Jerry Buchek – His New York Mets Career 1967-1968

Jerry BuchekThe Mets acquired utility player Jerry Buchek from the St. Louis Cardinals on April 1, 1967 along with Ed Bressoud and Danny Napoleon in exchange for Art Mahaffey and Tony Martinez.  He made his Mets debut on April 11, 1967, Opening Day, as there starting 2nd baseman.  He went 0 for 2 with a walk in the Mets 6-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.  He would go on to appear in 124 games for the Mets in 1967, mostly at 2nd base but also seeing time at shortstop and 3rd base.  He hit .236 with 14 home runs and 41 RBIs.

His first hit as a Met was a 2-run home run in the Mets 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 13.  Some other highlights of his 1967 season included a 9th inning 2 out pinch-hit home run on July 9th to tie the game against the Atlanta Braves.  A game the Mets would go on to win 5-4.  He hit two home runs in the Mets 5-4 win over the Chicago Cubs on September 2nd.   He also hit two three run home runs on the September 22 to propel the Mets to a 8-5 victory over the Houston Astros. However, Buchek did lead the Mets in strikeouts with a 101 in 1967.

Buchek returned to the Mets in 1968 but saw less playing time appearing in just 73 games.  Splitting time between the infield and outfield he hit just .182 with one home run and 11 RBIs.  His only home run was a 3-run shot in the Mets 7-3 win over the San Francisco Giants on June 14th.

Following the season, he was traded back to the St. Louis Cardinals and eventually to the Philadelphia Phillies.  But his 1968 season would be his last in the majors.  In two seasons with the Mets Buchek appeared in 197 games and batted .219 with 15 home runs and 52 RBIs. 

While with the Mets Buchek wore number 1.

Jerry Buchek also played for the St, Louis Cardinals in 1961 and from 1963 to 1966.

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Larry Stahl – His New York Mets Career 1967,1968

Larry StahlThe Mets purchased the contract of Larry Stahl from the Kansas City A’s on October 17, 1966.  He made his Met debut on April 13, 1967 as a pinch hitter for Bus Harrelson, he grounded out to second.  Playing all three outfield positions Stahl would go on to appear in 71 games and hit .239 with 1 home run and 18 RBIs. His one home came on July 13 against the Cincinnati Reds, it was a three-run homer that gave the Mets a 7-0 in a game they would win 7-3.

Stahl started the 1968 season in the minors before getting recalled in July.  He hit safely in 15 of his first 21 games.  He would go on to appear in 53 games for the season, playing outfield and first base, and hit .235 with 3 home runs and 10 RBIs.  

Following the season Stahl was chosen by the San Diego Padres in the National League expansion draft.  In 124 games over two seasons he hit .237 with 4 home runs and 28 RBIs.

While with the Mets Stahl wore number 25.

Larry Stahl also played for the following teams:
Kansas City A’s – 1964-1966
San Diego Padres – 1969-1972
Cincinnati Reds – 1973

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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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John Sullivan – His New York Mets Career 1967

John SullivanAfter spending 8 seasons in the Detroit Tigers organization, the Mets drafted catcher John Sullivan in the 1966 Rule 5 draft.   Sullivan made his Met debut on April 15th, 1967 and would go on to spend the season as the backup catcher to Jerry Grote.  He appeared in 65 games and hit just .218 while driving in six runs.  Three of those six RBIs came in one game on July 25th against the San Francisco Giants.

Following the season, the Mets sold Sullivan’s contract to the Philadelphia Phillies.   

While with the Mets Sullivan wore number 20.

John Sullivan also played for the following teams:
Detroit Tigers – 1963-1965
Philadelphia Phillies – 1968

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Bob Johnson – His New York Mets Career 1967

Bob W JohnsonThe Mets purchased the contract of utility infielder Bob Johnson from the Baltimore Orioles on May 10, 1967.  Two days later he made his Mets debut pinch hitting for outfielder Don Bosch, for the record he walked.  Johnson would go on to play in 90 games for the Mets and was one of the teams most productive hitters.  He finished out the season hitting .348 with 5 home runs and 27 RBIs.  He was especially effective as a pinch hitter, he hit .383 (13 for 34).  Johnson’s most productive game came on August 17 when he went 4 for 4 with 2 RBIs.

Despite his success the Mets traded Johnson to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for Art Shamsky, who would become an integral part of the Mets 1969 World Championship team.

While with the Mets Johnson wore number’s 25 and 6.

