Bud Harrelson – His New York Mets Playing Career 1965-1977

Bud HarrelsonTypical of the shortstops of his era, Bud Harrelson was diminutive player with a strong glove and weak bat who anchored the Mets infield for 13 seasons.

Harrelson made his Major League debut on September 2, 1965 as pinch runner in the Mets 4-3 loss to the Houston Astros.  He appeared in 19 games and hit just .108 (4 for 37). He recorded his first league hit on September 19, a first inning single against the Chicago Cubs

He started the 1966 season in the minors before joining the Mets in August.  He appeared in 33 games and batted .222 with 4 RBIs.

1967 would be Harrelson’s first full season in the majors as the Mets everyday shortstop, a role he would remain in for the next decade.  He initially struggled as the everyday shortstop committing 21 errors over the first two months.  He settled down and committed just 11 over the next four months.  He hit .254 with a home run and 28 RBIs.   His first career home run came on August 17 against the Pittsburgh Pirates, it was an inside the park job that tied the score in the 8th inning in a game the Mets would win 6-5.

Injuries and a military obligation limited Harrelson to 111 games in 1968.  He hit just .219 with 14 RBIs.  He did finish with a .972 fielding percentage, the 3rd highest in the league.

During the Mets World Championship season in 1969, he solidified the Mets infield, taking away would be hits and turning double plays.  He hit .248 with 24 RBIs.  He was the offensive hero in the Mets 6-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on April 15.  He went 3 for 4 with 3 RBIs.  He also drove in the winning run with a walk-off single in the 10th inning on May 28.  On September 23 he once again hit a walk off single to win the game, this time in the 11th inning against future Hall of Famer Bob Gibson.

During the postseason he hit .182 with 3 RBIs in the NLCS against the Atlanta Braves.   In the World Series he hit .176 with 2 RBIs against the Baltimore Orioles but his stellar defense played a huge role as the Mets went on to shock the world and win their first championship.

Harrelson got off to a fast start in 1970.  He started off with a 6-game hitting streak and hit safely in 30 of his first 35 games.  During that stretch he hit his second career home run and the first that actually cleared the fence, a solo shot in the Mets 6-0 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on April 17.   He earned his first All-Star game selection and had a 54-game errorless streak from June until August.  For the season he hit .243 with a career best 42 RBIs.

In 1971 he earned his 2nd All-Star game selection, this time as the starting shortstop, and won his 1st and only Gold Glove Award.   He had a 10-game hitting streak in April and a 12-game streak in May.  On May 15 he went 4 for 5 with 3 RBIs in the Mets 9-5 win over the Pirates.  He had another 4-hit performance on August 5 against the Atlanta Braves, he drove in the only run as the Mets lost 2-1.  He finished with a .252 average and 32 RBIs.     

Injuries limited Harrelson to 115 games in 1972, he hit .215 with a home run and 24 RBIs.  He did lead the team in stolen bases with 12 and on base percentage with .313.

Injuries once again limited Harrelson in 1973, he appeared in just 106 games.  He was hitting .268 on June 4 when he was lost for a month with a fractured hand.  During the month of September, he hit safely in 22 of 27 games and batted .280 as he helped the Mets win the Eastern Division Title.  He finished the season with a career best .258 average with 20 RBIs.


Bud Harrelson and Pete Rose Fight During Game 3 of the 1973 NLCS

During the 1973 NLCS against the Cincinnati Reds he hit just .167 (3 for 18) with 2 RBIs as the Mets won the series in 5 games.  But he is most remembered for his actions in game 3.  With the Mets leading 9-2 in the 5th inning and on the verge of taking a 2-1 series lead a frustrated Pete Rose slid hard into Harrelson with what some consider a cheap slide trying to break up a double play.  Harrelson got up into Rose’s face and the next thing all hell broke loose as the two players got in a fight which eventually led to both benches being emptied.  When order was restored neither player was ejected but Met fans began got throw objects at Rose when he took his position in leftfield.  The game had to be halted and the Mets were told by the league office that they would have to forfeit if order was not restored.  Many Met players pleaded with the fans who eventually relented, and the Mets went on to win the game and the series.


The Mets lost the 1973 World Series in 7 games to the Oakland A’s with Harrelson hitting .250 with an RBI.

Harrelson got off to a fast start in 1974 recording three hits on Opening Day and hitting safely in 13 of his first 20 games.  He was hitting .279 at the end of April but injuries once again took their toll and he hit just .227 for the season with a home run and 13 RBIs.   He missed a majority of the 1975 season with a knee injury, appearing in only 34 games and batting just .219 with 2 home runs.

