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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Brent Strom – His New York Mets Career 1972

Brent StromThe Mets drafted left-handed pitcher Brent Strom with the third overall pick in the 1970 amateur draft. Two years later he made his Major League debut on July 31, 1972.  As the starting pitcher against the Montreal Expos he allowed one earned run over 6 2/3 innings but earned a no-decision as the Mets won 4-2.  He made four more starts, losing three of them, before being moved to the bullpen where he finished out the season.  Overall, he pitched in 11 games and posted a 0-3 record with a 6.82 ERA. 

Following the season the Mets traded Strom to the Cleveland Indians along with Bob Rauch in exchange for Phil Hennigan.

While with the Mets Strom wore number 40.

Brent Strom also played for the following teams:
Cleveland Indians – 1973
San Diego Padres – 1975-1977

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Rusty Staub – His New York Mets Career 1972-1975, 1981-1985

Rusty StaubOne of the most popular players in franchise history Rusty Staub had two successful stints with the Mets.  The Mets first acquired Staub from the Montreal Expos on April 6, 1972 in exchange for Tim Foli, Mike Jorgensen and Ken Singleton.

Staub singled in his first at bat as a Met on April 15, 1972 but injuries limited him to just 66 games for the season. But he did manage to hit .293 with 9 home runs and 38 RBIs. In 1973 he played an integral part as the Mets won the National League Eastern Division by hitting .279 with 15 home runs and 76 RBIs, the most on the team, while also setting a franchise record with 36 doubles. But it was in the postseason where he cemented his legacy in Met history. In the NLCS against the Cincinnati Reds Staub hit 3 home runs, 2 in game 3game 3, and drove in 5 runs as the Mets upset the Reds in 5 games to win the National League Pennant. Unfortunately, he also injured his shoulder when he crashed into the outfield wall. The injury hampered his ability to throw but not his ability to hit. In the World Series against the Oakland A’s, Staub was the Mets leading hitter with a .423 average and also led the team with 6 RBIs. In game 4 he hit a home run and drove in 5 runs as the Mets won 6-1 to even the series at 2 games apiece.  Unfortunately, it was not enough as the Mets lost the series in 7 games.

Rusty had a very similar season in 1974 once again leading the team in RBIs with 78 but hit just .258. 1975 turned out to be his best season with the Mets, he set a franchise record with 105 RBIs, a record that would stand for 15 seasons until Darryl Strawberry broke it with 108 in 1990.

Despite his success the Mets traded Staub to the Detroit Tigers in the offseason along with minor leaguer Bill Laxton in exchange for pitcher Mickey Lolich and outfielder Billy Baldwin.

It was a trade the Mets would come to regret as Staub went on to become one of the most productive run producers while Lolich had a mediocre season for the Mets and then retired.

Rusty returned to the Mets in 1981 as a free agent and would play 5 seasons with the Mets before retiring after the 1985 season.  In his first season back with the Mets Staub played first base and hit .317 with 5 home runs and 21 RBIs.  In 1982 he served as a player/coach and split time between the outfield and first base but hit just .242 with 3 home runs and 28 RBIs. 

From 1983 to 1985 Staub served primarily as a pinch hitter and became the most preeminent pinch hitter in the league.

In 1983 he tied the Major League record for most consecutive pinch hits with eight. He also tied the single season Major League record with 25 pinch hit RBI’s. In 1984 Staub hit just one home run, but that one home run put him in exclusive company as he became just the second player to hit a home run before his 20th birthday and after his 40th birthday, the other player was Hall of Famer ty Cobb.

Rusty Staub retired following the 1985 season. In his 9 seasons with the Mets Staub appeared in 942 games and hit .276 with 75 home runs and 399 RBIs.  He was inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame in 1986.

Following his playing career Staub spent 10 seasons in the Mets broadcast booth

While with the Mets Staub wore number 4 from 1972 to 1975 and number 10 from 1981 to 1985.

Rusty Staub also played for the following teams:
Houston Astros – 1963-1968
Montreal Expos – 1969-1971, 1979
Detroit Tigers – 1976-1979
Texas Rangers – 1980

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Jim Beauchamp – His New York Mets Career 1972,1973

Jim BeauchampThe Mets acquired Jim Beauchamp as part of a multi=player trade with the St Louis Cardinals following the 1971. The Mets also acquired Harry Parker, Chuck Taylor and Tom Coulter in exchange for Art Shamsky, Rich Folkers, Jim Bibby and Charlie Hudson. Beauchamp was a journeyman outfielder/first baseman who would spend two seasons with the Mets as a pinch hitter and part time player.

In his first season with the Mets he hit .242 with 5 home runs and 19 RBIs. His best game of the season came on August 21, which also happened to be his birthday, when he hit two home runs against the Houston Astros. In 1973 his was used almost exclusively as a pinch hitter, he started only seven games and hit .279 with no home runs and 14 RBIs. During the month of September Beauchamp had two big pinch hits in games against the Pittsburgh Pirates which led to important wins as the Mets went on to win the National League’s Eastern division.

The Mets won the National League Pennant in 1973 and Beauchamp made four pinch hit appearances in World Series but went 0-4.

Following the season, the Mets released Beauchamp thus ending his Major League career. In his two seasons with the Mets he hit .254 with 5 home runs and 33 RBIs.

While with the Mets Beauchamp initially wore number 24 but gave it up when the Mets acquired a player by the name of Willie Mays. He than switched to number 5.

