The Mets drafted Roy Staiger in the first round of the 1970 amateur draft with the 24th overall pick. He spent six seasons in the minors before making his Major League debut on September 12, 1975. As the starting 3rd baseman he went 0 for 4 as the Mets lost 5-1 to the St. Louis Cardinals. The next day he recorded his first big league hit, an 8th inning double. Overall Staiger appeared in 13 games for the Mets in 1975 and batted .158 (3 for 19).
Staiger spent the entire 1976 season with the Mets. He initially platooned with Wayne Garrett at 3rd base but when Garrett was traded in July he became the primary 3rd baseman. He appeared in 95 games and hit just .220 with 2 home runs and 26 RBIs. He was one of the Mets hottest hitters in the month of August when he hit .273 with 2 home runs and 12 RBIs. He hit his first home run on August 2 against the Montreal Expos.
He started the 1977 season with the Mets but struggled at the plate and was demoted to the minors in the beginning of June. At the time of his demotion his average was .231. Staiger returned to the Mets when rosters expanded in September. He appeared in a total of 40 games for the Mets in 1977 and batted .252 with 2 home runs and 11 RBIs.
Following the season, the Mets traded Staiger to the New York Yankees in exchange for Sergio Ferrer, it was the first trade ever between the two teams.
In 148 game Staiger hit .226 with 4 home runs and 37 RBIs.
While with the Mets Staiger wore number 35 in 1975 and number 2 in 1976 and 77.
Roy Staiger also played for the New York Yankees in 1979.
The Mets acquired catcher Jerry Grote, known more for his defense than his offense, from the Houston Colt 45’s on October 19, 1965 in exchange for Tom Parsons. He made his Met debut on Opening Day 1966 and would spend the next 12 seasons as the team’s primary catcher. In his first season with the Mets he hit just .237 with 3 home runs and 31 RBIs. He did deliver the game winning hit on June 12 with a pinch-hit single in the 11th inning against the Cincinnati Reds.
Grote hit a 2-run homer on Opening Day in 1967. It was one of the few highlights of the season as he struggled at the plate hitting just .195 with 4 home runs and 23 RBIs. The other highlight of his season was a 4 for 5 performance in the Mets 9-1 win over the Atlanta Braves on June 24.
Grote got off to fast start in 1968, hitting .333 over the first month of the season. He continued to show improvement at the plate and was named the starting catcher for the 1968 National League All-Star team. He ended the season with a .282 average with 3 home runs and 31 RBIs. But more importantly he helped groom the Mets young pitching staff of Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman and Nolan Ryan.
In 1969 Grote’s average dipped to .252 but he hit 6 home runs and drove in 40 runs both career bests. But it was his skills behind the plate which proved his value. He threw out 56.3% of would be base stealers, 2nd highest in the league. He also guided the Mets young pitching staff, a staff that led the league in shutouts with 16 and posted the 2nd lowest ERA in the league, 2.99, as the Mets shocked the world and won the 1969 World Series. In the World Series the Mets staff held the heavily favored Baltimore Orioles to a .146 batting average for the series. Grote also got a couple of key hits in the series. In game 2 his 9th inning single prolonged the Mets rally as they went on to win 2-1. In game 4 he led off the 10th inning with a double, he was replaced by pinch runner Rod Gaspar who eventually scored the winning run.
In 1970 he hit .255 with a 2 home runs and 34 RBIs and continued his strong play behind the plate leading the league in putouts with 855. On April 22 he set the Major League record for most putouts by a catcher in a game with 20, it was the game in which Tom Seaver struck out 20 batters. He also had a 4-hit performance in the Mets 7-5 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on July 8.
He put up similar numbers in 1971 batting .270 with 2 home runs and 35 RBIs while once again leading all catchers in putouts with 892. He also led the team in doubles with 25. On May 3 he recorded 4 hits and scored the winning run in the 11th inning against the Chicago Cubs.
Injuries limited him to just 64 games in 1972 and he hit just .210 with 3 home runs and 21 RBIs. However, he did have his only multi-homer game of his career on May 19, his 2 home runs helped propel the Mets to an 8-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.
Grote missed 2 months of action in 1973 with a fractured right arm. When he returned in the middle of July he helped the Mets capture the Eastern Division title. He finished the season with a .256 average with a home run and 32 RBIs. His one home run was a grand slam and helped the Mets defat the San Diego Padres 7-0 on August 15. He also had a 4-hit performance against the Cincinnati Reds on August 18. The Mets reached the World Series but lost to the Oakland A’s in seven games. Grote caught all 12 postseason games. He recorded 8 hits in the World Series and batted .267.
During the first half of the 1974 season he batted .287 with 4 home runs and 27 RBIs to earn his 2nd All-Star appearance. Injuries took their toll on Grote in the second half and he finished the season with a .257 average and 5 home runs and 36 RBIs.
