Jun 26, 2017

Remembering Mets History: (2008) Carlos Delgado Sets Club Record With Nine RBIs

June 27, 2008: The Mets played a day/night cross town subway series double header against the AL New York club opening up a long weekend of New York baseball.

 The Mets were hanging around the .500 mark, three games out of first place & Carlos Delgado was having a tough year. But on this day it all came together for Delgado, as he set a Mets record with nine RBIs in the first game and got himself back on track to have a fine season.
In the first game in the Bronx, Mike Pelfrey (4-6) went up against Dan Giese (1-2). David Wright started te Mets scoring with an RBI single in the 1st inning. In the 3rd, Carlos Beltran hit a two run HR making it 3-1 Mets. But the Mets soon fell behind 4-3.

In the top of the 5th inning  Jose Reyes & Luis Castillo walked. Wright singled to load the bases. Reyes would score the tying run on a Carlos Beltran ground out. Next up, after going 0-2, Carlos Delgado doubled scoring Castillo & Beltran putting the Mets ahead 6-4. 

In the 6th, Brian Schneider singled & Reyes walked. David Wright had an RBI single off Ross Ohlendorf making it 7-4. Then Beltran walked to load the bases, setting the stage for Delgado. He connected for a mammoth grand slam HR scoring Castillo, Wright & Beltran making it an 11-4 game. In the top of the 8th inning, Delgado connected again this time off Letroy Hawkins, a three run HR scoring Wright & Beltran, making it 15-4.

The Mets won the game 15-6, with Mike Pelfrey getting the win. David Wright had four hits & drove in three runs. Carlos Beltran homered & also drove in three runs. Luis Castillo had two hits, walked three times & scored five runs.

But it was Delgado's big day in Mets history. He went on to have a great comeback season, carrying the Mets through out the year. He raised his average up to .271, hit 38 HRs with 32 doubles and 114 RBIs, although the Mets did not make the playoffs once again.

2006 NL Eastern Champion Mets First Baseman: Carlos Delgado (2006-2009)

Carlos Juan Delgado was born in Puerto Rico on June 25, 1972. The New York Mets showed interest in him in high school but he chose to sign with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1988.

He was only 17 at the time and spent his minor league career as a catcher making frequent All Star appearances at all minor league levels. He was the 1993 Southern League MVP at AAA Knoxville hitting 25 HRs with 102 RBIs & a .430 on base %.
He made his MLB debut as a catcher, with the 1993 World Series Champion Blue Jays, playing in the last two games of the regular season. 

In 1994 he converted from catcher becoming the Blue Jays regular left fielder. He received attention when he hit 9 HRs in just 130 at bats, but after a great April was sent down to AAA Syracuse to fine tune his hitting .

By 1996 he became an everyday player & became one of the best power hitters in the AL over the next decade. He is only one of four players to hit over 30 HRs in ten straight seasons, (including hitting 40 or more three times).

He also drove in over 90 runs in each season over the next decade (including over 100 RBIs six years in a row). He won three Silver Slugger Awards, played in two All Star games & led the majors in RBIs in 2003 with 145.

In 2000 he led the league with 57 doubles and played every game of that season & the next. He caused controversy while in Toronto for not standing up during the 7TH inning stretch's singing of God Bless America. He stated it was in protest to the testing of U.S. missiles in his native Puerto Rico, country. 

As a Blue Jay he also developed a close friendship with team mate Sean Green, whom he would later help lure to the New York Mets.

Eventually the Blue Jays didn’t have the money to sign him when he became a free agent. He was heavily sought after and it came down to the Mets or Florida Marlins. He chose Florida for the 2005 season & let down many excited Met fans who's team had just signed Pedro Martinez & Carlos Beltran.

In Florida Delgado hit 33 HRs with 41 doubles 115 RBIs & batted .301. But after that season, Florida also needed to cut payroll & sold off all their top players. The New York Mets finally got him, as he was traded to New York for Mike Jacobs & Yusmeiro Petit in November 2005. When joining the Mets he was asked to stand during the National Anthem & the singing of God Bless America which he agreed to do. He immediately made an impact as the Mets, put in as their cleanup hitter and first baseman.

He debuted on Opening Day going hitless but then homered in his next two games driving in runs in the next three games.

