Ray Knight – His New York Mets Career 1984-1986

Ray KnightFormer All-star third baseman Ray Knight, was suffering through a down season when the Mets acquired him from the Houston Astros on August 28, 1984. At the time of the trade he was hitting just .223.

Knight finished out the 1984 season with the Mets appearing in 27 games; he hit .280 as the Mets made a late season push to make the playoffs only to come up short.  Knight returned to the Mets in 1985 and struggled mightily hitting just .218 with 6 home runs and 36 RBIs.  Based on his poor performance the Mets attempted to trade Knight during the off-season but could not find any takers, they even entertained the idea of releasing him.  But Knight got off to a fast start in 1986 hitting 6 home runs during the first month of the season.  With his new-found power surge the Mets decided to keep him, a move that they would not regret. He finished out the season hitting .298 with 11 home runs and 76 RBIs as the Mets ran away with the National League’s Eastern division. But it was during the postseason in which Knight made a name for himself and solidified his place in franchise history. 

After hitting just .167 during the NLCS against the Houston Astros, Knight hit .391 with a home run and 5 RBIs during the World Series vs. the Boston Red Sox.  Of his 9 hits two stand out, the first being his single off Calvin Schiraldi in the 10th inning of game six.  With the Mets down to their last out and trailing by two runs, Knight singled to centerfield to pull the Mets to within a run.  He would eventually come around to score the winning run on Mookie Wilson’s ground ball which went through the legs of Boston’s Bill Buckner.  The next night during game seven his seventh inning solo home run gave the Mets the lead, a lead they would not relinquish as they went on to win their second World Series title.  For his efforts Knight was named MVP of the series. 

Despite his new-found cult status among Met fans Knight and the organization could not agree on a contract for the 1987 season and he left as a free agent to sign with the Baltimore Orioles.  During his two plus seasons in New York Knight hit .271 with 18 home runs and 118 RBIs. 

While with the Mets Knight wore number 22. 

Ray Knight also played for the following teams:
Cincinnati Reds – 1974, 1977-1981
Houston Astros – 1982-1984
Baltimore Orioles – 1987
Detroit Tigers – 1988

Click Here to Purchase Mets Memorabilia

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Purchase Mets Memorabilia here.

Walt Terrell – His New York Mets Career 1982-1984

Walt TerrellRight-handed pitcher Walt Terrell was acquired from the Texas Rangers along with Ron Darling in exchange for Lee Mazzilli on April 1, 1982.  The Mets immediately sent him to the minors where he spent the 1982 season pitching for the Tidewater Tides.  In 21 games for the Tides Terrell posted a 7-8 record before being promoted to New York as a September call up.  He made his Major League debut on September 18 against the St. Louis Cardinals; he allowed four runs over 6 2/3 innings and suffered the loss.  He made two more starts for the Mets but lost both of them to finish out the season 0-3 with a 3.43 ERA.

Terrell returned to Tidewater to start the 1983 season, but after going 10-1 in 12 starts for the Tides he was promoted back to the Mets in the middle of June.  In his first start for the Mets on June 20 Terrell earned his first big league victory.  He finished out the season with the Mets and posted an 8-8 record with a 3.57 ERA.  The highlight of his season came on August 6 at Wrigley Field vs. the Chicago Cubs, not only did he earn the victory by allowing just one run over 7 1/3 innings he also hit two home runs to account for all the Met scoring.  In doing so he became the first pitcher in Met history to hit two home runs in a game.

Terrell spent the entire 1984 season as a member of the Mets starting rotation.   In his first full season in the big leagues he pitched to mixed results.  In 33 starts Terrell posted an 11-12 record with a 3.52 ERA.  He did pitch three complete games with one shutout which came on June 5 against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

With the emergence of young stars Dwight Gooden, Ron Darling and Sid Fernandez Terrell became expendable and was traded to the Detroit Tigers for infielder Howard Johnson during the off-season.

With the Mets Walt Terrell posted a 19-23 record with a 3.53 ERA.

While with the Mets Terrell wore number 49.

Walt Terrell also played for the following teams:
Detroit Tigers – 1985-1988, 1990-1992
New York Yankees – 1989
San Diego Padres -1989
Pittsburgh Pirates – 1990

Click Here for Mets MemorabiliaClick Here for Mets MemorabiliaClick Here for Mets Memorabilia

 

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.

Click Here for Mets Memorabilia

 

 

.

