The 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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The 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 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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The 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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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.
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Right-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
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
On 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
Looking to add a veteran arm to their bullpen the Mets signed right-handed reliever Mike Marshall as a free agent on August 19, 1981. Marshall who was the first reliever to win the Cy Young Award when he won it in 1974 with the Los Angeles Dodgers was nearing the end of his career. In fact, 1981 would be the last season of his 14-year career.
Marshall made his Mets debut on August 19 allowing 2 hits over 1/3 of an inning in the Mets 5-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves. He would go on to appear in 20 games for the Mets finishing with a 3-2 record and 2.61 ERA in 31 innings. His first win came on August 25 against the Houston Astros; he pitched two scoreless innings as the Mets won 2-1.
Marshall retired following the season.
While with the Mets Marshall wore number 28.
Mike Marshall also played for the following the teams:
Detroit Tigers – 1967
Seattle Pilots – 1969
Montreal Expos – 1970-1973
Houston Astros – 1970
Los Angeles Dodgers – 1974-1976
Atlanta Braves – 1976,1977
Texas Rangers – 1977
Minnesota Twins – 1978-1980
Randy Jones was a former National League Cy Young Award winner who had fallen on hard times when the Mets acquired him from the San Diego Padres prior to the 1981 season in exchange for John Pacella and Jose Moreno. The left-hander struggled mightily in his first season posting a 1-8 record with a 4.85 ERA. His only victory came against the Chicago Cubs on May 31st.
Jones was given the ball on opening day in 1982 and was the winning pitcher against the Philadelphia Phillies. After just one game he had matched his entire 1981 win total. He also won his second start of the season in route to a 6-2 start. But then things started to deteriorate and he finished the season with a 7-10 record.
Following the season the Mets released Jones thus ending his baseball career. In his two seasons with the Mets Randy Jones posted an 8-18 record with a 4.69 ERA.
While with the Mets Jones wore number 25 in 1981 and number 35 in 1982.
Randy Jones also played for the San Diego Padres from 1973-1980.