In his first month as a Met in April 2006, he hit 9 HRs with 21 RBIs easily winning over the Shea fans. On May 3rd, he hit a walk off HR against Mike Gonzales & the Pittsburgh Pirates for a 4-3 Mets win. On May 24th he hit a three run HR off Aaron Small in the bottom of the 4th inning in the subway series at Shea Stadium, leading the Mets to a 4-1 victory. Delgado had also hit a HR the day before.

Delgado went on a tear from June 5th through June 14th driving in runs in seven straight games. In three of those games he drove in three runs each time. He began June batting .245 but raised his average twenty two points in the month, as he drove in 21 runs with seven HRs.

In July he had another stretch of five straight games with an RBI after the All Star break..

On August 17th Delgado hit a pair of HRs driving in four runs in the Mets 7-2 win. Delgado went on another hot streak, driving in at least one run in five straight games, ten of eleven. On August 22nd, he had a big day, hitting two HRs with five RBIs against the St. Louis Cardinals at Shea Stadium, leading New York to an 8-7 win.

He was on another tear at the end of August, hitting six HRs during the last ten days of the month, driving in 19 runs. As the season came to a close, Delgado drove in 19 runs in September as the Mets clinched the N.L. Eastern title. He finished the year with 38 HRs (8th in the NL) with 114 RBIs (5th in the NL) 30 doubles & batted .265. Delgado was always seen keeping a notebook on all the pitchers he faced after at bats in the dugout. He was a good student of hitting & very knowledgeable of the game.

Post Season: He tore up the Los Angeles Dodgers staff in the NLDS, batting .429 (6-14). In Game #1 he had four hits & put the Mets on the board tying the game 1-1 with a HR off Derek Lowe. He then had one hit in each of the next two games.

In the NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals he hit over .300 going 7-23 with three HRs nine RBIs & a .448 on base %. In the opener he started out the series with two hits.

In Game #2 he hit a three run HR off Chris Carpenter putting the Mets up 3-0. He hit a second HR in the 5th inning a solo shot also off Carpenter. The Mets went on to win the game 9-6 with Delgado driving in four runs. He hit another HR in Game #4 along with David Wright & Carlos Beltran (who hit two) in the Mets 12-5 romp at St. Louis.

In 2007 he opened the year with a double driving in two runs on Opening Day, in the Mets 6-1 win over the reigning champion St. Louis Cardinals. But he struggled from there not hitting his first HR until April 23rd, when he finally had got over the .200 mark. On May 9th he hit a HR at San Francisco into McCovey Cove & became the first visiting player to hit three HRs into the cove.

Later that May, Delgado had three walk off game winning RBIs for the Mets, two coming against the Chicago Cubs in the same series. On May 14th a bases loaded walk from Chicago pitcher Michael Wuertz gave the Mets a 5-4 win. Three days later a base hit scored both; the tying & winning runs in a 6-5 Mets victory. 

In a May 26th game at Florida Delgado hit two HRs & drove in five runs helping the Mets to a 7-2 win & series sweep of the Marlins. On July 5th he had four hit day, and went on a nine game hit streak later in the month, while driving in 15 runs with 5 HRs.

In August he drove in 19 runs but hit just three HRs, ending the month on a seven game hit streak. On September 4th he went down with an injury & missed the next two weeks of action as the Mets lead began to fade away. The Mets were eliminated from the post season on the last day of the season after a terrible collapse. To make matters worse he was injured when he was hit on the hand with a pitch from Florida's Dontrell Willis.

Delgado's numbers dropped off from the previous year, hitting 24 HRs with 30 doubles 87 RBIs a .333 on base % and a .258 average. The struggles continued into 2008 and everyone thought he was done early on. The media blasted him, the fans booed him and wanted him traded. He injured his hip but remained on the roster and couldn’t get his swing back.

Teams would align a shift to the right side of the infield due to him being a dead pull hitter, this didn’t help his hitting. He struggled hitting under .200 in May but broke out at an inter league game in June at the A.L. New York’s team ballpark.

That day he set a Mets club record by driving in nine runs in a single game. In the 5th inning his double down the right field line scored Luis Castillo & Carlos Beltran. Later in the 6th inning he blasted a grand slam HR off Latroy Hawkins to deep right center field putting the Mets ahead 11-4. In the 8th inning he hit a three run HR off Ross Ohlendorf to put the score at 15-5, topping off his record setting day.

