Brock Pemberton – His New York Mets Career 1974,1975

Brock PembetonAfter spending three seasons in the minors, first-baseman Brock Pemberton was called up to New York when rosters expanded in September 1974.  He made his Major League debut on September 10 against the Montreal Expos as a pinch hitter for pitcher Bob Apodaca, for the record he struck out.  The next day in the longest game in franchise history, he recorded his first big league hit, a 25th inning pinch hit single against the St. Louis Cardinals.  He would appear in 11 games for the Mets in 1974. He hit .182 (4 for 22) with one RBI.  His one RBI came on a pinch hit single on September 26 against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pemberton returned as a September call up in 1975 but went 0 for 2 in two pinch hit opportunities.

He spent the entire 1976 season with the Mets Triple A affiliate, the Tidewater Tides, before being traded to the St. Louis Cardinals long with Leon Brown for minor league Ed Kurpiel on December 9, 1976.

While with the Mets Pemberton wore number 2.

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Mac Scarce – His New York Mets Career 1975

mac scarceThe Mets acquired left-handed pitcher Mac Scarce in one of the more controversial trades in franchise history.  On December 3, 1974, the Mets traded Tug McGraw, who not only was a fan favorite but also a hero of their 1973 National League Championship team to the Philadelphia Phillies along with Don Hahn and Dave Schneck in exchange for John Stearns, Del Unser and Scarce. 

Mac Scarce’s Met career lasted just one batter and resulted in a Met loss.  On April 11, 1975, the Mets entered the 9th inning with a 3-0 lead.  But starter Jerry Koosman and reliever Rick Baldwin could not put the game away.  With the game tied and runners on first and second with one out Mac Scarce was brought in to pitch to Richie Hebner.  Hebner promptly singled to leftfield to drive in the winning run and just like that the Mets lost a heartbreaker. 

Four days later Mac Scarce was traded to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for fellow pitcher Tom Hall.

While with the Mets Scarce wore number 33.

Mac Scarce also played for the following teams:
Philadelphia Phillies – 1972-1974
Minnesota Twins – 1978

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Jerry Cram – His New York Mets Career 1974,1975

Jerry CramThe Mets acquired right-handed pitcher Jerry Cram from the Kansas City Royals in a minor league deal on February 1, 1973.  Cram would not make his Met debut until 1974 when he pitched 1 1/3 inning of scoreless relief on August 11 in the Mets 10-4 loss to the Cincinnati Reds.  He would finish out the season in the Mets bullpen appearing in 10 games and posting a 0-1 record with 1.61 ERA.  The highlight of his season occurred on September 11th against the St. Louis Cardinals. In a game that would go on for 25 innings, Cram pitched 8 scoreless innings.  However the Mets lost in the 25th inning 4-3.

Cram appeared in 4 games for the Mets in 1975 before being sent back to the minors.  In his 4 games he went 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA.

Following the season the Mets trade Cram back to the Kansas City Royals.  In 14 appearances over two seasons Cram posted an 0-2 record with a 2.30 ERA.

While with the Mets Cram wore number 38.

Jerry Cram also played for the Kansas City Royals in 1969 and 1976.

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Jesus Alou – His New York Mets Career 1975

Jesus AlouJesus Alou who enjoyed a solid career with the Giants, Astros and A’s was signed by the Mets as a free agent on April 12, 1975. Four days later he made his Mets debut when he pinch hit for Wayne Garrett against the St Louis Cardinals. He grounded out to second base.

Jesus Alou would play 62 games for the Mets in 1975 as a fourth outfielder and pinch hitter. In 102 at bats he hit .265 while driving in 11 runs. The Mets released him following the season.

While with the Mets Alou wore number 23. 

Jesus Alou also played for the following teams:
San Francisco Giants – 1963-1968
Houston Astros – 1969-1973, 1978,1979
Oakland A’s – 1973,1974

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Tom Hall – His New York Mets Career 1975,1976

Tom HallThe Mets acquired left-handed pitcher Tom Hall from the Cincinnati Reds on April 15, 1975 in exchange for Mac Scarce.  He made his Met debut the next day pitching two innings of scoreless relief in the Mets 3-2 loss to the St Louis Cardinals.  Hall would go on to pitch in 34 games for the Mets the rest of the season and finished with a 4-3 record with 1 save and 4.75 ERA.  Of his 34 appearances four were as a starter; he won two of his four starts. 

