Dec 16, 2017

Remembering Mets History (1986): NLCS Game #2- Bobby O Evens Up Series

Thursday October 9th, 1986: NLCS Game #2- Houston Astrodome, Houston Texas.

After a heartbreaking 1-0 loss in Game #1, where Mike Scott out dueled Dwight Gooden, the Mets seeked revenge to even out the Series. The hostile Astrodome crowd of 44,391 were loud & excited at their chances to go up 2-0 over the hated Mets.

  Starting Lineups

Davey Johnson's Mets, sent their winningest pitcher in 1986 to the mound; Bobby Ojeda (18-5 / 2.57 ERA / .783 Winning %, best in the league) to even it up. Hal Lanier sent future Hall of Famer; Nolan Ryan (12-8 / 194 Ks / 3.34 ERA) to mound.

After three scoreless innings, the Mets struck in the 4th, Len Dykstra & Keith Hernandez both singled with one out. Gary Carter doubled bringing in the Mets first run of the series. Darryl Strawberry hit a sac fly scoring Hernandez making it 2-0 New York & quieting the loud Astrodome.

In the 5th, Rafael Santana & Dykstra both reached base with base hits. With two outs, Wally Backman singled to centerfield making it 3-0. Keith Hernandez then delivered a bases clearing triple on a line drive in the centerfield gap, making it 5-0 Mets.

It was all they needed for the win, tying up the series heading back home to New York.

Bobby Ojeda pitched a one run complete game, he allowed ten hits, walked two & struck out five Astros. Nolan Ryan took the loss allowing all five runs on seven hits, no walks & five Ks. Larry Anderson, Aurelio Lopez & Charlie Kerfeld all pitched for Houston as well.

Bobby Ojeda tags Out Kevin Bass at Home

Remembering Bobby Ojeda's Tragic Boating Accident (1993)

Steve Olin, Tim Crews & Bob Ojeda

March 22 nd 1993: was an off day from Spring Training, for three Cleveland Indians pitchers; Former Mets 1986 World Champion pitcher; Bobby Ojeda, Tim Crews & Steve Olin.

The three friends, took out an 18-foot open-air bass boat & went out fishing & gator hunting in the darkness of the evening on Lake Nellie in Clermont, Florida.

Tragedy struck, when the boat rammed into a private dock that jutted out some 250 feet into the still waters.

Two other Cleveland Indians personnel had arrived to meet the fishing party just as the horror took place. They heard Bob Ojeda saying they needed help. The two men jumped into the water and called out for someone to call 911.

27 year old pitcher; Steve Olin was killed instantly. 31 year old pitcher; Tim Crews was alive but was struggling to breathe suffering from massive head wounds.

Bobby Ojeda was in & out of shock, he was suffering from head lacerations but was coherent. The players were taken to a nearby hospital, where sadly Crews passed away the next morning.

Ojeda was operated on & survived the tragedy. He stated that he naturally slouches over, and that slouch saved his life in that boat, by a matter of inches.

Tim Crews had been the driver of the boat and was found to be legally drunk while operating the boat. He had signed a minor league contact with Cleveland that season and was fighting for a spot on the pitching staff. He had pitched six seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, going 11-13 with a 3.44 ERA &15 saves. Crews had gone 4-0 during the Dodgers 1988 World Championship season.

Ojeda in the Hospital
Ojeda & Crews had been teammate the previous two seasons with the Dodgers. 

Quotes: Bob Ojeda- "What happened was nothing more, nothing less, than a tragic accident, Tim Crews was the safest boatman I know, the safest, most cautious guy I know. We were going, and bam! I don't remember the bam part. Then I heard some lady hollering, `Are you guys OK?' And I told her, `No, we need help.' EMS got there in five minutes, and if they hadn't, I would have bled to death. They were tremendous."
Quotes: Bob Ojeda- “I certainly went through the why am I here? That’s a given. I left the country for a while.  I had a lot of money in my pocket and I wasn’t gonna come back.”

But Ojeda returned & got back to the mound on August 7th, 1993, pitching two innings of relief at Baltimore. A month later he got his first win of the season, fittingly in New York beating the AL New York team.