He took off from there & when Willie Randolph was fired as manager, he went on a tear under new skipper Jerry Manuel. In the last two weeks of July he hit seven HRs eight multi RBI games, driving in 19 runs in that stretch. On August 21st he had a five hit day in agame against the Atlanta Braves.

On August 25th he hit two HRs while driving in six runs in a 9-1 Mets win over the Astros at Shea Stadium. Delgado carried the Mets through the summer keeping them in first place & in contention until the last day of the season.

He had 65 RBIs in a 65 game stretch from June until September; tying Dave Kingman’s record for multi HR games (7) and got his 2000th career hit on Sept. 21st.

In the last game ever played at Shea Stadium, he had one hit & almost tied the game in the bottom of the 8th inning with a dep line drive shot to left field. He ended up third in the league in both HRs (38) (most on the Mets club) & RBIs (115). He hit 32 doubles & ended up batting .271, but also led the team in strikeouts for the third straight year. He ended up playing in 159 games once his injuries were finally all healed. He did so well Mets exercised his 12 million dollar option for 2009.

In 2009 he started out well, he became the first player to hit a HR in the Pepsi Porch at the Mets new home; Citi Field. After 26 games he was batting .298 with 4 HRs & 23 RBIs, and then he developed a bone spur and a torn labrum in his hip.

On May 19th he underwent successful surgery on his hip and was scheduled to be out until the end of July. That never worked out, setbacks ended his season & his career. After the 2009 season, no team sought him out as a free agent with concerns about his health after three hip surgeries.

Retirement: In a career that may possibly put him in the Hall of Fame Carlos played in 2035 games over 17 seasons, batting .280 with 473 HRs (31st all time) 483 doubles (74th all time) 1512 RBIs (51st all time) 974 extra base hits (41st all time) 1109 base on balls (74th all time) posting a.383 on base % (147th all time). He struck out 1745 times (23rd most all time) & was walked 188 times intentionally (21st all time).

At first base he played in 1767 games (38th all time) committing 129 errors (76th all time) with 15,144 put outs (43rd all time). 

Trivia: Delgado has hit the most HRs & driven in the most RBIs of any Puerto Rican ball player.

He was always known for doing a lot of charity work, especially in children’s hospitals and won the 2006 Roberto Clemente award for his services.

Remembering Mets History: Tom Glavine One Hits St. Louis In a Rain Shortened Game (2007)

June 27th 2007: In this rematch of the 2006 NLCS, the First place New York Mets (43-33) under Willie Randolph, faced off against Tony Larussa's reigning World Champion Cardinals. The Cards were 10.5 games out of first place at 34-41 at this point.

Tom Glavine (6-5) went up against Anthony Reyes (0-9) to an excited Shea Stadium crowd of 40,948. The Mets started off scoring right away, in the 1st inning Paul Loduca singled,& with two out, David Wright blasted a two run HR. It would be all the Mets needed in the 2-0 win.

Tom Glavine, gave up a 2nd inning single to Scott Rolen which would be the only hit he would allow. The rains came down & shortened the game after six innings. It was an official game as the Mets won it 2-0. In six innings, Glavine allowed no runs, on one hit, three strike outs & two walks for his 7th win of the year (4.12 ERA).

It was the 30th one hitter in Mets history. The latest one since the September 3rd, 2006 combined one hitter by; Orlando Hernandez, Roberto Hernandez, Darren Oliver & Guillermo Mota. He finished the year at 13-8 with a 4.45 ERA.

Jun 24, 2017

Remembering Mets History: (2015) Jacob deGrom's Two Hitter Ends Mets Seven Game Skid

Thursday June 25th 2015: Terry Collins Mets were at one of their lowest points of the season, riding a seven game losing streak, that started in Toronto, dragged through Atlanta & was now ending in Milwaukee. The Mets were at .500  (37-37) in second place just 3 1/2 games out of first.

33,354 fans attended  the Miller Park matinee in Milwaukee as Craig Counsell's Brewers (27-47) hosted the Mets.

The Mets sent the reigning Rookie of the Year, Jacob deGrom to the mound to stop the bleeding.

Starting Lineups

DeGrom was outstanding, shutting out the Brewers for eight innings, scattering just four hits. deGrom didn't walk anyone & struck out eight Brewers along the way.