He rebounded slightly in 1976, hitting .234 in 118 games with a home run and 26 RBIs.  He struggled for the entire 1977 season and hit just .178 for the season and following the season the Mets decided to part ways with Harrelson by trading him to the Philadelphia Phillies. 

In 13 seasons and 1,322 game Harrelson batted .234 with 6 home runs and 242 RBIs.

Following his playing career Harrelson would go on to become a coach for the Mets in 1982 and 1985-1990.  He also managed the Mets in 1990 and 1991.

In 1986 he was inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame.

While with the Mets Harrelson wore number 3.

Bud Harrelson also played for the following teams:
Philadelphia Phillies – 1978,1979
Texas Rangers – 1980

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J. C. Martin His New York Mets Career 1968,1969

JC MartinThe Mets acquired catcher J.C. Martin from the Chicago White Sox along with minor leaguer Billy Southworth in exchange for Ken Boyer and Sandy Alomar on November 27, 1967. Martin made his Met debut as their Opening Day catcher in 1968 against the San Francisco Giants.  He went 1 for 4 as the Mets lost 4-3.  He also fractured his finger which forced him to miss a month of playing time.  When he returned to action in May he served as the backup catcher to Jerry Grote.  He appeared in 78 games and batted .225 with 3 home runs and 31 RBIs. 

Martin returned in 1969 and served in the same capacity as 1968.  In the Mets Miracle Word Championship season, he hit .209 with 4 home runs and 21 RBIs. 

In the National League Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves he pinch hit twice. In game number one he singled and drove in two runs to cap a 5 run rally in the 8th inning to help solidify the Mets 9-5 win. 

Martin made one pinch hit appearance in the World Series against the Baltimore Orioles.  His one at bat was one of the most memorable and controversial plays of the series.  It came in the 10th inning of game 4 with the game tied at 1.  With Rod Gaspar on second base representing the winning run Martin laid down on a perfect sacrifice bunt.  As he was running to first Oriole pitcher Pete Richert’s throw hit Martin on the left wrist and the ball ricocheted into foul territory.  Gaspar rounded third and scored the winning run.  The Orioles argued that Martin was out of the base line, but the umpires disagreed, and the Mets had a 3 games to 1 lead in the series.  The Mets won the next day and won the first World Series title in franchise history.

Martin’s bunt in the World Series turned out to be his last appearance in a Mets uniform as he was traded to the Chicago Cubs in the offseason in exchange for minor leaguer Randy Bobb.

In 144 games over two seasons Martin hit .219 with 7 home runs and 52 RBIs.

While with the Mets Martin wore number 9.

J.C, Martin also played for the following teams:
Chicago White Sox – 1959-1967
Chicago Cubs – 1970-1972

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Les Rohr – His New York Mets Career 1967,1968,1969

Les RohrLes Rohr is known for three things in Met history, he was the first player selected by the Mets in the 1965 amateur draft, he was the losing pitcher in the longest game in Met history (at the time), and he was the first and currently the only Met player born in England.

In the first ever amateur draft by Major League Baseball in 1965, left-handed pitcher Les Rohr was selected #2 overall by the New York Mets. However, he never lived up to his potential and appeared in just six games in three seasons for the Mets.

Rohr would not make his Met debut until 1967 when he was called up in September. On September 19th, Rohr took the mound as the Mets starting pitcher and earned his first win against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He pitched six innings and allowed three runs in the Mets 6-3 victory. He would lose his next start against the Houston Astros, but finished out the season by shutting out the Dodgers 5-0 and out pitching future Hall of Famer Don Drysdale. Unfortunately, it would be his last win in a major league uniform.

Rohr started the 1968 season with the Mets. He made his season debut on April 15th, pitching the final 2 1/3 innings of a 24-inning game against the Houston Astros, at the time the longest game in franchise history. Rohr surrendered the only run of the game and suffered the loss. He appeared in one more game as a starter on April 21st and lasted just 3 2/3 innings and suffered the loss. After the game, he was shipped down to the minors where he stayed for the next two seasons before being recalled on September 19th, 1969. He pitched just 1 1/3 innings and allowed three earned runs in the Mets 8-2 defeat at the hands of the Pittsburgh Pirates. It would be Rohr’s last appearance as a major leaguer.

Rohr spent the 1970 season pitching in the Met minor league system splitting time between the Tidewater Tides and Memphis Blues before retiring. In six appearances for the Mets Rohr finished with a 2-3 record and 3.70 ERA in 24 1/3 innings.

