Terry Leach – His New York Mets Career 1981,1982,1985-1989

Terry LeachTerry Leach, a right-handed pitcher who pithed side-armed, was originally signed by the Mets as a minor league free agent on July 27, 1980. A year later he made his Major League debut on August 12, 1981 when he pitched one inning of relief in the Mets 7-4 win over the Chicago Cubs, He allowed 3 hits and 2 runs.  He finished out the season with the Mets and appeared in 21 games, all but one out of the bullpen, and posted a 1-1 record with a 2.55 ERA.  He earned his first Major League win on September 9 against the Pittsburgh Pirates when he pitched 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.  In his only start of the season on August 15 against the Philadelphia Phillies he pitched 5 innings and allowed 3 hits and 1 unearned run.  He got a no-decision as the Mets won 3-1.

He started the 1982 season in the minors before getting brought up to New York in June.  Once again, he appeared in 21 games, all but one out of the bullpen, and posted a 2-1 record with 1 save and a 4.17 ERA.  His only start came on October 1 was a memorable one.  He pitched a complete game shutout and allowed only 1 hit and struck out 7 in 10 innings of work as the Met won 1=0.

Leach spent the entire 1983 season in the minors pitching for the Tidewater Tides.  He posted a 5-7 record with 6 saves and a 4.46 ERA.  Following the season, he was traded to the Chicago Cubs, He started the 1984 season in the Cubs minor league system before being traded to the Atlanta Braves.  He didn’t last long in the Braves organization.  He was released by the Braves on May 25 and was immediately picked up by the Mets.  He finished out the season in the minors.

He started the 1985 season in the minors before once again getting called up the New York in June.  This time he appeared in 22 games 4 as a starter, and posted a 3-4 record with 1 save and a 2.91. His best performance came on August 22 when he pitched a compete game 3 hit shut out against the San Francisco Giants.

Leach started the 1986 season with the Mets but made only 6 appearances, all out of the bullpen, before being shipped back to the minors.  He posted a 0-0 record with a 2.70 innings in 6 2/3 innings.

 He spent the entire 1987 season with the Mets and enjoyed his best season with the Mets.  He started the season in the bullpen before a rash of injuries in the Mets starting staff he was forced to join the rotation.  In 12 starts he posted a 7-1 record, He finished the season with an 11-1 record and 3.22 ERA.  His best appearance came on July 2 when he pitched a complete game shutout against the Cincinnati Reds

Leach pitched exclusively out of the bullpen in 1988 appearing in 52 games.  He finished with a 7-2 record with 3 saves and 2.54 ERA in helping the Mets win the National League Eastern Division title.  In the postseason he appeared in 3 games and did not allow any runs in 5 innings of relief.  But the Mets lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games.

In 1989 he appeared in 10 games before being traded to the Kansas City Royals on June 9.  At the time of the trade his record 0-0 with a 4.22 ERA.

In 176 games for the Mets over 7 seasons Leach posted a 24 and 9 record with 7 saves and 3.11 ERA.

While with the Mets Leach wore number 43 in 1981 and 1986 and number 26 from 1985 to 1986.

Terry Leach also played for the following teams:
Kansas City Royals – 1989
Minnesota Twins – 1990-1991
Chicago White Sox – 1992-1993

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Greg Harris – His New York Mets Career 1981

Greg HarrisAfter spending 4 seasons in the minors right-handed pitcher Greg Harris made his Major League debut with the Mets on May 20,1981 against the San Francisco Giants.  As the starting pitcher, he threw 6 innings and allowed 4 hits and 2 runs but earned a no decision as the Mets won 4-3.  He earned his first career win in his next start against the Philadelphia Phillies. For the season, he appeared in 16 game, 14 as a starter, and posted a 3-5 record with a save and a 4.46. ERA.  His one save came on August 10 when he pitched a scoreless 13th inning to preserve the 7-5 victory over the Chicago Cubs.

Following the season Harris was traded to the Cincinnati Reds along with Alex Trevino and Jim Kern for George Foster.

While with the Mets Harris wore number 20.