In 1975 Grote hit a career best .295 with 2 home runs on 39 RBIs. On July 4 his pinch-hit home run in the 9th inning propelled the Mets to a 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. He also led all National League catchers with a .995 fielding percentage.
Grote hit .272 in 1976 with a 4 home runs and 28 RBIs. He enjoyed a 4-hit game on April 19 against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Grote saw diminished playing time in 1977 with the emergence of John Stearns as the team’s regular catcher. He appeared in 42 games. the lowest total of his Met career and batted .270 with 7 RBIs. The Mets traded him to the Los Angeles Dodgers on August 31 in exchange for a couple of minor leaguers.
In 12 seasons with the Mets Grote batted .256 with 35 home runs and 357 RBIs.
Though he never won a Gold Glove he was considered to be the best defensive catcher of his era. In fact Hall of Famer Johnny Bench, who many consider to be the greatest defensive catcher in history, once said of Grote, “If Grote and I were on the same team, I would be playing 3rd base.”
Jerry Grote was inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame in 1992.
While with the Mets Grote wore number 15.
Jerry Grote also played for the following teams:
Houston Colt 45’s = 1963,1964
Los Angeles Dodgers – 1977,1978, 1981
Kansas City Royals – 1981
Brooklyn native John Pacella was drafted by the Mets in the 4th round of the 1974 amateur draft. The right-handed pitcher spent 4 seasons in the minors before joining the Mets as a September call-up in 1977. He made his Major League debut on September 15 against the Philadelphia Phillies; he pitched the final two innings and allowed two unearned runs in the Mets 8-2 loss. He appeared in 2 more games and pitched a total of 4 innings and posted a 0.00 ERA.
After spending 1978 and 1979 seasons in the minors, Pacella got another September call-up in 1979. This time he appeared in 4 games, 3 as a starter, and posted a 0-2 record with a 4.41 ERA.
Pacella spent the entire 1980 season with the Mets. He appeared in 32 game splitting time between the bullpen and starting rotation. He finished with a 3-4 record and a 5.14 ERA. He earned his first career win on June 27 against the Philadelphia Phillies. As the starting pitcher he threw 6 innings and allowed 5 hits and 2 runs as the Mets won 3-2.
Pacella’s biggest claim to fame as a Met was that do to his unusual delivery and speed of which he threw the ball his hat would often fall of his head after a pitch.
Following the season Pacella was traded to the San Diego Padres along with Jose Moreno in exchange for Randy Jones.
In 39 career games for the Mets Pacella posted a 3-6 record with a 4.83 ERA.
While with the Mets Pacella wore number 20.
John Pacella also played for the following teams:
Minnesota Twins – 1982
New York Yankees – 1982
Baltimore Orioles – 1984
Detroit Tigers = 1986
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.
With two weeks left in the 1977 season the Mets were in desperate need of starting pitching and picked up Doc Medich off waivers from the Seattle Mariners. The right-handed pitcher would make one start for the Mets on September 29 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Medich pitched effectively for seven innings allowing 3 runs and 6 hits. But it was not enough as the Mets managed only 2 runs and Medich suffered the loss.
Medich signed with the Texas Rangers following the season ending his brief Mets career.
While with the Mets Medich wore number 22
Doc Medich also played for the following teams:
New York Yankees – 1972-1975
Pittsburgh Pirates – 1976
Seattle Mariners – 1977
Oakland A’s – 1977
Texas Rangers – 1978-1982
Milwaukee Brewers – 1982
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 New York Mets signed Luis Rosado as an amateur free agent in 1972.The native Puerto Rican was initially assigned to the Mets Rookie League team, the Marion Mets. He worked his way through the Met system eventually making his way to their Triple A affiliate, the Tidewater Tides. Along the way, he produced solid but unspectacular numbers primarily as a catcher while playing some first base.After six seasons in the minors Rosado finally got the call to big leagues as a September call up in 1977.
He made his Major League debut on September 8, 1977 as the Mets starting first baseman.He went 0-4 as the Mets lost to the Philadelphia Phillies 8-2.A few days later he got his first major league hit, a single off future Hall of Famer, Steve Carlton and would later score the only run of the game.Rosado would appear in nine games for the Mets in 1977, he hit .208 while driving in three runs.
Rosado returned to the Tidewater Tides in 1978 spending the next three years there before getting one more shot with the Mets in 1980.He appeared in two games for the Mets in the final week of the season going hitless in four at bats.
1980 would be Rosado’s last season in the Mets organization.He would spend a few years in the Mexican League before playing a couple of seasons in the Baltimore Orioles and Detroit Tigers organization.He retired from playing following the 1985 season.
His final numbers in 11 games with the New York Mets were a .179 average with 3 RBIs.
While with the Mets Rosado wore number 35 in 1977 and 58 in 1980.
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.