While with the Mets Rohr wore number 31 in 1967 and 1968 and number 33 in 1969.

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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 9 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 2.   He also hit two three run home runs on 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 14.

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 Bud 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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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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Tommie Agee – His New York Mets Career 1968-1972

Tommie ageeOn December 15, 1967 the New York Mets acquired Tommie Agee along with Al Weis from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for Jack Fisher, Tommy Davis, Billy Wynne and Buddy Booker.

Tommie Agee who had three cups of coffee with the Cleveland Indians from 1962 to 1964 was named the American League Rookie of the Year in 1966 as a member of the White Sox.  But his production fell off the next season and the White Sox decided they had seen enough and shipped him to the Mets.  Though he struggled in his first season in New York (.217 average, 5 HRs and 17 RBIs), he turned out to a god send in helping the Mets win the 1969 World Series. 

In 1969 Tommie Agee got off to a strong start hitting two home runs during the third game of the season against the Montreal Expos, one of which was hit to section 48 of the upper deck in Shea Stadium.  He became the first and only player to hit a home run into the upper deck. Agee would go on to hit .271 while leading the Mets in home runs (26), RBI’s (76) and runs scored (97). 

Even though Agee had a brilliant regular season in 1969, it was his brilliant postseason performance which cemented his legacy in Mets history.  After hitting .357 with two home runs and four RBI’s in the National League Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves, Agee continued his superb play in the World Series against the Baltimore Orioles.

After the Mets split the first two games in Baltimore they returned home looking to win their first World Series title.  Tommie Agee led off game three of the series with a home run off of Baltimore ace and future Hall of Famer Jim Palmer to give the Mets an early 1-0 lead.  A lead they would not relinquish due in large part to the defensive heroics of Agee in centerfield.  Agee made two spectacular catches in centerfield saving at least five runs from scoring.  The Mets would win the game by a score of 5-0 and never looked back as they shocked the world and won their first World Series title.

Agee continued his stellar play in 1970 hitting a career best .286 while once again leading the Mets with 24 home runs and 75 RBIs.  In 1970 Agee also became the first player in franchise history to win a Gold Glove. 

In 1970 Agee also set the following franchise records, which have all since been broken:

Most At-bats – 636
Most Runs – 107
Most Hits –  182
Most Stolen Bases – 31
Most Total Bases – 298 

Though Agee still led the Mets in 1971 with 14 home runs, sharing the honor with Ed Kranepool and Cleon Jones, knee injuries affected his production in 1971 and 1972 prompting the Mets to trade him to the Houston Astros following the 1972 season.  for Rich Chiles and Buddy Harris.

He would go on to play for the Astros and Cardinals in 1973 but was released by the Los Angeles Dodgers prior to the 1974 season ending his playing career. 

In five seasons with the Mets Tommie Agee hit .262 with 82 home runs and 265 RBI’s in 661 games.  He also played 8 postseason games hitting .250 with 3 home runs and 5 runs batted in. 

Tommie Agee was inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame in 2002 but unfortunately was not able to enjoy the moment as he passed away in January 2001.

While with the Mets Agee wore number 20.

Tommie Agee also played for the following teams:
Cleveland Indians – 1962-1964
Chicago White Sox – 1965-1967
St, Louis Cardinals – 1973
Houston Astros – 1973

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Don Shaw – His New York Mets Career 1967, 1968

don-shawThe Mets drafted pitcher Don Shaw in the 35th round of the 1965 amateur draft.  After working his way through their minor-league system Shaw made his Major League debut on opening day in 1967, he pitched the 9th inning in the Mets 6-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates and gave up 2 hits and 1 run.  Shaw spent the rest of the season pitching out of the Mets bullpen and appeared in 40 games posting a 4-5 record with a 2.98 ERA. 

The Mets looked to trade Shaw during the off-season but he had become a favorite of general manager M. Donald Grant who blocked any trade.  Shaw spent the majority of the 1968 season in the minors but did manage to appear in 7 games for the Mets.  In 12 innings, he pitched to a 0.75 ERA.

Following the season the Mets left Shaw unprotected in the expansion draft and he was selected by the Montreal Expos.  In 47 games for the Mets over two seasons, Shaw won 4 and lost 5 while pitching to a 2.56 ERA.

On Opening Day 1969 Don Shaw was the winning pitcher in the Expos first ever game which just happened to be against the Mets.

While with the Mets Shaw wore number 35.

Don Shaw also played for the following teams:
Montreal Expos – 1969
St. Louis Cardinals – 1971,1972
Oakland A’s – 1972

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