Drafted by the Mets in the 9th round of the 1971 amateur draft right-handed pitcher Rick Baldwin spent 4 seasons in the minors before making his Major League debut in 1975. Baldwin made his debut in the second game of the 1975 season; he pitched a scoreless 8th inning in the Mets 3-2 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. He would go on to lead the Mets in appearances in 1975 with 54, all out of the bullpen, while posting a 3-5 record with 6 saves and a 3.33 ERA. His first career win came on April 17 when he pitched the final 5 2/3 innings in the Mets 14-7 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. He earned his first career save in the second game of a doubleheader on April 20 when he pitched the final three innings in the Mets 4-3 win over the Chicago Cubs.
Baldwin started the 1976 season in the minors before getting called up at the end of May. He made 6 relief appearances before being sent back down. He returned when rosters expanded in September and pitched in another 5 games to end season. For the year he went 0-0 with a 2.38 ERA in 22 2/3 innings.
In 1977 he was again started the season in the minors before being recalled at the end of May. He made his 1977 debut on May 24 and went onto appear in 40 games posting a 1-2 record with 1 save and a 4.45 ERA. His only victory came on June 21 when he pitched a scoreless 11th inning before the Mets scored 3 runs in the bottom of the inning against the Atlanta Braves. His only save came during the last game of the season against the St. Louis Cardinals. It would be his last appearance for the Mets as well as for his career. He was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 1977 expansion draft but never made their Major League roster.
In 105 games for the Mets he went 4-7 with 7 saves and a 3.60 ERA.
Typical 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.
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
The Mets selected left-handed pitcher Bob Myrick in the 20th round of the 1974 amateur draft. He made his Major League debut on May 28, 1976 pitching a 1/3 of an inning in the Mets 6-0 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. He than would go on to appear in 21 games, all but one out of the bullpen, and posted a 1-1 record with a 3.25 ERA. He earned his first career win on July 27 when he pitched three innings of scoreless relief in the Mets 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. In his only start of the season on September 28 against the Montreal Expos, he suffered the loss. He lasted just 3 1/3 innings and allowed 4 runs only 2 of which were earned.
Myrick spent the entire 1977 season and appeared in 44 games, 4 as a starter. He posted a 2-2 record with 2 saves and a 3.61 ERA. He earned his first win of the season on August 5 when he pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings in the Mets 3-2 win over the San Francisco Giants. His first career save came on September 18 against the Chicago Cubs. In his 4 starts he went 0-1 with a a 7.63 ERA.
Myrick started the 1978 season with the Mets and appeared in 17 games all out of the bullpen and posted an 0-3 record with a 3.28 ERA. He was demoted to the minors at the end of May and finished the season pitching for the Tidewater Tides where he posted a 4-8 record with a 3.83 ERA.
He once again pitched in the minors in 1979 for the Tidewater Tides before being traded to the Texas Rangers on June 15 along with Mike Bruhert in exchange for Dock Ellis.
In three seasons for the Mets Myrick appeared in 82 games and posted a 3-6 record with 2 saves and a 3.48 ERA.
Billy Baldwin was acquired from the Detroit Tiger along with Mickey Lolich in exchange for Rusty Staub and Bill Laxton on December 12, 1975.The outfielder spent the 1976 season with the Tidewater Tides, the Mets top farm club, before being brought up to New York when the rosters expanded in September. With the Tides he batted .271 with 17 home runs and 72 RBIs.
Baldwin made his Met debut on September 4, 1976 when he pinch hit for pitcher Nino Espinosa.His sacrifice fly extended the Mets lead over the Phillies to 5-3.The Mets would win the game 7-3.
The highlight of Baldwin’s brief stint with the Mets occurred on September 24th when he hit a pinch hit walk off home run to defeat the Chicago Cubs 4-3.
1976 would be Billy Baldwin’s last appearance in the majors, he remained in the organization playing in the minors before being released before the 1979 season.
In 9 games for the Mets Baldwin batted .273 with one home run and 5 RBIs.
While with the Mets Baldwin wore number 21.
Billy Baldwin also played for the Detroit Tigers in 1975.
The Mets acquired outfielder Jim Dwyer along with Pepe Mangual from the Montreal Expos on July 21, 1976 in exchange for Wayne Garrett and Del Unser.Dwyer made his Met debut on July 23rd as a pinch hitter for Bud Harrelson and singled.He would go on to appear in 11 games for the Mets, mostly as a pinch hitter and batted .154 (2 for 13).
Following the season Dwyer was involved in a three-team trade that saw him wind up with the Chicago Cubs.
While with the Mets Dwyer wore number 25.
Jim Dwyer also played for the following teams:
St. Louis Cardinals – 1973-1975, 1977,1978
Montreal Expos – 1975,1976,1989
San Francisco Giants – 1978
Boston Red Sox – 1979,1980
Baltimore Orioles – 1981-1988
Minnesota Twins – 1988-1990
On July 21, 1976, the Mets acquired outfielder Pepe Mangual from the Montreal Expos along with Jim Dwyer in exchange for Wayne Garrett and Del Unser.That same day Mangual made his Met debut as their starting centerfielder and leadoff hitter and went 1 for 4.Over his next two games he went 4 for 8 with 5 RBIs, but that was the highlight of his season for the Mets as he struggled the rest of the way.He appeared in 41 games and batted just .186 with a home run and 9 RBIs.His only home run came during the last game of the season.
Mangual spent the 1977 season in the minors with the Tidewater Tides where he hit .252 before getting called up in September.He played in 8 games for the Mets and batted just .143 (1 for 7) with 2 RBIs.
In 1978, he returned to the minors where he spent half the season with Tidewater before moving on to the California Angels organization.In 49 games for the Mets over two seasons Mangual batted .183 with a home run and 11 RBIs.
While with the Mets Mangual wore number 11 in 1976 and 21 in 1977.
Pepe Mangual also played for the Montreal Expos from 1972-1976.
The 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
Acquired 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.
Dave 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
The 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