Jerry Morales – His New York Mets Career 1980

Jerry MoralesJerry Morales was originally signed by the Mets as an amateur free agent in 1966.  After spending 3 seasons in their minor league system he was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 1969 expansion draft.  Morales returned to the Mets on October 31, 1979 when he was acquired along with Phil Mankowski from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for Richie Hebner

Morales singled in his first at-bat with the Mets on Opening Day 1980 against the Chicago Cubs.  He got off to a fast start with the Mets, hitting safely in his first 6 games while driving in 6 runs.  For the season Morales appeared in 94 games hitting .254 with 3 home runs and 30 RBIs. 

Some highlights of Morales’ season included driving in the winning run in the 10th inning on May 14 against the Cincinnati Reds.  On July 23rd against the Houston Astros he drove in the winning run with a sacrifice fly in the 9th inning.  He hit a home run in the Mets 4-3 win over the Montreal Expos on August 7th.  Three days later he hit another home run in the Mets 7-1 win also against the Montreal Expos.

Following the season Morales signed with the Chicago Cubs as a free agent.

While with the Mets Morales wore number 17.

Jerry Morales also played for the following teams:
San Diego Padres – 1969-1973
Chicago Cubs – 1974-1977,1981-1983
St. Louis Cardinals – 1978
Detroit Tigers – 1979

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Jose Cardenal – His New York Mets Career 1979,1980

Jose CardenalOn August 2, 1979, the Mets purchased the contract of Jose Cardenal from the Philadelphia Phillies between games of a doubleheader.  He was a member of the Phillies for game one and then the Mets for game two, though he did not appear in either game.  He made his Met debut on August 4 against the Montreal Expos as the team’s leadoff hitter and right fielder.  He went 2 for 4 with 2 doubles and an RBI as the Mets won 3-2.  He appeared in 10 more games and batted .297 with 2 home runs and 4 RBIs before a fractured hand ended his season.

Cardenal returned to the Mets in 1980 and appeared in 26 games, mostly as a pinch hitter and batted just .167 with 4 RBIs before being released on August 13. 

In 37 games over 2 seasons Cardenal batted .228 with 2 home runs and 8 RBIs.

While with the Mets Cardenal wore number 6.

Jose Cardenal also played for the following teams:
San Francisco Giants – 1963,1964
California Angels – 1965-1967
Cleveland Indians – 1968,1969
St. Louis Cardinals – 1970,1971
Milwaukee Brewers – 1971
Chicago Cubs – 1972-1977
Philadelphia Phillies – 1978,1979
Kansas City Royals – 1980

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Luis Rosado – His New York Mets Career 1977,1980

Luis RosadoThe 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.

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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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Pat Zachry – His New York Mets Career 1977-1982

Pat ZachryOn June 15, 1977, the New York Mets traded their most popular player in franchise history, Tom Seaver.  In return they received four players, Dan Norman, Doug Flynn, Steve Henderson and right-handed pitcher Pat Zachry. The year before Zachry had won the National League Rookie of the Year as a member of the Cincinnati Reds.  Zachry would pitch six seasons for the Mets but would never make Met fans forget Tom Seaver.

Pat Zachry made his Met debut on June 17, 1977 against the Houston Astros.  He pitched six innings and allowed four runs all but one earned and suffered the loss in the Mets 7-1 defeat.  Zachry would finish the season with a 7-6 record and 3.76 ERA in 19 starts.

In 1978 Zachry enjoyed his finest season with the Mets, he started out the season 10-4 and was named to the National League All-Star team, he did not appear in the game.  However, following the All-Star break Zachry was lost for the season when he fractured his foot.  The injury occurred on July 24 in a fit of rage.  After giving up a hit to Pete Rose to extend his hitting streak to 37 games, Zachry was pulled from the game.  When he reached the dugout he angrily attempted to kick a batting helmet but missed and kicked the dugout step instead and fractured his left foot.

In 1979, an elbow injury limited him to just 7 starts, though he did manage to post a 5-1 record.  In 1980 despite being named the National League pitcher of the month for July, a month that saw him go 4-0, he suffered through a 6-10 season though he did post a very respectable 3.01 ERA.  It would be the first of three straight losing seasons including a 1981 season in which he led the league with 14 losses.  During his final season with the Mets in 1982 he did flirt with pitching the first no-hitter in franchise history against the Chicago Cubs on April 10.  He lost his bid with two outs in the 8th inning.   It was the highlight of his season, a season which saw him lose his spot in the starting rotation.

Following the season the Mets traded Zachry to the Los Angeles Dodgers.  In his six seasons with the Mets Pat Zachry posted a 41-46 record with a 3.63 ERA.

While with the Mets Zachry wore number 40.

Pat Zachry also played for the following teams:
Cincinnati Reds – 1976,1977
Los Angeles Dodgers – 1983,1984
Philadelphia Phillies – 1985

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Butch Benton – His New York Mets Career 1978,1980

Butch BentonCatcher Butch Benton was drafted by the Mets in the first of round of the 1975 amateur draft (6th overall). However, he never lived up to expectations and spent the bulk of his Met career in the minors.