Steve Olin
Steve Olin had just come off strong season, as the Indians closer. He had 29 saves (8th in the AL) going 8-5 with a 2.34 ERA. After four seasons he was 16-19 with 48 saves, posting a 3.10  lifetime ERA.

During the 1993 season, the Indians wore a commemorative arm patch on their sleeve, it had Olin’s #31 with an arrow above it next to Crews’ #52 with a star above it. 

On the teams last Opening Day at Municipal Stadium, the Tribe honored their fallen teammates & their families in an emotional ceremony in front of a sell out crowd of 72,000. 

The Wives of Crews & Olin on Opening Day 1993

The Indians had a fine young team featuring  Sandy Alomar Jr., Kenny Lofton, Charles Nagy, Albert Belle & Carlos Baerga. Two years later they would go onto the World Series for the first time since 1954.

In September of 2016, Miami Marlins All Star pitcher Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident as well. It brought back many ad memories of the 1993 incident.

1986 World Champion Mets Pitcher & Former SNY Analyst: Bobby Ojeda (1986-1990)

Robert Michael Ojeda was born December 17, 1957 in Los Angeles, California.

The left hander known as Bobby O, was drafted out of the College of the Sequoias in Visalia, California, in 1978 by the Boston Red Sox.

He was 15-7 with a 2.43 ERA at Elmira in the NY Penn. League in 1979 going to AAA the next year Making his debut in July of 1980 at Fenway Park getting no decision against the Detroit Tigers. He pitched in seven games going 1-1 getting his first win against Texas on August 2nd. He found himself back at Pawtucket after posting a 6.93 ERA.

On April 18, 1981 Pawtucket and Rochester played a tie game for 32 innings before the game was finally suspended. Two months later it resumed, and Ojeda began the 33rd inning earning the win 18 minutes later. He is credited with being the winning pitcher in the longest pro game in baseball history.

He came back up to the Red Sox and went 6-2 with a 3.12 ERA in 1981, struggling the next year going 4-6 with a 4.53 ERA. He then posted two straight twelve win seasons; first going 12-7 in 1983 with a 4.04 ERA In 1984 although he was .500 with a 12-12 record he led the league in shut outs with five.

In 1985 he was doing time in the bull pen then pitched well and was brought back into the rotation. He struggled again falling to 9-12 and the Red Sox chose to trade him that winter. On November 13th, 1985 he was sent to the New York Mets with John Mitchell & Tom McCarthy for Calvin Shiraldi, John Christensen, & Wes Gardner.

The trade proved to be important for both teams in getting to the 1986 World Series. Bobby O turned out to arguably be the best pitcher on the 1986 Mets Championship staff.

He made his Mets debut in the second game of the year, in relief of Ron Darling who was roughed up for six runs in four innings. The Mets rallied to beat the Philadelphia Phillies & Ojeda earned his first victory. He won his first start on April 22nd in Cincinnati then pitched a complete game win in St. Louis to beat the Cardinals on April 27th.

In May he began the month with a one run, seven inning performance against the Reds in Cincinnati. When the Reds came to Shea, he beat them again with an eight inning, one rub ten strike out game. He was soon at 5-0 in early May, posting a 1.49 ERA. He went undefeated in June and July going 6-0 in that period in ten starts, throwing four complete games two shut outs and going beyond the seventh inning seven times.

On June 5th he pitched a five hit shutout in Pittsburgh beating the Pirates 7-0. On June 15th he tossed another complete game, allowing just one run against the Pirates at Shea. In St. LOuis on July 30th he shut out the Cardinals on a seven hitter.

On July 19, he was involved in a famous incident at a Houston night club with teammates Ron Darling, Tim Tuefel & Rick Aguilera. The four Mets were arrested after fighting with off duty police officers posing as security guards. They were soon released after paying $200 fines. Bobby O returned to the mound three days later, earning no decision in a 6-3 Mets win in Cincinnati.