Jim Beauchamp also played for the following teams:
St. Louis Cardinals – 1963, 1970, 1971
Houston Astros – 1964,1965, 1970
Milwaukee Braves – 1965
Atlanta Braves = 1967
Cincinnati Reds – 1968,1969

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Bill Sudakis – His New York Mets Career 1972

Bill SudakisThe Mets purchased the contract of Bill Sudakis from the Los Angeles Dodgers on March 27,1972.  He started the season in the minors before getting called up in July.  He made his Met debut on July 11 against the San Francisco Giants as the starting first baseman, he went 0 for 3 with a walk in the Mets 6-1 loss.  He appeared in seven more games before being sent back to the minors.  At the time, he was hitting .080 (2 for 25).  He did drive in both runs in the Mets 2-1 victory on July 15 against the San Diego Padres.

Sudakis returned to the Mets when rosters expanded in September.  He appeared in 10 games as both a pinch hitter and catcher.  On September 22, he hit his only home run as a Met, a three-run shot against the Philadelphia Phillies however the Mets lost 5-4.

Following the season, he was traded to the Texas Rangers for minor leaguer Bill McNulty.

In 18 games Sudakis batted .143 with a home run and 7 RBIs.

While with the Mets Sudakis wore number 9.

Bill Sudakis also played for the following teams:
Los Angeles Dodgers – 1968-1971
Texas Rangers – 1973
New York Yankees – 1974
Cleveland Indians – 1975
California Angels -1975

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Bob Rauch – His New York Mets Career 1972

Bob RauchRight-handed pitcher Bob Rauch made his Major League debut with the Mets on June 29,1972.  Facing the Philadelphia Phillies, he pitched one inning, allowed 2 hits, 2 walks and a run as the Mets lost 9-4.  He would go on to pitch in 19 games, all out of the bullpen, and posted a 0-1 record with 1 save and 5.00 ERA.  His only save came on September 10 against the St. Louis Cardinals.  He entered the game in the 9th inning with the bases loaded and 1 out and retired the final two batters to secure the 3-2 victory.

Following the season, he was traded to the Cleveland Indians along with Brent Strom for Phil Hennigan.

While with the Mets Rauch wore number 44.

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Lute Barnes – His New York Mets Career 1972,1973

Lute barnesThe New York Mets selected Lute Barnes in the 21st round of the amateur draft in 1969 out of Oregon State University. The middle infielder toiled in the Mets minor league system until finally getting the call to the big club in 1972. He made his Major League debut on August 6th against the Chicago Cubs, replacing Ken Boswell at 2nd base in the seventh inning. In his first at bat an inning later, he singled off Steve Hamilton to drive home Teddy Martinez to score the eleventh run in the Mets 12 to 2 victory. Barnes finished out the season with the Mets playing both 2nd base and shortstop hitting .236 in 72 at bats. On September 12th against the Philadelphia Phillies Barnes had his biggest day at the plate with two hits including a two-run triple.

Barnes returned to the minors in 1973 spending the entire season with the Mets AAA affiliate the Tidewater Tides before returning to the show as a September call up. He appeared in three games for the Mets in 1973 getting one hit in two at bats.

Barnes started the 1974 season with Tidewater before being released in the middle of the season. In 27 games with the Mets over two seasons Barnes hit .243 with seven RBI’s.

While with the Mets Barnes wore number 1.

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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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Joe Nolan – His New York Mets Career 1972

joe nolanThe Mets drafted catcher Joe Nolan in the 2nd round of the 1969 amateur draft.  He spent four seasons in the Mets minor league system before getting the call as a September call-up in 1972.  He made his Major League debut on September 21 as the Mets starting catcher and went 0 for 4.  He would appear in three more games for the Mets but failed to get a hit in 10 plate appearances.  Nolan returned to the minors in 1973 and spent the next two seasons playing for the Tidewater Tides, the Mets Triple A affiliate. 

The Mets finally cut ties with Nolan in 1975 when they traded him to the Atlanta Braves for Leo Foster.  After leaving the Mets Nolan would go on to enjoy a ten-year Major League career.

While with the Mets Nolan wore number 35.

Joe Nolan also played for following teams:

Atlanta Braves – 1975, 1977-1980
Cincinnati Reds – 1980,1981
Baltimore Orioles – 1982-1985



Tommy Moore – His New York Mets Career 1972,1973

Tommy MooreAfter spending 4 seasons in the minors right-handed pitcher Tommy Moore made his Major League debut with the Mets as a September call up in 1972.  In his first game on September 15 against the Chicago Cubs, he pitched 3 innings of relief and gave up 3 earned runs in the Mets 9-3 defeat.  He would pitch in 2 more games, one in relief and one as a starter.  In his only start on October 2nd against the Montreal Expos, he pitched 7 1/3 innings and allowed one earned run but was credited with a no-decision in the Mets 2-1 victory.

Moore started the 1973 season in the minors before being recalled in May.  He made 2 relief appearances before getting the call to start on May 28 against the San Francisco Giants, but he lasted just a 1 1/3 innings and allowed 5 runs, 4 of which were earned.  It would be his last appearance as pitcher for the Mets.   His last appearance in a Met uniform occurred on June 3rd when he pinch ran for catcher Jerry May.

After spending the remainder of the 1973 season and all of 1974 in the minors, Moore was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals along with Ray Sadecki for Joe Torre.

In 6 appearances as pitcher over 2 seasons Moore posted an 0-1 record with 4.60 ERA.

While with the Mets Moore wore number 19 in 1972 and 39 in 1973.

Tommy Moore also played for the following teams:
Texas Rangers – 1975
St. Louis Cardinals – 1975
Seattle Mariners – 1977