After spending four seasons in the minors Benton finally made his Major League debut on September 14, 1978 as a pinch hitter for pitcher Roy Lee Jackson, he flew out to centerfield.  He finished out the season with the Mets appearing in 4 games.  He batted .500 (2 for 4) with both of his hits coming on the last day of the season.

Benton wouldn’t return to the majors until the middle of the 1980 season.  He rejoined the Mets in July and went on to appear in 12 games.  He hit just .048 (1 for 21).

The Mets partied ways with Benton prior to the 1981 season selling him to the Chicago Cubs.  In parts of two seasons with the Mets the former number one pick appeared in 16 games and batted .120 (3 for 25).

While with the Mets Benton wore number 15 in 1978 and 19 in 1980.

Butch Benton also played for the Chicago Cubs in 1982 and the Cleveland Indians in 1985.

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Claudell Washington – His New York Mets Career 1980

Claudell WashingtonThe Mets acquired Claudell Washington from the Chicago White Sox on June 7, 1980.  He made his Mets debut four days later pinch hitting for pitcher Craig Swan, for the record he struck out.  The next day Washington became a regular member of the Mets outfield and enjoyed a solid season as one of the Mets best hitters.  In 79 games Washington hit .275 with 10 home runs and 42 RBIs.  On June 22 in just his seventh game as a Met Washington became the third player in franchise history to hit three home runs in a game.  In doing so he also joined Babe Ruth and Johnny Mize as the only players to hit three home runs in one game in both leagues having also accomplishing the feat with the White Sox in 1979. 

Following the season Claudell Washington signed as a free agent with the Atlanta Braves.

While with the Mets Washington wore number 15.

Claudell Washington also played for the following teams:
Oakland A’s – 1974-1976
Texas Rangers – 1977,1978
Chicago White Sox – 1978-1980
Atlanta Braves – 1981-1986
New York Yankees – 1986-1988,1990
California Angels – 1989,1990

Mario Ramirez – His New York Mets Career 1980

Mario RamirezAfter spending five seasons in the Mets minor league system utility infielder Mario Ramirez finally got the call to join the big club on April 25, 1980; he entered the game as a defensive replacement at second base.  Ramirez spent the rest of the season shuffling between New York and the Tidewater Tides, their AAA affiliate.  In total Ramirez appeared in 18 games for the Mets during the 1980 season and batted .208 (5 for 24).  His first career hit came on August 21st against the San Francisco Giants.

Following the season, the Mets lost Ramirez to the San Diego Padres in Rule 5 draft. 

While with the Mets Ramirez wore both number 3 and 61. 

Mario Ramirez also played for the San Diego Padres from 1981-1985.

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Scott Holman – His New York Mets Career 1980,1982,1983

Scott HolmanAfter spending four seasons in the Mets minor league system where he posted a 30 and 26 record mainly as a starter, Scott Holman was called up to the big club as a September call up in 1980.  He made his Major League debut on September 20th pitching one inning of scoreless relief in the Mets 9-6 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.  He would pitch in four games for the Mets in 1980 posting a 1.29 ERA in seven innings.

Scott Holman spent the entire 1981 season pitching for the Jackson Mets, the Mets double A affiliate where he posted a 4 and 9 record in 20 starts.  After posting a 10-8 record for the Tidewater Tides, the Mets Triple A affiliate, in 1982 Holman was called back to majors in September.  On September 17th, he made his first Major League start against the St Louis Cardinals.  Holman pitched four innings and allowed four runs and four hits to suffer the loss.  In his next start, he posted his first Major League victory by defeating the Chicago Cubs 5-2.  Than in his third start he posted his first complete game victory by defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-1.  Holman would finish the season with a 2-1 record and 2.36 ERA.  

Based in large part to his strong finish to the 1982 season Scott Holman spent the entire 83 season with the Mets splitting time between the starting rotation and the bullpen.  Though he posted a respectable 3.74 ERA in 101 innings he finished with a 1-7 record.  His only victory came on June 5th when he defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2 throwing 8 1/3 innings.

1983 would be his last season in the majors though he did spend two more seasons in the minors.  In 43 games for the Mets Scott Holman posted a 3-8 record with 3.34 ERA.

While with the Mets Holman wore number 26 in 1980 and number 28 from 1982-83.

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Mark Bomback – His New York Mets Career 1980

mark bombackRight-handed pitcher Mark Bomback was acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers on October 26, 1979 in exchange for fellow pitcher Dwight Bernard  At the time of the trade Bomback was a 9-year minor league veteran who and had just 1 2/3 innings of major league experience.

Bomback started out the 1980 season in the Met bullpen before being moved into the starting rotation at the end of April.  In his first start with the Mets on April 23 he earned his first major league victory by allowing just 1 run over 7 innings.  He followed that up by pitching a complete game 2 hit shutout against the eventual World Champion Philadelphia Phillies. 

By the middle of August Bomback was the most effective pitcher on the Mets staff as his record stood at 9-3.  But he stumbled down the stretch and finished the season with a 10-8 record and 4.09 ERA.  His 10 victories led the staff.

1980 would be Bomback’s only season with the Mets as he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays during the off-season in exchange for pitcher Charlie Puleo.

While with the Mets Bomback wore number 36.

Mark Bomback also played for the following teams:
Milwaukee Brewers – 1978
Toronto Blue Jays – 1981, 1982