Bobby O was 12-2 by the end of July with one of the league’s best ERA’s at 2.24. In August he took two straight losses; one in Montreal & another in Philadelphia. He returned to win his next four straight starts. On August 18th he threw a five hit one run game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Shea Stadium. In his next start he pitched a three hitter against the San Francisco Giants, striking out seven. Before the season was over he tossed a four hitter in Pittsburgh but got no decision. He won his last start as well beating the Pirates at Shea Stadium.

On the season he had eight different outings where he didn't allow any earned runs. He finished up with the second best ERA in the NL (2.57) leading the Mets staff.

His 18-5 record gave him the best winning percentage in the league at .783%, while his 18 victories were third most in the league, and best on the Mets staff. Ojeda got past the 5th inning in 28 of his 30 starts, throwing two shut outs and seven complete game.

He allowed only one run or less in sixteen of his 30 starts. Overall he pitched 217 innings with 148 strike outs & 52 walks. He was number one in the NL with a 4.030 strike outs / walks ratio. He was fifth in the league in walks per nine innings (2.153) & tenth in hits per nine innings (7.6).

1986 POST SEASON: In Game #2 of the 1986 NLCS against the Houston Astros, Ojeda pitched a complete game allowing just one run on ten hits while striking out five Astros. He beat Nolan Ryan to even the Series at one game apiece, after the Mets had fallen behind one games to none.

Ojeda was the starting pitcher in the Classic Game #6 but he gave up three runs in the first inning and left in the 5th inning trailing 3-0. The Mets eventually rallied & won the game in sixteen innings advancing to the World Series.

In the World Series the Mets faced Bobby’s old team, the Boston Red Sox, losing the first two games at home. Bobby O took the mound against Oil Can Boyd in Game #3 at his old familiar mound in Fenway Park. He allowed one run on five hits over seven innings as the Mets went on to a 7-1 victory.

Ojeda also got the start in the classic Game #6 at Shea Stadium, with the Mets down in the Series 3-2. He gave up two runs on eight hits pitching six innings, leaving with a tied score.

Later in the game, the man traded for Ojeda less than a year ago, Calvin Schiraldi, gave up the tying and winning runs in one of the greatest comebacks in World Series history. Overall Bobby went 2-0 with 15 strikeouts in 27 innings and a 2.33 ERA in the 1986 post season.                    

Ojeda got the start on Opening Day 1987 as Dwight Gooden battled his drug problems & was in rehab. That day the Mets raised the Championship flag was raised at Shea Stadium. Ojeda pitched seven innings allowing ten hits, but just one run as the Mets went on to a 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. He had a rough start himself that year, falling to 2-4 before needed surgery in early May.

He would miss most of that season, returning in September making three relief appearances. He made a start against the Pirates at Shea Stadium, in his final outing of the year. He pitched six innings allowed three runs on six hits & earned the win. For the 1987 season he pitched in only ten games going 3-5 with a 3.88 ERA.

In 1988 he began the year with a win at Montreal in the second game of the season. He then pitched a two hit shutout against the Expos at Shea Stadium a week later. He was at 3-1 in early May then had his ups & downs the rest of the way. In late May he began a three game losing streak, that took him to mid June. On June 14th he beat the Cardinals at Shea Stadium with a nine hit shutout.

In July hallowed three runs in two separate outings & took losses both times. He pitched his best game on July 19th, a three hit six strike out shutout against the Pittsburgh Pirates. That day he beat John Smiley in a classic 1-0 pitchers duel.
In August, he suffered a four game losing streak not earning another win until August 30th, when he beat the Padres 1-0 in San Diego on a six hitter.

Careless Accident at Home: In mid September he was involved in a strange accident at his home, damaging his season as well as the Mets post season. While trimming his hedges at his Long Island home, he severed the tip of his left middle finger on his pitching hand and required micro surgery to reattach it.

He missed the rest of the season and the post season, leaving a hole in the Mets solid rotation. The situation did not sit well with the fans the front office or the media. The rotation had to be changed for the NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Mets lost the series in seven games, David Cone's comments in the New York papers didn't help but only motivated L.A. further. It took another decade for the Mets to make the post season, so these were turning points in Met history.

