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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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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