Kelvin Chapman – His New York Mets Career 1979,1984,1985

Kelvin ChapmanAfter spending three seasons in their minor league system Kelvin Chapman earned his way on to the Major League roster following a phenomenal spring training in 1979.  He made his debut as the Mets starting second baseman.  He got his career off to a fast start, singling in his first at-bat, and hitting safely in his first three games.  But than his bat went cold and with his average at just .150 he was demoted to the minors in the middle of May. Chapman spent the remainder of the season in triple-A before returning to the big club as a September call-up.

Chapman spent the next four seasons playing exclusively for the Tidewater Tides, the Mets top minor league club.  He finally returned to big club in 1984 serving as a part-time player and pinch hitter and put up decent numbers, hitting .289 with 3 home runs and 23 RBIs.  Chapman returned to Mets in 1985 but once again struggled at the plate and was demoted back to the minors halfway through the season with his average at just .174.

The Mets released Chapman following the 1985 season ending his pro baseball career.  Chapman appeared in a total of 172 games for the Mets and hit .223 with 3 home runs and 34 RBIs.

While with the Mets Chapman wore number 10 in 1979 and number 11 in 1984 and 1985.

Click Here for Mets Memorabilia

John Christensen – His New York Mets Career 1984,1985

john christensenJohn Christensen was drafted by the New York Mets in the second round of the 1981 amateur draft.  After spending three seasons in the minors where he batted over .300 he was brought up to the Mets as a September call up in 1984.  In his Met debut on September 13th, he pinch hit for Darryl Strawberry with the Mets trailing 9-1 and manager Dave Johnson deciding to wave the white flag.  For the record, Christensen walked.  He would appear in just five games for the Mets in 1984 batting .273 (3 for 11) with 3 RBIs.  

Christensen made the Mets Opening Day roster out of spring training as a fourth outfielder but struggled immensely and was demoted back to the minors in the middle of July after hitting just .190.  He did manage to hit 3 home runs and drive in 13, the highlight coming on June 12th when he hit a 2-run home run in the top of the 11th inning to give the Mets a comfortable 7-3 lead.  He continued to struggle back at Triple A Norfolk, hitting just .212, but was brought back to Queens in September to finish out the season.  In 51 games for the Mets in 1985 Christensen hit just .186. 

He was traded by the Mets in the off-season along with Calvin Schiraldi, Wes Gardner and LaSchelle Tarver to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Bob Ojeda, John Mitchell, Tom McCarthy and Chris Bayer.   

His final numbers with the Mets included a .194 average with 3 home runs and 16 RBIs in 56 games. 

While with the Mets Christensen wore number 35 in 1984 and number 7 in 1985.

 

John Chrsitensen also played for the Seattle Mariners in 1987 and the Minnesota Twins in 1988.

 

 

 

 

Wes Gardner – His New York Mets Career 1984,1985

Wes GardnerWes Gardner was drafted by the Mets in the 22nd round of the 1982 amateur draft.  In 1984 after going 1-2 with 20 saves and posting a 1.61 ERA in 40 relief appearances for the Mets top minor league club the Tidewater Tides, he was promoted to New York.  He made his Met debut on July 29th against the Chicago Cubs pitching one inning of scoreless relief.  Gardner would go on to appear in 21 games for the Mets finishing the season with a 1-1 record and 1 save, but with an astronomical ERA of 6.39 in 25 1/3 innings.  His one victory came against the Pittsburgh Pirates on August 5th when he pitched two scoreless innings.

Gardner started the 1985 season in Tidewater, but was recalled in the middle of May.  But his second tour with the Mets would be brief.  After allowing six runs in two innings in his second appearance he was shipped back to Tidewater.   With the Mets in the middle of a pennant race Gardner was brought back up in September.  He appeared in 7 games down the stretch and gave up only one run in 9 innings. 

The Mets traded Gardner to the Boston Red Sox in the off-season along with Calvin Schiraldi, John Christensen and LaSchelle Tarver in exchange for Bob Ojeda, John Mitchell, Tom McCarthy and Chris Bayer. 

In 30 relief appearances for the Mets he posted 1-3 record with 1 save and 6.03 ERA in 37 1/3 innings.

While with the Mets Gardner wore number 27.

Wes Gardner also played for the following teams:
Boston Red Sox – 1986-1990
Kansas City Royals – 1991
San Diego Padres – 1991

Billy Beane – His New York Mets Career 1984,1985

Billy BeaneDrafted in the first round of the 1980 amateur draft Billy Beane was considered by many in the Mets organization to be a can’t miss prospect.  Unfortunately for the Mets and for Beane he missed and never lived up to his five-tool potential. 

Beane worked his way through the Mets minor league system but never consistently put up the numbers expected of him.  He was given a shot at the Major League level as a September call up in 1984.  He made his big-league debut on September 13, 1984 as a pinch hitter for George Foster and grounded back to the pitcher.  Beane finished out the season appearing in five games and batted just .100 (1 for 10).  He was given one more chance the following September, this time he appeared in 8 games and batted .250 (2 for 8) with 1 RBI.