Overall Ojeda finished the year at 10-13 posting another good ERA at 2.88 which was among the best in the National League again. He had five shutouts & five complete games pitching in 190 innings with 133 strike outs & 33 walks.

Ojeda did not recover well from the injury, he came back in 1989 but lost his first three starts going 0 for April. On June 11th he pitched a complete game victory over the Pirates in Pittsburgh, then returned to throw a three hit shutout in Philadelphia. He was showing signs of the Bobby Ojeda from three seasons ago as he won three straight. In the final two months he was fantastic, seven of nine decisions including five straight and a 4-0 August.

On the year he was 13-11, second on a staff of three 14 game winners (Ron Darling, David Cone & Sid Fernandez) while posting a 3.47 ERA, spending the majority of the year out of the bullpen.

In 1990 he was pitching middle relief out of the bullpen, and went 7-6, with a 3.66 ERA. As his career began to decline the Mets gave up on him and traded him to the Los Angeles Dodgers for the second coming of Hubbie Brooks in New York. 

In his Mets career (140 games) he was 51-40 (15th most wins) with a 3.12 ERA , 459 strike outs & 213 walks in 764 innings (20th all time). It was with the Mets that he enjoyed the most success of his career.

Ojeda pitched well in Los Angeles, as he returned to his home town as the only left hander in the Dodger rotation. On July 21st he returned to New York pitching against the Mets but exiting in third inning, as he was roughed up for six earned runs. Overall he went 12-9 with a 3.19 ERA. He dropped to 6-9 the next season and signed with the Cleveland Indians as a free agent for 1993.

Tragic Event: During Indians Spring Training, on March 22nd 1993, Ojeda went on a boat ride with his new teammates Steve Olin and Tim Crews. Crews had been drinking and was later proven to be legally drunk. He was operating a boat the three were on just before darkness set in. The boat struck a pier, tragically killing Crews and Olin instantly.

Ojeda suffered major head lacerations and sat out most of the season to recuperate, both physically and mentally. He attributed his natural slouch while sitting in the boat, the reason his life was saved. The incident was devastating to Ojeda & the Indians organization as well as shaking up all of pro baseball.

Ojeda returned late that season going 2-0 with a 4.40 ERA in 43 innings pitched. He was a free agent at the end of the season and pitched two games for the A.L. New York team, before retiring at the end of the year.

In his 15 years career Ojeda was 115-98 with a 3.65 ERA, 128 strikeouts 678 walks in 1884 innings pitched. He threw 16 shut outs with 41 complete games in 351 appearances.

Retirement: After his playing days he returned to the Mets organization as the pitching coach for the Brooklyn Cyclones & then the AA Binghamton Mets.

In 2003 he was a candidate for the Mets pitching coach job but it didn't work out & when he didn’t get the job, he criticized the organization.

In 2009 he became a Mets broadcaster as a studio analyst with the SNY network.  Ojeda would do pre & post game work in the SNY studios on 6th Avenue. After a six year run he left the network prior to the Mets 2015 NL Championship season. Ojeda supported & complimented the Wilpons as owners but was bitter toward GM Sandy Alderson upon his departure.

Quotes: “I really couldn’t have been more disappointed,” Ojeda said. “I just loved what I’ve been doing for the past six years. I’ve just had a ball. It has been the quickest six years of my life. It has been great.

Ojeda received praise & support from many Mets fans, including Jerry Seinfeld. During the 2015 Mets post season run Ojeda was doing work for CBS Sports.

Ojeda lives in nearby Rumson, New Jersey with his wife, together they have a son and five daughters.

Bobby an all around good guy, was on hand for the 20th Anniversary of the 2006 Mets & for the final ceremonies of Shea Stadium in 2008.

Dec 15, 2017

Remembering Mets History (1988) Mets Hit Record Six Opening Day HRs & Straw Hits Longest Ever @ Stade Olympique

Opening Day '88 Monday April 4th,1988: An exciting Opening Day in Montreal brought 55,413 Canadians out to Olympic Stadium (Stade Olympique) to see Buck Rogers' Expos host Davey Johnson's New York Mets.

