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

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.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

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

 

 

Ray Burris – His New York Mets Career 1979,1980

Ray BurrisRight-handed pitcher Ray Burris was picked off waivers by the Mets from the New York Yankees on August 20, 1979. He made his Met debut on August 24th against the Cincinnati Reds and pitched 7 scoreless innings allowing just two hits,  but the Mets lost the game 1-0.  Burris would appear in three more games for the Mets in 1979 before being placed on the disabled list with a fractured wrist. He went 0-2 with a 3.32 ERA.,

Burris returned to the Mets in 1980 as a member of their starting rotation and posted a 7-13 record with a 4.02 ERA.  His best outing came on June 28 against the Philadelphia Phillies, he allowed just one run over nine innings but thanks to the Mets anemic offense suffered a no decision as the Mets won in extra innings 2-1.  Despite being on the disabled list for the month of July Burris did lead the Mets staff in games started (29) and innings pitched with 170 1/3.

Following the season Burris left the Mets and signed as a free agent with the Montreal Expos.  In 33 starts for the Mets he posted a 7-15 record with a 3.94 ERA.

While with the Mets Burris wore number 26 in 1979 and 34 in 1980.

Ray Burris also played for the following teams:
Chicago Cubs – 1973-1979
New York Yankees – 1979
Montreal Expos – 1981-1983
Oakland A’s – 1984
Milwaukee Brewers – 1985,1987
St. Louis Cardinals – 1986

 

Dan Norman – His New York Mets Career 1977-1980

Dan NormanDan Norman was acquired by the Mets in the infamous Tom Seaver trade on June 15, 1977 along with Pat Zachry, Steve Henderson and Doug Flynn.  Following the trade the Mets immediately shipped Norman to the minors where he played for the Tidewater Tides before getting the call to join the big club in September. 

Norman made his Major League debut on September 27 as pinch hitter for Lenny Randle, he struck out.  The next day as the Mets starting right fielder Norman recorded his first big league hit, a 4th inning single.  Norman would appear in 7 games for the Mets in 1977 and hit .250 (4-16).

Norman returned to Tidewater in 1978 where he spent the season before once again joining the Mets in September.  Norman hit his first major league home run on September 6 against the Montreal Expos.  He would hit 4 home runs including a 2-homer game against the Phillies on September 15.   Norman also drove in 10 runs in 19 games. 

Norman once again started the 1979 season with the Tidewater Tides before getting called up in in the middle of July.  Norman finished out the season with the Mets and hit .245 with 3 home runs and 11 RBIs in 44 games.   

Norman spent the entire 1980 season with the Mets serving primarily as a pinch hitter but he hit just .185 with 2 home runs and 9 RBIs.   He started off the 1981 season back in the minors before being traded to the Montreal Expos along with Jeff Reardon on May 29 in exchange for Ellis Valentine.

In 4 seasons with the Mets Dan Norman appeared in 139 games and hit .230 with 9 home runs and 30 RBIs. 

While with the Mets Norman wore number 33 in 1977 and 1979 and number 9 in 1979 and 1980.

Dan Norman also played for the Montreal Expos in 1982.

Bill Almon – His New York Mets Career 1980,1987

bill-almonBill Almon was drafted # 1 overall by the San Diego Padres in 1974 and had a solid Major League career, just not with the Mets. He had two stints with them neither of which were memorable.

The Mets initially signed Almon as a free agent on July 11, 1980. He made his Mets debut the same day as a pinch runner and would finish out the season playing in 48 games mainly as a utility infielder. However he failed to get off the interstate hitting just .170

The Mets released him during the off-season and he would go on to play for the White Sox, A’s and Pirates before returning in 1987.

The Mets reacquired Almon on May 29, 1987 from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for Al Pedrique and Scott Little. Almon’s second stint with the Mets was much like his first with just a slightly better batting average. This time around Almon hit .241 in 49 games.

The Mets parted ways with Almon in the off-season trading him to the Phillies for Shawon Barton and Vladimir Perez.

In 97 games for the Mets Bill Almon hit .193 with 8 runs batted in.

While with the Mets Almon wore number 25 in 1980 and number 2 in 1987.

Bill Almon also played for the following teams:
San Diego Padres – 1974-1978
Montreal Expos – 1980
Chicago White Sox – 1981,1982
Oakland A’s – 1983,1984
Pittsburgh Pirates – 1985-1987
Philadelphia Phillies – 1988