Greg Harris also played for the following teams:
Cincinnati Reds – 1982,1983
San Diego Padres – 1984
Montreal Expos – 1984,1995
Texas Rangers – 1985-1987
Philadelphia Phillies – 1988,1989
Boston Red Sox – 1989-1994
New York Yankees – 1994

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Ray Searage – His New York Mets Career 1981

Ray SearageAfter spending three seasons in the minors, left-handed pitcher Ray Searage made his Major League debut with the Mets on June 11,1981 against the Cincinnati Reds.  He pitched the final two innings and allowed 3 hits and no runs but the Mets lost 5-2.  Searage would have to wait another 2 months to make his next appearance as the next day the players went on strike and would not return until August.   

On August 11th, he earned his first career win against the Chicago Cubs when he pitched 2 scoreless inning of relief.  On September 9th, he earned his first career save when he retired all 5 batters he faced to preserve the Mets 5-3 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Overall Searage appeared in 26 games, all out of the bullpen.  He posted a 1-0 record with 1 save 3.68 ERA. 

Following the season, the Mets traded Searage to the Cleveland Indians in exchange for Tom Veryzer.

While with the Mets Searage wore number 44.

Ray Searage also played for the following teams:
Milwaukee Brewers – 1984-1986
Chicago White Sox – 1986,1987
Los Angeles Dodgers – 1989,1990

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Charlie Puleo – His New York Mets Career 1981,1982

Charlie PuleoThe Mets acquired right-handed pitcher Charlie Puleo from the Toronto Blue Jays on April 6, 1981 in exchange for fellow pitcher Mark Bomback.  After starting the season in the minors Puleo made his Major League debut for the Mets on September 16 against the Philadelphia Phillies.  He pitched 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief in the Mets 5-4 victory.  He would appear in 3 more games, 2 out of the bullpen and 1 as a starter.  He didn’t give up an earned run in 13 1/3 innings.  His one start came on September 30 against the Chicago Cubs, he pitched 8 innings and struck out 6 and gave up 1 unearned run but got a no-decision in the Mets 2-1 victory.

Puleo spent the entire 1982 season with the Mets.  He appeared in 36 games, 24 as a starter, and posted a 9-9 record with a 4.47 ERA while also leading the team in innings pitched with 171.  On May 31 against the Atlanta Braves he struck out 10 batters in 7 2/3 innings to earn the victory. 

Following the season Puleo was included in a trade to the Cincinnati Reds that brought back the legendary Tom Seaver to the Mets.

In 40 games over 2 seasons, Puleo posted a 9-9 record with 1 save and a 4.47 ERA.

While with the Mets Puleo wore number 25.

Charlie Puleo also played for the following teams:
Cincinnati Reds – 1983,1984
Atlanta Braves – 1986-1989

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Tim Leary – His New York Mets Career 1981,1983,1984

Tim LearyThe Mets drafted right-handed pitcher Tim Leary with the 2nd overall pick in the 1979 amateur draft.  After going 15-8 with 2.76 ERA in the minors, he was considered by many in the organization to be the next Tom Seaver, but injuries sidetracked his career and he never lived up to the hype.

Leary made his Major League debut on April 12, 1981 against the Chicago Cubs.  He struck out 3 batters in 2 innings before he was removed from the game with a strained elbow.  It would be his only appearance in a Met uniform for the season.

Injuries sidelined him for the entire 1982 season.  He pitched the entire 1983 season in the minors before getting called up to New York in September.  He made two appearances and went 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA.  On the last day of the season he pitched a complete game against the Montreal Expos, allowing 3 earned runs to earn his first Major League victory.

Leary started the 1984 season with the Mets and appeared in 20 games, 7 as a starter, before being demoted to the minors in July.  At the time of his demotion his record was 3-3 with a 4.02 ERA.  He finished the season in the minors with the Tidewater Tides where he went 4-4 with 4.05 ERA.

With the emergence of young pitchers Dwight Gooden, Ron Darling and Sid Fernandez Leary became expandable and was traded to the Kansas City Royals on January 18, 1985.  In 23 appearances for the Mets Leary posted a 4-4 record with a 3.80 ERA.

While with the Met Leary wore number 38.