The previous year the Expos won 91 games (91-71) finishing in third place four games behind the St. Louis Cardinals & just one game behind the second place Mets (92-70).

Todays starters were the Mets Dwight Gooden &  the Expos, Dennis Martinez. Gooden would be an 18 game winner for the 1988 NL Eastern Champion Mets, while Martinez would go on to win 15 games & win 14 games or more in six of the next seven seasons.

Starting Lineups

Former Met Hubie Brooks put the Expos on board fist with an RBI single. In the 2nd, Darryl Strawberry started out his season with a HR, to tie the game. In the 3rd, Lenny Dykstra walked, stole second & advanced to third on a balk. Kevin McReynolds then singled, bringing in his first run of the year.

In the 4th Howard Johnson singled & short stop Kevin Elster hit a HR putting the Mets up 4-1. The Expos would chip away at Gooden to tie it 4-4 after five innings.

In the Mets 6th, Gary Carter singled & Dave Magadan walked, setting the stage for Lenny Dykstra's two run HR to make it 7-4.

The Mets were not done yet, with Randy St. Claire on in relief in the 7th, Strawberry connected with a mammoth HR, estimated to travel up to 525 feet from home plate. The blast reached a set of lights on the upper rim of the ballparks dome.

It is considered to be the longest HR ever hit at Olympic Stadium. It was his second HR of the day. The next batter, Kevin McReynolds followed with another HR, giving the Mets an Opening Day record of six HRs on the day.

Hubie Brooks was not done taunting the Mets yet as he hit a two run HR off reliever David Cone, scoring Mitch Webster in the 8th, making it 9-6.

In the top of the 9th, McReynolds hit his second HR of the day, starting out his year on a good note as the Mets went on to 10-6 victory.

That year McReynolds hit 27 HRs & drove
in a career high 99 runs while tying his career best batting average at .288. Straw would become the second Met to ever lead the NL in HRs with 39, matching his career best from the previous year. He also led the league in slugging (.545) while driving in over 100 runs for the second straight year.

Mid Eighties Mets Pitcher: Tom Gorman (1983-1985)

Thomas Patrick Gorman was born on December 16, 1957 in Portland Oregon. The tall six foot four left hander, was signed by the Montreal Expos in fourth round of the 1980 draft.

Gorman was a 12 game winner (12-9) at AA Memphis in 1981 & was promoted to AAA Wichita in 1982. That year he got his MLB debut on September 2nd at Cincinnati pitching the 5th through the 7th innings. He closed out the season in a 2-1 loss to the New York Mets.

In 1982 he got his first career win in a May game against the Houston Astros at Montreal's Olympic Stadium. That day he found himself in an elevator with hall of Fame pitchers; Nolan Ryan & Don Sutton both members of the Astros. He got them to crack a smile when he commented “there’s a lot of wins in this elevator. 

Later that season he was traded to the New York Mets for a player to be named later, who turned out to be Joel Youngblood. After a brief games with AAA Tidewater he made a September call up for three games, debuting as a Met on September 18th in relief, in a game against the St. Louis Cardinals.

In 1983 he was pitching at AAA Tidewater where he was 6-1 with a 2.92 ERA, earning a promotion to the Mets that June. 

In his first outing on June 21st, he was given a start. but he was hit for five runs on six hits, taking a loss to the Cardinals at Shea. A week later in St. Louis he took another loss giving up HRs to Andy Van Slyke & David Green. He made two more starts in July taking losses in Atlanta & Cincinnati before going to the bullpen the rest of the year. In 25 appearances he went 1-4 posting a 4.93 ERA, striking out 30 batters in 42 innings.

He began 1984 at AAA Tidewater but was back up by May, putting in a real good year out of the Mets bullpen. On June 6th he got his first win, when Wally Backman scored a run in the top of the 13th inning on a wild pitch, in a game against the Pirates in Pittsburgh. In July he earned a save, a win & hold. As the Mets had their first winning season in seven season, they were chasing the Chicago Cubs for the NL Eastern Title.