During the off-season, the Mets who were growing weary of waiting for Beane to blossom traded him to the Minnesota Twins along with Bill Latham and Joe Klink in exchange for Tim Teufel and Pat Crosby.   In 13 games for the Mets Beane batted .167.

While with the Mets Beane wore number 43 in 1984 and 35 in 1985.

Billy Beane also played for the following teams:
Minnesota Twins – 1986,1987
Detroit Tigers – 1988
Oakland A’s – 1989
           

 

Dick Tidrow – His New York Mets Career 1984

Dick Tidrow.pngThe Mets signed pitcher Dick Tidrow as a free agent prior to the 1984 season hoping he would give them a veteran presence in their bullpen.  But it was obvious from the get go that he was not the same pitcher who at one time helped the Yankees win back to back World Series titles.  After pitching a perfect inning in his Met debut on Opening Day against the Cincinnati Reds he struggled immensely.  He would pitch in 11 games for the Mets allowing 25 hits and 16 earned runs in 15 2/3 innings.  With his ERA at a whopping 9.19 the Mets had little choice but to cut ties and he was released on May 8th.  It would be his last appearance in a Major League uniform.

While with the Mets Tidrow wore number 32. 

Dick Tidrow also played for the following teams:
Cleveland Indians – 1972-1974
New York Yankees – 1974-1979
Chicago Cubs – 1979-1982
Chicago White Sox – 1983

Click Here for Mets Memorabilia

Ed Lynch – His New York Mets Career 1980-1986

ed-lynchOn August 12,1979, the New York Mets traded first baseman Willie Montanez to the Texas Rangers in exchange for Mike Jorgensen and a player to be named later.  A month later the Rangers shipped minor league pitcher Ed Lynch to the Mets to complete the trade.  Ed Lynch would pitch for the Tidewater Tides, the Mets top minor league team in 1980 where he posted a 13-6 record with a 3.15 ERA, splitting time between the bullpen and starting rotation   He was called up to the majors toward the end of the season and made his Major League debut on August 31st.  It was not a success as he pitched 1 1/3 innings in relief and allowed 4 hits and 4 earned runs.  His next appearance came as a starter on September 13th when the Mets decided to give the young right hander a shot at ending their 13-game losing streak.  Lynch would pitch 6 strong innings against the Chicago Cubs allowing just 1 run to earn the victory and end the Mets losing streak.   He would finish out the season with a 1-1 record and 5.12 ERA in 19 1/3 innings.

Lynch would return to Tidewater to start the 1981 season, after posting a 7-6 record in 15 starts he was promoted back to the Mets.  Once back in New York Lynch won just 4 games while losing 5 but put up a very respectable 2.91 ERA for a very bad Met team.  Having proved he could pitch at the Major League level, his minor league days were over and starting in 1982 Lynch became a permanent member of the Mets pitching staff.  Over the next 4 seasons he helped turn the Mets from perennial cellar dwellers to one of the top teams in the National League winning 33 games, mainly as a starter.   His best season occurred in 1985 when he won 10 and lost 8 with a 3.44 ERA as the Mets finished just 3 games out of first place.   

But the Mets continued success came with a price and Ed Lynch paid it.  In 1986 after appearing in just one game in April, he was placed on the disabled list with torn cartilage in his knee.  While he was sidelined the Mets, led by young pitchers Dwight Gooden, Ron Darling and Sid Fernandez, dominated the National League and were coasting toward their first postseason appearance since 1973.  When Lynch came off the DL there was no longer room for him and he was traded to the Chicago Cubs on June 30th.   At the time, Lynch was devastated by the news and was quoted as saying “It’s like living with a family all year and they throw you out on Christmas.”  But despite his disappointment he handled the situation with the utmost class.  When the Mets won the World Series in 1986 his former teammates voted him a full World Series share in appreciation for all he had done for the team.    

Lynch would pitch two seasons for the Cubs before retiring after the 1987 season.  In 167 games for the Mets over 7 seasons, Ed Lynch posted a 38 and 40 record with 2 saves and 3.82 ERA.  

Following his playing days, Ed Lynch stayed in the game as a scout and executive eventually working his way up to become the Cubs General Manager.  

While with the Mets Lynch wore the following numbers – 50 (1980), 35 (1980-81), 34 (1981) and 36 (1982-1986).

Ed Lynch also played for the Chicago Cubs in 1986 and 1987.

Click Here to Purchase Mets Memorabilia