But his biggest accomplishment occurred on August 7th at the Polo Grounds when he became the first player in franchise history to hit for the cycle in the Mets 7-3 victory over the St Louis Cardinals.  It was a natural cycle meaning he hit a single, double, triple and home run in that order, at the time he was just the sixth player in Major League history to record such a feat.   Hickman also became the answer to another trivia question a month later when he became the last player to hit a home run at the old Polo Grounds, the Mets home stadium during their first two seasons.

His numbers over the next two seasons were more of the same, in 1964 he hit .257 with 11 homers and 57 RBIs and in 1965 he hit .236 with 15 home runs and 40 RBI’s.  In 1965, he accomplished another first in Met history when he became the first player to hit three home runs in a game on September 3rd against the St Louis Cardinals, the Mets won the game 6-3.

Hickman missed a majority of the 1966 season with a wrist injury, appearing in only 58 games.  Following the season, he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers along with Ron Hunt in exchange for Tommy Davis and Derrell Griffith. 

His final Met numbers were a .241 average with 60 home runs and 210 RBIs in 624 games.

 While with the Mets Hickman wore number 9 from 1962-1965 and numbers 27 and 6 in 1966.

Jim Hickman also played for the following teams:
Los Angeles Dodgers – 1967
Chicago Cubs – 1968-1973
St. Louis Cardinals – 1974

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Frank Thomas – His New York Met Career 1962-1964

Frank ThomasAn original Met who was acquired from the Milwaukee Braves, Frank Thomas would become the first legitimate power hitter in franchise history. Thomas led the 1962 Mets with 34 home runs and 94 RBIs while hitting a respectable .266. His 34 home runs remained the franchise record until 1975 when Dave Kingman broke it with 36. Thomas also led the 62 Mets in just about every offensive category including 23 doubles, 69 runs scored and 152 hits. On April 19, he also became the first player in franchise history to hit two home runs in a game, a feat he would accomplish five times during the season. As a bit of trivia Frank Thomas also hit the first home run at the Polo Grounds for the Mets, the Mets home ballpark in 1962.

His numbers diminished in his second season with the club as he appeared in only 126 games. But he did manage to still lead the team with 60 RBIs while hitting just 15 home runs. His average remained about the same at .260.

His tenure with the Mets came to an end in the middle of the 1964 season when he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for Gary Kroll and Wayne Graham. At the time, he was hitting .254 with just 3 home runs and 19 RBIs.

In his two plus seasons with the Mets Thomas hit .262 with 52 home runs and 173 RBIs.

While with the Mets Thomas wore number 25.

Frank Thomas also played for the following teams:
Pittsburgh Pirates – 1952-1958
Cincinnati Reds – 1959
Chicago Cubs – 1960,1961,1966
Milwaukee Braves – 1961,1965
Philadelphia Phillies – 1964,1965
Houston Astros – 1965

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Chico Fernandez – His New York Mets Career 1963

Chico FernandezOn May 8, 1963, the Detroit Tigers traded Chico Fernandez to the Milwaukee Braves who then turned around and traded him to the Mets in exchange for Larry Foss.  Fernandez made his Met debut on May 11 when he pinch hit for Al Moran, he struck out.  Fernandez finished out the season with the Mets playing shortstop, third and second base. He appeared in 58 games and batted just .200 with 1 home run and 9 RBIs.  His only home run was hit on May 16 against the San Francisco Giants.

The Mets traded Fernandez to the Chicago White Sox on April 23, 1964 in exchange for Charley Smith.

While with the Mets Fernandez wore number 7.

Chico Fernandez also played for the following teams:
Brooklyn Dodgers – 1956
Philadelphia Phillies – 1957-1959
Detroit Tigers – 1960-1963

Don Rowe – His New York Mets Career 1963

Don RoweDon Rowe was a career minor leaguer when the Mets drafted him from the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1962 Rule 5 draft.  The left-handed pitcher made his Major League debut on opening day in 1963 pitching 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.  He would go on to pitch in 26 games, 25 out of the bullpen, for the Mets before being sent down to the minors at the end of July.  At the time, he was 0-0 with 4.28 ERA in 54 2/3 innings.  In his one start against the Philadelphia Phillies, he allowed 3 runs in 4 2/3 innings.

Rowe would not pitch for Mets again spending the next 2 ½ seasons pitching for the Buffalo Bisons, the Mets top minor league club.  During that time, he won 10 and lost 14 games. 

While with the Mets Rowe wore number 29.

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Ed Bauta – His New York Mets Career 1963,1964

ed-bautaThe Mets acquired right-handed reliever Ed Bauta from the St. Louis Cardinals on August 5, 1963 in exchange for pitcher Ken MacKenzie.  Bauta made his Met debut on August 11 against the Chicago Cubs pitching 4 2/3 innings of relief. Bauta entered the game in the first inning and allowed 5 hits and 2 runs in a game the Mets would lose 8-1. Bauta would go on to appear in 9 games for the Mets in 1963 pitching 19 innings and posting a 0-0 record and 5.21 ERA.

Bauta started the season with the Mets in 1964 and appeared in 8 games before being demoted to the minors in the middle of May.  He posted a 0-2 record with a 5.40 ERA.  He also had the distinction of being the losing the pitcher in the first game the Mets played at Shea Stadium. 

In 17 career games for the Mets Bauta posted an 0-2 record with 5.28 ERA.

1964 would be Bauta’s last season in the majors, but he did stay with the Mets organization.  He pitched in the Mets minor league system through 1968.

While with the Mets Bauta wore number 19 in 1963 and 38 in 1964.

Ed Bauta also played for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1960-1963.

Craig Anderson – His New York Mets Career 1962-1964

craig-andersonThe Mets selected right handed pitcher Craig Anderson from the St Louis Cardinals in the 1961 expansion draft.  He made his Met debut on April 14,1962 pitching 2 innings of scoreless relief during the 6-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Anderson would go on to pitch in 50 games as an original Met, the most of any pitcher in their inaugural season. On May 12th Anderson won both games of a doubleheader against the Milwaukee Braves pushing his record to 3 and 1. Unfortunately it would be his last victory of the season as well as his career. Anderson would go on to lose his next 16 decisions in 1962 to finish with a 3 and 17 record and a 5.35 ERA.

Anderson spent the bulk of the next 2 seasons in the minors with the Mets Triple A affiliate the Buffalo Bisons, but did manage to make it back to the big leagues for 2 cups of coffee in 1963 and 1964. In 7 appearances over the 2 seasons he went 0 and 3. Craig Anderson made his last appearance as a Met on May 31, 1964 and would spend the next 2 seasons toiling in the minors for both the Mets and White Sox.

In 57 appearances for the Mets, 40 in relief, over 3 seasons Anderson posted a 3 and 20 record with a 5.56 ERA.

While with the Mets Anderson wore number 20 in 1962 and 1964 and number 29 in 1963.

Craig Anderson also played for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1961.

 

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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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