Bob Johnson also played for the following teams:
Kansas City A’s – 1960
Washington Senators – 1961,1962
Baltimore Orioles – 1963-1967
Atlanta Braves – 1968
Cincinnati Reds – 1968
Oakland A’s – 1969,1970
St. Louis Cardinals – 1969

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Bill Connors – His New York Mets Career 1967,1968

Bill ConnorsThe Mets purchased the contract of right-handed pitcher Bill Connors from the Chicago Cubs on August 20, 1967.  Two days later he made his Mets debut against the Philadelphia Phillies.  He pitched 2 innings of relief and allowed 2 earned runs in the Mets 11-4 defeat.  Connors finished out the season with the Mets and appeared in 6 games, 5 out of the bullpen and 1 as a starter.  He posted a 0-0 record with a 6.23 ERA.  In his only start on September 2nd Connors pitched against his former club, the Chicago Cubs, and lasted only 4 innings and allowed 4 runs.  But the Mets bailed him out and eventually won the game 5-4.

Connors started the 1968 season in the Mets minor league system before joining the club at the end of July.  He would appear in 9 games, all out of the bullpen, posting a 0-1 record with a 9.00 ERA.  His only decision came on July 24 against the Atlanta Braves.  He gave up 2 runs in the bottom of 10th inning in the Mets 3-2 loss.

1968 would be his last season in the majors.  Connors spent two seasons pitching in the Mets minor league system before retiring as a player.  He would than become the Mets batting practice pitcher in 1971 before serving as a Mets minor league pitching coach from 1972-1976.

In 2 seasons as a with the Mets Connors appeared in 15 games with a 0-1 record and 7.67 ERA.

While with the Mets Connors wore number 38 in 1967 and numbers 33 and 45 in 1968.

Bill Connors also played for the Chicago Cubs in 1966.

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Nick Willhite – His New York Mets Career 1967

Nick WillhiteLeft-handed pitcher Nick Willhite was acquired from the California Angles in exchange for Jack Hamilton on June 10, 1967.  The following day he was the Mets starting pitcher against the Chicago Cubs, he allowed five runs over just two innings and suffered the loss.  Willhite would appear in three more games all out of the bullpen before the Mets cut ties with him.

In four games for the Mets Nick Willhite finished with a 0-1 record and 8.64 ERA in 8 1/3 innings.

While with the Mets Willhite wore number 29.

Nick Willhite also played for the following teams:
Los Angeles Dodgers – 1963-1966
Washington Senators – 1965
California Angels – 1967

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Joe Grzenda – His New York Mets Career 1967

Joe GrzendaThe Mets purchased the contract of left-handed reliever Joe Grzenda from the Kansas City A’s on August 14, 1967.  He made his Met debut the next day against the Philadelphia Phillies pitching two innings of scoreless relief in a game the Mets would lose 3-2 in 12 innings.  He would finish out the season with the Mets appearing in 11 games.  He posted a 0-0 record with a 2.16 ERA in 16 2/3 innings.

Following the season his contract was purchased by the Minnesota Twins.

While with the Mets Grzenda wore number 43.

Joe Grzenda also played for the following teams:
Detroit Tigers – 1961
Kansas City A’s – 1964,1966
Minnesota Twins – 1969
Washington Senators – 1970,1971
St. Louis Cardinals – 1972

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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.

Jack Lamabe – His New York Mets Career 1967

jack LamabeOn April 26, 1967, the Mets purchased the contract of Jack Lamabe, a right-handed journeyman pitcher, from the Chicago White Sox.  He made his Mets debut two days later pitching one inning of scoreless relief in the Mets 7-1 defeat at the hands of the Cincinnati Reds.  Lamabe would appear in 16 games for the Mets before being traded to the St. Louis Cardinals on July 16 in exchange for Al Jackson.

In his 16 appearances, all but two out of the bullpen, Lamabe posted an 0-3 record with a 3.98 ERA in 31 2/3 innings.  As a member of the Cardinals Lamabe pitched a complete game shutout against the Mets on August 28 and would go on to help the Cardinals win the 1967 World Series.

While with the Mets Lamabe wore number 34.

Jack Lamabe also played for the following teams:
Pittsburgh Pirates – 1962
Boston Red Sox – 1963-1965
Houston Astros – 1965
Chicago White Sox – 1966,1967
St. Louis Cardinals – 1967
Chicago Cubs – 1968

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