Gordie Ricardson – His New York Mets Career 1965-1966

Gordie RichardsonAfter helping the St Louis Cardinals win the 1964 World Series left-handed pitcher Gordie Richardson was traded to the Mets on December 8th along with Johnny Lewis in exchange for Elio Chacon and Tracy Stallard.

After starting the season in the minors Richardson was promoted to the big club in July making his Met debut on July 9th. Richardson would go on to pitch in 35 games for the Mets all out of the bullpen. He enjoyed modest success posting a 2-2 record with a 3.78 ERA. He started the 1966 season with the Mets but could not duplicate his success. With his ERA at 9.16 he was demoted back down to the minors where he finished the season with the Jacksonville Suns.

Richardson retired from baseball following the 1966 season. In his two seasons with the Mets Richardson had a 2-4 record with a 5.20 ERA in 50 games.

Richardson was the last player to wear number 41 before Tom Seaver.

Gordie Richardson also played for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1964.

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Bill Hepler – His New York Mets Career 1966

Bill HeplerLeft-handed pitcher Bill Hepler made his Major League debut with the Mets on April 23,1966 against the Atlanta Braves.  He pitched an inning of scoreless relief in the Mets 5-4 defeat.  He appeared in 37 games, all but 3 out of the bullpen, posting a 3-3 recprd and 3.52 ERA. 

Hepler earned his first career victory on June 15 against the Atlanta Braves.  But his most productive outing for the Mets occurred on July 18 against the Houston Astros, as the starting pitcher he allowed 4 runs and 1 earned run over 7 innings.  The Mets won the game 4-1 but Hepler earned a no decision.

1966 would be Hepler’s only season in the majors, though he did remain in the Mets organization.  He pitched three seasons in the Mets minor league system where he posted an overall record of 19-20 with a 3.82 ERA.

While with the Mets Hepler wore number 28.

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Gerry Arrigo – His New York Mets Career 1966

Gerry ArrigoThe Mets purchased left-handed pitcher Gerry Arrigo from the Cincinnati Reds in May 20, 1966.  He made his Met debut two days later pitching three innings of relief in the Mets 5-0 loss to the San Francisco Giants.  On May 29 Arrigo pitched two innings of scoreless relief to earn his first victory as a Met.   He would go on to pitch in a total of 17 games for the Mets, splitting time between the bullpen and the starting rotation before being sold back to the Reds on August 16th.

The highlight of his brief career with the Mets came on July 17.  He not only allowed one earned run over seven innings to earn the victory, he also was the hitting star of the game.  He hit two doubles and drove in three runs in the Mets 4-2 win over the Houston Astros.

In his 17 appearances with the Mets Arrigo posted a 3-3 record with 3.74 ERA.

While with the Mets Arrigo wore number 34.

Gerry Arrigo also played for the following teams:
Minnesota Twins – 1961-1964
Cincinnati Reds – 1965-1969
Chicago White Sox – 1970

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Ken Boyer – His New York Mets Career 1966,1967

Ken BoyerThe Mets acquired former All-Star third baseman and National League MVP Ken Boyer from the St. Louis Cardinals on October 20, 1965 in exchange for Al Jackson and Charley Smith He made his Met debut as Opening Day 1966, as the starting third baseman he went 1 for 3.  As the Mets regular third baseman he appeared in 136 games and batted .266 with 14 home runs and 61 RBIs, the most on the team.  He also set the Mets single season record for doubles with 28, a record that was broken the following season by Tommy Davis with 32.

Some select highlights of his season included a 3 RBI performance on April 17 in the Mets 5-2 win over the Atlanta Braves.  A home run and 4 RBIs against the Cubs in the Mets 14-11 win on April 26.  A 4 hit performance against the Pittsburgh Pirates August 11.

Boyer returned to the Mets in 1967 but was with his average at just .235 he was traded to the Chicago White Sox on July 22 along with Sandy Alomar.  in exchange for J.C. Martin and Billy Southworth.  Before he was traded he did manage to earn his 2,000 career hit on May 10 and his 300 career double on May 20.

In 192 games for the Mets Boyer batted .258 with 17 home runs and 74 RBIs.

While with the Mets Boyer wore number 14.

Ken Boyer also played for the following teams:
St. Louis Cardinals – 1955-1965
Chicago White Sox – 1967,1968
Los Angeles Dodgers – 1968,1969

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Roy McMillan – His New York Mets Playing Career 1964-1966

Roy McMillanRoy McMillan, a former All-Star and gold glove shortstop, was nearing the end of his career, when the Mets acquired him from the Milwaukee Brewers on May 8, 1964 in exchange for pitcher Jay Hook.  He made his Met debut on May 9th as the starting shortstop and went 0-3 at the plate.  He would finish out the season as their everyday shortstop, he hit .211 with a home run and 2 RBIs.  His one home run came on September 7, a two-run shot in the Mets 7-5 victory over the Houston Colt 45’s.

McMillan returned in 1965 and led the team in game played with 157 (at the time a franchise record) while also leading the team with 106 singles.  For the season, he hit .242 with a home run and 42 RBIs.   His most productive streak occurred from August 16-28 when he hit .333 with 8 RBIs over 14 games.

In what would be his last season as a Major League player, McMillan saw less playing time in 1966 appearing in just 76 games.  He hit just .214 with a home run and 12 RBIs.  Despite his low batting average, he did have a few highlights at the plate for the season.  On May 29 against the Dodgers he drove in the winning run in the 9th inning with a single.  He hit his last career home run on July 20 against future Hall of Famer Juan Marichal of the San Francisco Giants.  It broke a 1-1 tie in the 8th inning in a game the Mets would win in 10 innings.

For his Mets career McMillan appeared in 346 games and hit .226 with 3 home runs and 79 RBIs.

McMillan returned to the Mets and served as coach from 1973-1976.  He even served as interim manager in 1975 following the firing of Yogi Berra. In 53 games his record was 26-27.

While playing for the Mets McMillan wore number 11.

Roy McMillan also played for the following teams:
Cincinnati Reds – 1952-1960
Milwaukee Braves – 1961-1964

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Dave Eilers – His New York Mets Career 1965,1966

Dave EilersThe Mets purchased right-handed pitcher Dave Eilers from the Milwaukee Braves on August 18, 1965.  He made his Met debut on August 22nd pitching a scoreless 9th inning in the Mets 7-5 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.  He would go on pitch in 11 games for the Mets for the remainder of the season, all out of the bullpen.  He finished with 1-1 record and 4.00 ERA in 18 innings.  His one victory came on August 24th against the Los Angeles Dodgers, he pitched a scoreless 9th inning in the Mets 4-3 win.

Eilers returned to the Mets in 1966 appearing in 23 games before being demoted to the minors.  Once again, he would post a 1-1 record with 4.67 ERA.

Following the season Eilers was drafted by the Houston Astros in the minor league draft ending his tenure with the Mets

EIlers appeared in 34 games with a 2-2 record and 4.44 ERA.

While with the Mets Eilers wore number 38.

Dave Eilers also played for the Milwaukee Braves in 1964 and 1965 and the Houston Astros in 1967.

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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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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.

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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.

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