In September Gorman recorded three relief wins, and allowed just one earned run in six outings. After August 1st he had only allowed one earned run eleven outings. He went 6-0 on the year with a 2.97 ERA, striking out 40 batters over 52 innings pitching in 36 games.

On Opening Day 1985 he was the winning pitcher in relief of Doc Gooden, when Gary Carter hit a walk off game winning HR against the St. Louis Cardinals in his Mets debut. Gorman became known to his team mates as “Goose Koufax” and he was certainly involved in some crazy games. 

He took the loss on April 23rd, ending a personal eight game winning that had begun back in 1983. His next win at the end of April, when he was the winning pitcher of an 18 inning win against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Shea Stadium. In that game, Mookie Wilson scored the winning run when Clint Hurdle reached first base on an error.

On June 11th he made a rare start in Philadelphia and was pummeled for six runs in the first inning, taking the loss in a 26-7 Phillies slaughter over the Mets. Gorman was also the winning pitcher in one of the longest & zaniest Mets game in their history; it was The Fourth of July 1985 game in Atlanta, against the Braves.

In this six hour 19 inning marathon, Gorman came in during the 14th inning with New York ahead 10-8. He allowed a two run game tying HR to the Braves Terry Harper, sending the tie game to the top of the 18th. 

The Mets went ahead on a Len Dykstra sac fly. But instead of wrapping it up in the bottom of the 18th, Gorman allowed another game tying HR. This time it came off the bat of weak hitting pitcher; Rick Camp. Gorman & the Mets had stunned looks on their faces as it seemed like the game would never end.

The Mets ended up winning it in the 19th inning, as they got an RBI double by Ray Knight scoring Gary Carter, as well as RBI singles from Danny Heep & Wally Backman. These hits came off the pitcher; Rick Camp who had homered earlier to tie it off Gorman. Ron Darling closed out the game earning a save. 

When Fulton County Stadium had its fireworks display at 230 AM the nearby residents of Atlanta thought they were under attack.

Gorman would get only one more decision on the year, a loss on July 11th to the Houston Astros. He would pitch with the team through the end of the year, making 34 appearances. 

On the 1985 season he was 4-4 with a 2.97 ERA. He had 32 strike outs & 18 walks while allowing 56 hits, eight HRs & 30 earned runs in 56 innings.

He began Spring Training 1986 as a member of the Mets but was cut on April fool’s Day. He briefly played in Philadelphia & San Diego before finishing his seven year career the next year at age 30.

In a seven year career he was 12-10 with 144 strikeouts & 66 walks in 213 innings pitched, posting a 4.34 ERA.

Mets Player From the Original 1962 Team: Neil Chrisley (1962)

Barbra O'Neil Chrisley was born on December 16, 1931 in Calhoun Falls, South Carolina. He was a local high school star playing with the Calhoun Falls Clippers leading them to a 1950 State Championship. In the final game Neil as he had become known, hit a HR to help lead his team to the title victory.

The tall six foot three outfielder also played Football & basketball in high school One week after his high school graduation he was signed by the Boston Red Sox & had batting practice with Ted Williams.

He had a long minor league career, getting traded to the Washington Senators organization in 1955. Over the years he played in the Mexican League where he caught a dangerous virus, in which he lost 15 pounds. He also played winter ball in Cuba the following winter during the dangerous period when Fidel Castro took over power of the country.

Chrisley began 1957 with the Senators big league club, catching President Eisenhower ceremonial first pitch to start off the season. He made his debut as a pinch hitter for Camillo Pasqual on April 25th, in the 11th inning against the brand new Baltimore Orioles club.

He singled in that at bat but was soon back in the minors. The rest of the year he batted .343 (second in the league) with Indianapolis in AAA, making it back to the Senators for the 1958 season.

He hit his first career HR that May, as a pinch hitter against Bob Turley & the A.L. New York team, in the Bronx & hit two more HRs in his next three games. Unfortunately he only batted .215 with 5 HRs in 105 games on the season & was traded with Rocky Bridges and Eddie Yost to the Detroit Tigers for Reno Bertoia, Jim Delsing and Ron Samford.