Hall returned to the Mets in 1976 but pitched in just five games before the Mets traded him to the Kansas City Royals on May 7. At the time of the trade his record was 1-1 with 5.79 ERA.

In 39 appearances over two seasons Tom Hall posted a 5-4 record with 1 save and 4.82 ERA

While with the Mets Hall wore number 42 in 1975 and 19 in 1976.

Tom Hall also played for the following teams:
Minnesota Twins – 1968-1971
Cincinnati Reds – 1972-1975
Kansas City Royals – 1976,1977

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Mickey Lolich – His New York Mets Career 1975

Mickey LolichThe New York Mets acquired Mickey Lolich from the Detroit Tigers along with Billy Baldwin in exchange for Rusty Staub and Bill Laxton on December 12, 1975.  The Mets thought they were getting an All-Star pitcher who had won 207 games over the previous 13 seasons including a 25 win season in 1971. Lolich was also a former World Series hero who helped the Tigers win the championship in 1968 by throwing three complete game victories.   Unfortunately, what they got was a pitcher on the downside of his career.

Mickey Lolich lost his first three games with the Mets to start the 1976 season before recording his first win, a complete game victory over the Atlanta Braves on April 26th.   At times Lolich showed glimpses of his former All-Star self throwing a two hit compete game shutout on June 29th against the Cardinals and a three-hit shutout against the Braves on July 18th.  But for the most part he struggled throughout the season finishing with an 8-13 record with 3.22 ERA in 192 2/3 innings over 31 starts.

Following the season Mickey Lolich retired from baseball.  But after sitting out the 1977 season he returned to pitch two seasons for the San Diego Padres.

While with the Mets Lolich wore number 29.

Mickey Lolich also played for the following teams:
Detroit Tigers – 1963-1975
San Diego Padres – 1977,1978

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John Stearns – His New York Mets Career 1975-1984

John StearnsAcquired from the Philadelphia Phillies prior to the 1975 season along with Del Unser and Mac Scarce in exchange for Tug McGraw, Don Hahn and Dave Schneck, John Stearns would go on to catch 678 games in a Met uniform (4th most in team history) and be selected to four different All-Star teams.    The heart and soul of some pretty bad Met teams; Stearns never let the Mets place in the standings affect his play. 

After two seasons serving as backup to Jerry Grote, Stearns became the Met fulltime catcher in 1977.  He took full advantage of the situation, leading the team with 25 doubles and tying for the team lead with 12 home runs.  For his efforts, he was selected to be the Mets lone representative in the All-Star game.  He continued his strong play in 1978 and even broke the National League record for most stolen bases by a catcher in a season with 25.  Stearns would play four more season as the Mets catcher, earning three more All-Star appearances in 1979, 1980 and 1982, before a rash of injuries took their toll forcing him to cut his career short just as the Mets had turned the corner and became one of the top teams in the league.  

During his 10 years with the Mets Stearns hit .259 with 46 HR’s and 312 RBI’s.  Stearns would return to the Mets in 2000 and 2001 serving as a coach.  He also spent two seasons managing in the Mets minor league system, 2003 with the Binghamton Mets and 2004 with the Norfolk Tides.

While with the Mets Stearns wore number 16 in 1975 and 1976 and number 12 from 1977-1984.

John Stearns also played for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1974.

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Dave Kingman – His New York Mets Career 1975-1977,1981-1984

Dave KingmanDave Kingman was purchased from the San Francisco Giants prior to the 1975 season.   With the Mets in 1975 he quickly became a fan favorite and earned the nickname “Sky King” due in large part to his ability to hit tape measure home runs.  Kingman homered in his first game as a Met on Opening Day and would go on to set the Mets single season home run record with 36 round trippers.   But when he wasn’t hitting home runs he was striking out.  For the season, he hit just .231 while striking out 153 times but did drive in 88 runs, second most on the team to Rusty Staub.

Kingman followed up his first season with a similar one in 1976.  He bested his own home run record with 37 and was selected to his first All-Star team as the starting right fielder.  But like 1975 he hit just .238 and continued to rack up the strikeouts. 