Tim Leary also played for the following teams:
Milwaukee Brewers – 1985,1986
Los Angeles Dodgers – 1987-1989
Cincinnati Reds = 1989
New York Yankees – 1990-1992
Seattle Mariners – 1992,1993
Texas Rangers – 1994

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Mike Cubbage – His New York Mets Playing Career – 1981

Mike CubbageMike Cubbage was a 7-year veteran 3rd baseman when the Mets signed him as a free agent prior to the 1981 season.  Cubbage served mainly as pinch hitter for the Mets during the 1981 season but with very little success, he hit just .212 for the year.  In fact, the highlight of his season came in his last at-bat when he hit his only home run of the year during the last game of the season.  It turned out to be his last at bat of his career.  Cubbage went to spring training with the Mets in 1982 but was released prior to the start of the season.

Following his playing career Cubbage went on to enjoy a career as minor league manager and major league coach.  He managed for seven seasons in the Mets minor league system from 1983 to 1989 before becoming a Met coach in 1990.  He served in that capacity for seven seasons and even was named interim manager at the end of the 1991 season following the firing of Bud Harrelson.  He managed the team for 7 games and finished with a 3-4 record.

While playing for the Mets Cubbage wore number 3.

Mike Cubbage also played for the following teams:
Texas Rangers – 1974-1976
Minnesota Twins – 1976-1980

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Bob Bailor – His New York Mets Career 1981-1983

Bob BailorThe Mets acquired Bob Bailor from the Toronto Blue Jays on December 12, 1980 in exchange for pitcher Roy Lee Jackson.  Bailor was a jack of all trades type of player, having the ability to play both the infield and outfield.  With the Mets over three seasons he would play 2nd, 3rd and shortstop as well as all three outfield positions.

Bailor’s Mets career did not get off to a great start as he started the 1981 season on the disabled list with a pulled ribcage muscle.  He made his Mets debut on April 29th against the Pittsburgh Pirates.  With the Mets trailing 10-0 he pinch hit for shortstop Frank Taveras in the 8th inning and flew out to centerfield.  The Mets used Bailor sparingly in 1981, as he appeared in just 51 games with 81 at bats.  He hit a respectable .284 with 8 RBIs.  He played a majority of his games at shortstop.

Bailor would appear in 110 games for the Mets in 1982 starting 86 of them.  He started the season playing a majority of the games at second base but with the emergence of Wally Backman, he started to see more time at shortstop and third base.  He hit .277 for the season and drove in 31 runs while stealing a career best 20 bases.

He started the 1983 season as the Mets everyday shortstop.  On April 13 he hit his one and only home run as a Met, a solo shot off of Sid Monge of the Philadelphia Phillies. But a sore rib cage muscle landed him on the disabled list in May.  When he returned from the DL he was used primarily as a back-up infielder.  He would appear in 118 games for the Mets in 1983 hitting .250 with one home run and 30 RBIs and 18 stolen bases.

During the off-season the Mets traded Bailor to the Los Angeles Dodgers with Carlos Diaz in exchange for Sid Fernandez and Ross Jones.

In 279 games for the Mets over three seasons Bailor hit .266 with one home run and 69 RBIs. 

While with the Mets Bailor wore number 4.

Bob Bailor also played for the following teams:
Baltimore Orioles – 1975,1976
Toronto Blue Jays – 1977-1980
Los Angeles Dodgers – 1984,1985

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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 Roberts – His New York Mets Career 1981

Dave RobertsRight-handed pitcher Dave Roberts, a 12-year veteran, was signed by the Mets as a free agent on January 5, 1981.  He made his Met debut on April 18 pitching 2/3 of an inning in the Mets 5-3 loss to the Montreal Expos.  Roberts pitched in 7 games, 3 as a starter, and posted a 0-3 record with a 9.39 ERA.  The Mets finally had seen enough and released him following his start on May 16, a start in which he lasted just 1 inning and gave up 5 earned runs.  It would be his final major league appearance.

While with the Mets Roberts wore number 15.

Dave Roberts also played for the following teams:
San Diego Padres – 1969-1971
Houston Astros – 1972-1975
Detroit Tigers – 1976,1977
Chicago Cubs – 1977,1978
San Francisco Giants – 1979
Pittsburgh Pirates – 1979,1980
Seattle Mariners – 1980

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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