Mets manager Terry Collins was ejected in the 4th inning, while arguing an out call as Darrell Ceciliani was attempting a steal of second base.

With two outs in the Mets 6th, Michael Cuddyer singled. Wilmer Flores then doubled down the left field line, brining in Cuddyer with the first run. In the 7th, Jacob deGrom, Dilson Herrera & Curtis Granderson all singled.

After a pitching change & Ruben Tejada striking out, Lucas Duda managed to slap a base hit against the shift on him toward the short stop position. deGrom scored with all he needed for the 2-0 win.

Jeurys Familia came on for a perfect 9th & the Mets had snapped their longest losing streak of the season. For deGrom it was his  8th win of the year getting him to 8-5 with a 2.15 ERA, one of the leagues best.

Remembering Mets History: (1971) Cleon Jones Ties an MLB Record Drawing Six Walks in A Double Header

Thursday June 25, 1971: Gil Hodges second place Mets (40-28) made a trip up North into Canada, to Parc Jarry in Montreal, for a twi night double header.

The Mets were only 3 ½ games out of first place being hosted by Gene Mauch's fifth place Expos (28-39).

In this twin bill, Cleon Jones would set an MLB record by walking six times in the two games, helping the Mets to the doubleheader sweep.

In the first game a young Nolan Ryan (6-4) went up against Montreal's Jim Britton.

Starting Lineups

Cleon Jones walked three times in this game, drawing the base on balls from three different pitchers; Btitton, Claude Raymond & Mike Marshall. 

In the 1st, Montreal got two lead off singles & an RBI double from Rusty Staub. The Mets answered in the 2nd on a Jerry Grote RBI double, scoring Dave Marshall. In the 5th Marshall would single with the bases loaded scoring Mike Jorgensen for a 2-1 Mets lead.

In the 7th, Jones would draw his would third walk & score on Ed Kranepools two run single. 

Nolan Ryan went the distance, allowing one run as he scattered eleven Expo hits. Ryan had great control on this day, walking only one, as he struck out ten earning his 7th win of the year against four losses. On the year he would go 10-14 with a 3.97 ERA with 137 strike outs & 116 walks in 152 innings.

Starting Lineups

In the night cap, the Mets started Ray Sadecki against Dan McGinn. Cleon Jones walked three more times in this game, in the 1st & 3rd innings off McGinn & later in the 9th inning off reliever Howie Reed.

For New York Danny Frisella got the win in relief of Ray Sadecki. The Mets won this game 4-2, as Bud Harrelson got three hits including a 2nd inning RBI double that tied the game. In the 5th inning, Tim Foli walked, was sacrificed over & stole third.  Donn Clendenon was walked & rookie Ken Singleton singled home the second Mets run.

With two outs, Duffy Dyer walked & Harrelson came through with another RBI single, making it 4-1.

Former Met Ron Hunt hit a solo HR for Montreal but the Mets won it 4-2. Danny Frisella had relieved Sadecki in the 5th & pitched 4.2 scoreless innings, allowing two hits. He went on to his fourth win (4-2) going on to have his best season 8-5 with 12 saves & a 1.99 ERA.

Remembering The Polo Grounds & New York Giants: (1907) An Angry Mob Wants To "Kill the Ump" At the Polo Grounds

May 21,1907: It was a classic match up for the day, the NY Giants star Christy Mathewson would go against Chicago Cubs ace, Three Finger Brown at the Polo Grounds.

The Giants had a one game lead over the Cubs for 1st place in the National League. These were the Cubs of Tinkers to Evers to Chance, World Champions & the last Cub team to win a World Series (1908). They were bitter rivals of the NY Giants.

The game turned out to be quite a pitchers duel. Giants catcher Roger Bresnahan, (who just last month became the first catcher to ever wear shin guards) would make two errors that would cost his team the game. The Giants 3-2 loss was Christy Mathewsons first of the year, but more importantly it put Chicago in a 1st place tie.

The crowd back in those days were very unruly. This is still back in a time where baseball was just becoming a gentlemans game, there was alot of drinking & fighting still going on.

The umpires of the game Hank O'Day and Bob Emslie had made a controversial call on the errors. They get mobbed by the Polo Grounds crowd and require police protection for their safety.

