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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Al Luplow – His New York Mets Career 1966-1967

Al LuplowAfter spending five seasons with the Cleveland Indians outfielder Al Luplow was sold to the New York Mets on November 29, 1965.  He made his Met debut on April 16, 1966 against the Atlanta Braves as a defensive replacement; he replaced Dick Stuart and finished out the game in leftfield.   He would spend the first couple of months of the 1966 season serving primarily as a pinch hitter before becoming a mainstay in the Met outfield in June.

Luplow appeared in 111 games for the Mets in 1966, playing all three outfield positions, and hit a respectable .251 with 7 home runs and 31 RBIs.  The highlight of his season came on September 17 when he hit 2 home runs and drove in 3 runs against the San Francisco Giants.  Unfortunately, his heroics were not enough as the Mets lost the game 6-4.

Al Luplow returned to the Mets for the 1967 season but struggled at the plate and with his average at just .205 was sold to the Pittsburgh Pirates on June 21, 1967.  He finished out the season with the Pirates before retiring.

In two seasons with the Mets Luplow appeared in 152 games and batted .240 with 10 home runs and 40 RBIs.

While with the Mets Luplow wore number 18. 

Al Luplow also played for the Cleveland Indians from 1961-1965 and the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1967.

Bob Friend – His New York Mets Career 1966

Bob FriendBob Friend a former 4-time all-star pitcher with the Pittsburgh Pirates was purchased by the Mets from the New York Yankees on June 15, 1966.  Friend made his Met debut on June 18th against the Cincinnati Reds.  As the starting pitcher is threw 4 1/3 innings and earned a no-decision in the Mets 5-4 loss.   He would finish out the season appearing in 22 games, 12 as a starter. 

His first win as a Met came on June 24th against the Chicago Cubs, he pitched 6 1/3 innings and allowed zero earned runs in the Mets 4-2 victory.  From July 17-27, he won three straight decisions including a complete game shutout against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the defending World Champions.

Friend finished out the season with a 5-8 record with a 4.40 ERA.  Following the season the Mets released Friend on October 17th ending his Major League career.

While with the Mets Friend wore number 20.

Bob Friend also played for the following teams:
Pittsburgh Pirates – 1952-1965
New York Yankees – 1966



Darrell Sutherland – His New York Mets Career 1964-1966

Darrell SutherlandAfter spending one year in the Philadelphia Phillies minor league system, the Mets selected right handed pitcher Darrell Sutherland off waivers prior to the 1964 season.  After starting the 1964 season in the minors, Sutherland made his Major League debut with the Mets on June 28th against the Milwaukee Brewers.  He started the game and lasted just 1/3 of an inning allowing three hits and five earned runs.  He would appear in ten games for the Mets, four as a starter, before being shipped back to the minors in August.  For the season, he went 0-3 with 7.76 ERA in 26 2/3 innings.

Sutherland once again started the 1965 season in the minors. He returned to the Mets on August 8th and pitched remarkably well for the remainder of the season.  In 18 appearances, two as a starter, he won 3 and lost 1 while posting a 2.81 ERA in 48 innings.  His first career win came on August 10th against the Houston Astros when he pitched four innings of relief without allowing a hit in a game the Mets would win 1-0. 

In 1966, he split time between the majors and the minors appearing in 31 games for the Mets all out of the bullpen.  He posted a 2-0 record but his ERA 4.87 in 44 1/3 innings. 

1966 would be his last season with the Mets, he spent the entire 1967 season in the minors with the Williamsport Mets, their double A affiliate, where he posted a 6-3 record with 4.11 ERA.  From there he moved on to the Cleveland Indians organization. 

In 59 games for the Mets Sutherland posted a 5-4 record with 4.69 ERA in a 119 innings.  Each of his 5 victories came in relief while each of his 4 losses came as a starter.

While with the Mets Sutherland wore number 47 in 1964, number 43 in 1965 and number 46 in 1966.

Darrel Sutherland also played for the Cleveland Indians in 1968.


Billy Murphy – His New York Mets Career 1966

After spending four years in the Yankees minor league system, the Mets drafted Billy Murphy in the 1965 rule 5 draft.  He made his Major League debut for the Mets on Opening Day 1966 when he pinch ran for Ed Kranepool.  He would spend the entire 1966 season appearing in 84 mainly as a fourth outfielder and pinch hitter.  He hit .230 with 3 home runs and 13 RBIs.

Murphy’s best day as a Met occurred on May 13 against the San Francisco Giants when he went 3 for 6 while hitting his first career home run, a three-run shot.  Unfortunately, the Mets lost 5-4 in 17 innings.

1966 would be Murphy’s only season in the big leagues, but he did remain in the Mets organization for one more season.  He played for the Jacksonville Suns in 1967, the Mets triple A affiliate.

While with the Mets Murphy wore number 23.

Lou Klimchock – His New York Mets Career 1966

lou-klimchockLou Klimchock was a journeyman utility player whom the Mets acquired from the Milwaukee Braves on September 25, 1965.  He made his Mets debut on April 17, 1966 as a pinch hitter for pitcher Tug McGraw, he struck out.  Klimchock would make four more appearances for the Mets all as a pinch hitter but failed to get a hit going 0-5.  The Mets sent him down to the minors in the middle of May where he finished out the season playing for the Jacksonville Suns. While there he hit .230 with 11 home runs and 52 RBIs.

Following the season, he was traded by the Mets to the Cleveland Indians.

While with the Mets Klimchock wore number 6.

Lou Klimchock also played for the following teams:
Kansas City A’s – 1958-1961
Milwaukee Braves – 1962-1965
Washington Senators – 1963
Cleveland Indians – 1968-1970