He became a reserve outfielder & pinch hitter the rest of his career, having his best season in 1960. In 1959 he hit a career high 6 HRs but only batted a weak .132 in 106 at bats. The next year he hit .255 with 5 HRs & 24 RBIs in 220 at bats, posting a .981 fielding % in the outfield. In a game against his old Boston teammates, he singled in the first inning off future Mets pitching coach Bill Monbouquette. It was the only hit Monbo allowed the rest of the day.

At the end of the season he was drafted as the 44th pick of the Los Angeles in expansion draft but was returned a few hours later. He was traded to the Milwaukee Braves where he saw action in his last 10 MLB games in 1961 going 2-9 as a pinch hitter.

In October of 1961 his contract was purchased by the expansion New York Mets, & he did attend the clubs very first Spring Training making him an original Met. In at least one game he made headlines by getting three hits in a game against Washington. Even though Chrisley still couldn’t make the ’62 Mets squad out of Spring Training, he did get himself on a 1962 Topps Mets baseball card.

He was returned back to the Braves on April 2, 1962. Chrisley also came in fourth place in the first annual players Bowling tournament, competing against 64 other major league players from various spring training camps that March.

Chrisley went on to hit 60 plus HRs in his final three minor league seasons, finishing his playing career in 1964 with a .286 minor league average In 302 major league games over five seasons he batted .210 with 16 HRs & 64 RBIs.

Retirement: After baseball he sold insurance in Greenwood, South Carolina where resided until his passing in May of 2013.

In 2014 Calhoun Falls high school placed him in the schools Hall of Fame & the charter school named their baseball field named in his honor where he starred in the 1940's.

Dec 14, 2017

Remembering Mets History (1969) The Mets Play Thier First Game Outside The United States

Tuesday April 29th 1969: This game would mark the first time the New York Mets ever played a regular season game outside of the United States. It began an NL East competition that would last into the new millennium when the Expos left Montreal for Washington D.C.

Montreal Expos history: The 1969 expansion, Montreal Expos were named after the 1987 Worlds Fair (Expo '67) held in the city. Montreal had been an AAA home to the Montreal Royals, a long time minor league club that began play in 1897.

With the exception of ten years (1918-1927) minor league ball was played since then in Montreal for 53 years. The Royals were an affiliate of the Brooklyn Dodgers, the place where Jackie Robinson also played for breaking into MLB. The team won seven championships in their era.

The first star player for the Expos was the Popular (future Met) Rusty Staub whom the locals named "Le Grande Orange". The future Cajun chef also learned to speak French while in Montreal.

Jarry Park, Montreal Quebec: The Expos played in a large park area where a baseball field was built- Jarry Park (or Park Jarry as the French Canadians say) was home to the club until they moved to Olympic Stadium (Stade Olympique) in 1976.

Park Jarry was a cold windy place, with the sun setting in west blinding the first baseman's eyes. Forgotten is the fact that there was a large swimming pool beyond the outfield, belonging to the parks grounds.

This was long before the pools & splash HRs of today in various in ballparks. Pirate slugger Willie Stargell once landed a 490' shot into the pool, earning its nickname "Willies Pool". Today the area is Stade Jarry a tennis stadium.

Just 8,577 fans showed up on a brisk Montreal afternoon to watch Gene Mauch's Expos (7-12) face Gil Hodges eventual World Champion Mets (8-11). Veteran MudCat Grant went for the Expos taking on the Mets lefty, Jerry Koosman.

Starting Lineups

The game was highlighted by two HR's hit by Ed Kranepool. Kranepool blasted a 2nd inning shot & a 6th inning shot both off of Mud Cat Grant.

It was all the Mets needed as fine pitching once again came from the 1969 Mets.

Koosman would pitch into the 5th inning, allowing no runs on two hits. Fireballer Nolan Ryan came in relief went the distance shutting out the Expos, striking out seven walking no one & scattering four hits. He earned the victory to go 2-0 on the year.