The NY crowd is egged on more by Giants manager John McGraw, who himself, will be thrown out of the game and seven others in 1907.

The next day AL ump Billy Evans needed a police escort after McGraws old pal Hughie Jennings incites a riot. Jennings who was the Detroit Tiger manager will be suspended for his actions.

Jun 23, 2017

Remembering Mets History: (1999) Mike Piazza's Club Record 24 Game Hit Streak

May 25th 1999: Bobby Valentine's Mets were in second place just one & 1/2 games behind the Atlanta Braves. The Mets were in Pittsburgh taking on Gene Lamont's fifth place Pirates.

With the Mets already ahead 1-0 in the 4th inning, Mike Piazza hit his 9th HR of the year, a solo HR off Kris Benson. Piazza would have three hits & drive in three runs on the day. It was the start of his club record tying 24 game hit streak.

Piazza had come in to the game already batting .302 when the hit streak began. The next night Piazza got one hit in the 5-2 win over the Pirates. From there the Mets came home to Shea Stadium, hosting the Arizona Diamondbacks. This was the worst stretch of the year for the '99 Wild Card winning Mets team, as the would lose eight in a row, all six on the home stand & two of three in the subway series at the Bronx.

Piazza remained steady he would have three straight games, where he collected two hits, all against Arizona. He then would get a hit in all five of the next games as well.

On Sunday June 6th, the Mets finally broke out of their slump. They shelled New York's Roger Clemens in the Sunday Night Baseball subway series finale'. In the 3rd inning already ahead 4-0, Piazza blasted a long two run HR off Clemens, his tenth of the season. The Mets rolled on to a 7-2 win behind Al Leiter. The Mets went on to win 12 of their next 14, with a stretch of six straight mixed in as well.

The next night on June 7th, Piazza drove in two runs & hit a solo HR off the Blue Jays Roy Halladay, in an inter league game with the Blue Jays at Citi Field. The Mets swept that series from Toronto & Piazza had a four game stretch where he collected two hits in each game. The next series brought the Boston Red Sox to Shea & the Sox snapped the four game win streak. Piazza provided all the Mets runs with a two run HR off Tom Gordon.

With Piazza's hit streak at 18 games, the Mets moved on to Cincinnati for series with the Reds, whom they play in a tie breaking playoff game to determine the wild card winner at the end of the season.

The Mets swept that series in the midst of their six game win streak, in the first game Piazza hit his 13th HR continuing the streak at 19. On the night the Mets had HRs from John Olerud, Edgardo Alfonzo & Ricky Henderson in the 11-3 win.

Piazza would collect a pair of hits in each of the next two games, including scoring what turned out to be the winning run on Robin Ventura's HR in St. Louis. In the next two games at Busch Stadium, Piazza hit HRs in both games. his 14th & 15th respectively. The Mets took two of three & the Piazza hitting streak was at 22 games as the Mets came back home to Shea.

On June 22nd 1999; the second place Mets (39-31) hosted the fifth place Florida Marlins. The Marlin pitchers held Piazza down without a hit until the 8th inning. In the bottom of the 8th, Piazza led off against pitcher; Vic Darensbourg. Piazza blasted his 16th HR, a long shot down the left field line. The streak reached 24 games, tying the Mets club record set by Hubie Brooks in 1984.

On June 23rd Piazza was held hitless by the Florida Marlins in a 6-3 Mets win, officially ending the streak at 24.

The record still stands today, 17 years later. In 2007 David Wright joined Piazza & Brooks with a 24 game hit streak of his own.

The next night Piazza was finally stopped at 23 games, the Marlin pitchers Brian Meadows & Mike Mantei shut him down for an 0-4 night.

During the hit streak Piazza collected 37 hits, raising his average to .326. He hit eight HRs & drove in 18 runs. The Mets as a team went 14-10.

Remembering Mets History: (1969) Mets Sweep the Phillies In A Twi-Night Doubleheader As Slugger Dick Allen Gets Suspended

Tuesday, June 24th 1969: The Philadelphia Phillies arrive in town for a twi-night double header at Shea Stadium.

 Drama: In the late morning controversial Phillie slugger Ritchie Allen (soon to be known as Dick Allen) decides he wants to go to New Jersey to bet on a horse race. Allen went down to Monmouth Park, and played the ponies. He made his way back to Queens, arriving back at the ballpark after the game had started. 