After starting out the 1977 season with a .209 average Kingman was traded to the San Diego Padres in exchange for Bobby Valentine and Paul Siebert at the June 15th trading deadline.  It was the same day the Mets traded Tom Seaver in what became known as the “Midnight Massacre” to Mets fans.

Prior to the 1981 season Dave Kingman was traded back to the Mets from the Chicago Cubs as the organization attempted to appease their disgruntled fan base by bringing back some old fan favorites.   In his first season, back in New York Kingman hit 22 home runs but also led the league in strikeouts.  In 1982, he became the first player in franchise history to lead the league in home runs by hitting 37. But he also led the league in strikeouts with 156 and hit just .204 which was the lowest average for any single season home run leader in baseball history.  Kingman returned to the Mets in 1983 but when the Mets acquired first baseman Keith Hernandez at the trading deadline Kingman was relegated to the bench and used primarily as pinch hitter.  He hit just .198 with 13 home runs and 29 RBIs. 

The Mets released Kingman following the season.  During his Met career, he hit just .219 with 154 home runs and 389 RBIs.  At the time of his release he was the franchise’s all-time leader in home runs. 

While with the Mets Kingman wore number 26. 

Dave Kingman also played for the following teams:
San Francisco Giants – 1971-1974
California Angels – 1977
New York Yankees – 1977
San Diego Padres – 1977
Chicago Cubs – 1978-1980

Oakland A’s – 1984-1986

Del Unser – His New York Mets Career 1975-1976

Del UnserThe Mets acquired Del Unser from the Philadelphia Phillies along with John Stearns and Mac Scarce in exchange for Tug McGraw, Don Hahn and Dave Schneck on December 3, 1974.

A steady and reliable hard-nosed player Unser quickly became a fan favorite as the Mets everyday centerfielder.  After hitting .300 for most of the season he finished the season with a .294 average, the highest on the team.  He also hit 10 home runs and drove in 52.  His best day of the season came on July 29th; he went 4-6 with three RBIs. 

Unser returned to the Mets in 1976 but struggled at the plate.  With his average at just .228 the Mets traded him to the Montreal Expos in the middle of July.  He was traded with Wayne Garrett in exchange for Pepe Mangual and Jim Dwyer.  

In his one and a half seasons with the Mets Unser hit .271 with 15 home runs and 78 RBIs. 

While with the Mets Unser wore 25. 

Del Unser also played for the following teams:
Washington Senators – 1968-1971
Cleveland Indians – 1972
Philadelphia Phillies – 1973,1974, 1979-1982
Montreal Expos – 1976-1978

Ken Sanders – His New York Mets Career 1975,1976

Ken SAndersThe Mets acquired right-handed reliever Ken Sanders from the California Angels on March 22, 1975 in exchange for Ike Hampton.  Sanders was a journeyman relief pitcher who once led the American League in saves; in 1971 with the Milwaukee Brewers he saved 31 games.

Sanders started the 1975 season pitching in the minors for the Tidewater Tides before getting called up at the end of June.  He made his Met debut on June 29 against the Philadelphia Phillies; he allowed 1 run and 2 hits.  Sanders finished the season with the Mets and pitched fairly affectively out of their bullpen.  He appeared in 29 games and posted a 1-1 record with 5 saves and a 2.30 ERA.  He did spend a brief time on the disabled list due to a freak injury.  During his warm-up pitches he lost the return throw from catcher John Stearns and was hit in the right eye with the ball.

Sanders spent the 1976 season with the Mets and pitched to similar results.  He appeared in 31 games and finished the season with a 1-2 record with 1 save and a 2.87 ERA.  The Mets sold Sanders to the Kansas City Royals on September 17.   The Royals were in need of an extra arm as they made a push to reach the postseason.  

Over two seasons with the Mets Sanders appeared in 60 games and posted a 2-3 record with 6 saves and a 2.60 ERA.

While with the Mets Sanders wore number 33.

Ken Sanders also played for the following teams:
Kansas City A’s – 1964,1966
Boston Red Sox – 1966
Oakland A’s – 1968
Milwaukee Brewers – 1970-1972
Cleveland Indians – 1973,1974
Minnesota Twins – 1973
California Angels – 1974
Kansas City Royals – 1976