Some in the Phillies organization believe he forgot there was double header, thinking it was just one game. Others claim he just didn’t care. According to Allen himself, he said he got stuck in New York's crazy traffic. In the end he was fined and suspended until the middle of July.

The Phils and Dick Allen had been battling each other all year. Most recently he had already been late for two games that month, but there were other issues. In all fairness to Allen he was never welcomed in Philadelphia.

He had been booed mercifully when he struggled early on. Things go so bad, he had to wear a batting helmet on the field because because the fans threw objects at him. He answered them, back by writing BOO in the dirt around 1st base with his foot while playing at the position. (Allen moved to St. Louis & then L.A. Eventually  he was with the Chicago White Sox & won the 1972 MVP Award.)

As for the double header at Shea; The second place Mets were five games back of the Chicago Cubs, with Tom Seaver (11-2) on the mound facing the fifth place Phils' Woodie Fryman (6-3). Phillie Larry Hisel led off the game with a HR, but that would be the only run the Phils would score in both games of the double header.

Starting Lineups

Tom Seaver went on to have another outstanding game. He would throw a complete game seven hitter, striking out nine batters & walking just one. He went to an 11-3 record on the season. with one of the leagues best ERA's at 2.53 on his way to his first Cy Young Award. 

In the home 3rd, Al Weis singled & was moved over on a Seaver bunt. Bud Harrelson then tripled scoring Weis making it 1-0. It was Harrelson's third triple of the year, he would have six on the season. The leagues leading hitter, Cleon Jones then brought in Harrelson with a base hit. It was all New York needed for the 2-1 win.

In the nightcap Mets Manager Gil Hodges sent Jim McAndrew (0-2) to  the mound to face Philadelphia's Jerry Johnson (3-6).

Starting Lineups

McAndrew had one of his best outings, shutting out the Phillies for eight innings, allowing just two hits. Ron Taylor came on for the 9th inning save & twin bill sweep.
As for the Mets offense;  In the bottom of the 4th, Tommie Agee reached on an error & Kenny Boswell singled.

Art Shamsky & Wayne Garrett both singled driving in runs. Ed Kranepool’s sac fly drove in Shamsky making it 3-0. McAndrew then drew a walk with the bases loaded for the 4th run. In the home 8th; Agee hit his 11th HR of the year capping off the 5-0 win.

1966 Mets First Round Draft Pick Who Never Played In Major Leagues: Steve Chilcott (1966)

Steven Lynn Chilcott was born on September 23rd 1948 in Lancaster, California. The five foot eleven catcher/ first baseman was the New York Mets number one draft pick in the 1966 amateur draft. The Mets chose Chilcott over outfielder Reggie Jackson. Jackson was chosen by the Kansas City Athletics & went on to a Hall of Fame career.

As for Chilcott he is the only position player to be chosen first overall & never make the major leagues. Chilcott was a star athlete at Antelope Valley high school, playing both baseball & football. He attracted a lot of attention & the scouts came out to see him. Among those coming out to watch him play, was Mets manager Casey. Chilcott remembered that the day Stengel came out, hundreds of more people came just to see him.

Stengel & the Mets were convinced that Chilcott was their man; they gave him a $75,000 signing bonus to start. It made sense, that Stengel picked the catcher, since he had spoken of how important catchers were & his most prized player during his heyday was his own catcher Yogi Berra.

Also at the time there was some question about Reggie Jackson’s attitude & character. Many baseball people at the time did believe that both players were destined to solid MLB careers.

In 1967 Chilcott batted .290 at A ball with the Winter Haven Mets, with 290 at bats he did not qualify for the batting race in which he would have come in fourth.

In a game that season, he was leading off second base, when a pitcher attempted to pick him off. He dove into second base landing on his right shoulder. It was then he suffered an injury that he could never fully recover from & it ruined his once promising career. The next year he was promoted to Visalia but hit just .189.

In 1969 as the Mets were winning the World Series, Chilcott only played in seven games at Visalia, after undergoing surgery. He also suffered a broken hand as well as chronic back issues the rest of his career. In 1970 he went from AA Memphis & got to AAA with the Tidewater Tides where he hit 11 HRs in 199 at bats. The next year he hit .265 with 17 HRs & 68 RBIs, striking out 95 times in 345 at bats.

The Mets gave up on him & he played his final season in 1972 in the AL New York’s club minor leagues for 24 games. After 337 minor league games his career was over by age 24, batting .248 with 39 HRs & 153 RBIs.

Retirement: After his playing days, he went back to school & then worked as a temporary fire fighter in Santa Barbara. He then went into the construction business as a full time contractor.

Jun 22, 2017

Remembering Mets History: (1983) Rusty Staub Ties MLB Consecutive Pinch Hit Record

Sunday June 26, 1983: Today, Frank Howard's last place Mets (27-43) hosted a double header against Pat Corrales third place Philadelphia Phillies (32-33). 

In the first game, a couple of old familiar faces figured in the outcome. Tug McGraw (now a Phillie) got the win over the Mets Tom Seaver. With the Mets down 8-4 in the 9th Inning, Rusty Staub came to bat as a pinch hitter. Staub singled to right field & tied an MLB record. It was Rusty’s eighth straight successful pinch hit, tying an MLB record held by Dave Philley.

On the previous home stand Staub had five successful pinch hit appearances. The streak began on Saturday June 11th, in a 5-2 loss to the Montreal Expos. Staub came to bat against Jeff Reardon, with the bases loaded in the 7th inning & New York down 5-0. Staub singled driving in Mark Bradley & Jose Oquendo.

The next night Staub came to bat as a pinch hitter in the 6th inning, facing Montreal's Charlie Lea. Rusty smashed a double driving in rookie Darryl Strawberry & George Foster. That night Staub helped contribute to his old pal, Tom Seaver who beat Montreal 9-1.

June 13- June 15th: The Chicago Cubs came to town next and took two of three games. But Staub continued his pinch hit streak. On June 12th, he singled off Chicago's Mike Proly in the 8th inning for his third straight successful pinch hit.

Walk Off Win: The next night was a big one for Staub, in front of a small Shea crowd of 10,000 fans. The Mets Ed Lynch & the Cubs Dick Ruthven pitched well, both getting to the 8th inning. Dave Kingman & Danny Heep both homered for the Mets, as the game went into extra innings tied at 3-3. In the bottom of the 10th, Staub came in to pinch hit against Lee Smith. The Mets had two men on, Bob Bailor on third & Daryl Strawberry on second. The games best pinch hitter of the early eighties, came through  once again. Staub hit an opposite field base hit scoring Bailor with the walk off game winning run. 

The next day, Staub was inserted into the starting lineup, playing at first base & batting fifth. The hot hitting "Le Grande Orange" went 3 for 4 in the Mets ten inning 7-4 loss.

June 18th: The Mets went north up to Montreal, a city where Staub was a legend after being the Expos first star player back in 1969. On the first night of the series, he had a 7th inning pinch hit single inning off Expo pitcher; Bill Gullickson. It was Staub's fifth pinch hit in a row, as the Mets won the game 6-1.

The next night the Mets lost a 4-3 heart breaker to Expo legend Steve Rogers. Staub did come through again, as he brought the Mets within a run, in the 9th inning, hitting his first HR of the year. It was his sixth straight pinch hit.

June 20th: The Mets came home to Shea Stadium, for a double header with the St. Louis Cardinals. In the first game the Mets took a 3-1 loss, as Staub got another start. He played right field and batted fifth, going 1 for 4.

In the second game, he made another pinch hit appearance, coming to bat for Carlos Diaz in the 7th inning. Staub singled off pitcher Dave Von Ohlen for pinch hit seven straight. The Mets also won the game 6-4. Staub played out field in the next two games and went hitless.

June 24th:The Mets came back home to Shea & took a 6-3 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. Staub came to bat as a pinch hitter getting hit by a pitch from Hall of Famer; Steve Carlton, safely reaching base. 

June 26th: Two nights later Staub would get into the record books as he tied the pinch hit record, leading off the  9th inning, batting for Junior Ortiz. Staub singled off veteran Phillie, Ron Reed, receiving a nice ovation from the Shea Faithful, as he accomplished his feat.

Rusty Staub's streak was ended three nights later, in St. Louis. In the 9th inning of a 4-3 loss, Bruce Sutter got Staub to ground out to second base.

On the season, the 39 year old Staub would bat .296 in 104 games, becoming one of the games best all time pinch hitters.