Aug 24, 2016

Remembering Mets History: (1969) Mets Pitchers Allow Just Three Earned Runs Over Six Games

Saturday August 16th, 1969: A big crowd came out to Shea Stadium to see Gil Hodges second place Mets (63-51) host Preston Gomes last place San Diego Padres (35-82) in a afternoon doubleheader.

Tom Seaver took the mound, shutting down the Padres for eight innings allowing no runs on four hits with four strike outs. Ron Taylor closed the door in the 9th with his 11th save, securing Seaver's 17th win (17-7). 

In the Mets 5th, Tommie Agee singled in Baud Harrelson for the first run. Bobby Pfeil singled in Jerry Grote for a 7th inning insurance run. The Padres Tommie Sisk took the loss (0-7).

In the night cap, another fine Mets pitcher Jim McAndrew won his fourth game, pitching seven innings allowing just one run on three hits, striking out seven Padres. Tug McGraw came on for two scoreless innings of relief sealing the double header sweep.

The game was tied going into the 7th inning, when Ron Swoboda reached on an error. With two outs, Bud Harrelson drew a walk & then Jerry Grote singled, bringing in the winning run.

Sunday August 17th, 1969: As the Woodstock Festival was going into it's third day in Upstate New York the Mets hosted the Padres & swept them once againin a Twin Bill at Shea Stadium.

In the first game Jerry Koosman tossed a complete game victory, allowing two runs & five hits. He went to 10-8 on the year defeating Joe Niekro. A Duffy Dyer three run HR in the 5th was all the offense needed.

In the night cap, Don Cardwell beat Clay Kirby in another 3-2 squeeker. Cardwell threw seven shut out innings, he was relieved by Cal Koonce & Ron Taylor who pitched the final two innings. The two Padre runs were both unearned, coming on two Mets errors in the 8th.

In the 7th inning, Ed Kranepool singled & Jerry Grote walked. Bud Harrelson followed with a triple bringing both runners in. J.C. Martin followed with a sac fly for the game winning run.

Tuesday August 19th, 1969: The third place San Francisco Giants (64-56) came to Shea Stadium for a mid week series.

As usual all the old NY Giants fans came out & a big crowd of 48,968 settled in for what was to be a great game. The Mets sent young Gary Gentry to the mound to face off against future Hall of Famer; Juan Marichal.

Gentry was excellent going a full ten innings shutting out the mighty Giants, on just four scattered hits. He walked four & struck out five.

The only problem for the Mets was Marichal was just as good, Marichal stayed in the game pitching all the way into the bottom of the 14th inning. Up to that point he allowed no runs on just five hits, walking one & striking out 13 Mets.

With one out in the 14th, Tommie Agee stepped in & hit a dramatic walk off HR off Marichal, his 21st HR of the year. It was an exciting win for the Mets, as the win streak went to five games. Although they were still eight games out of first, the Mets were already the Amazing Mets & believed they could win this thing. Now they were proving it to the world.

Wednesday August 20th, 1969: In this game it was Jim McAndrew's turn to shine once again, in this outstanding week of Mets pitching. In the 1st inning McAndrew allowed a double to Don Mason & then a triple to Mason in the 3rd inning.

Out of all the powerful hitters in the Giants line up, like; Willie Mays, Willie McCovey &  Bobby Bonds, it was Mason (a career .205 hitter) who got the only two hits of the day off McAndrew.

McAndrew was outstanding, shutting out the Giants on two hits, six strike outs & three walks. He bested his record on a star studded staff to 5-5 as a quality fill in guy during the 1969 Miracle Mets season. McAndrew would also be a part of the 1973 Mets Pennant winning staff. On this day he beat another Hall of Famer; Gaylord Perry.

The Mets got to Perry for six runs, led by an Art Shamsky three run HR & RBI double. Another Bud Harrelson RBI triple accounted for a run, along with a Tommie Agee RBI.

In this week of great Mets pitching the staff allowed just three earned runs in 54 innings of work. The Mets won six straight,  and 14 of 16 games going into September. They were now just four games behind the fading Chicago Cubs.

Remembering Mets History: (2003) Steve Trachsel Tosses His Second One Hitter

Monday August 18th, 2003: In an afternoon matinee at Shea, Art Howe's fifth place Mets (54-69) hosted Clint Hurdle's fourth place Colorado Rockies (61-66). A crowd of 23,865 came to Shea & witnessed Steve Trachsel throw his second one hitter of the season, the 26th one hitter in Mets team history.

Starting Lineups

Trachsel took a no hitter into the 6th inning, after getting the first two outs, the no hit bid was spoiled when Rockies pitcher; Chin-hui Tsao doubled to centerfield. The crowd gasped as the tension had been mounting, Trachsel shrugged it off & went about his buisness.

He retired the next nine batters until Greg Norton reached on an error in the 9th inning. Trachsel did not walk anyone in the game & struck out three, earning his 12th win of the year to go to 12-7 with a 4.20 ERA.

The Mets supported him with eight runs, starting out with a Mike Piazza two run HR in the 1st inning. In the 3rd, Jason Phillips added a two run blast making it 4-0.

In the Mets 6th, three straight two singles made it 5-0, as Joe McEwing, Trachsel & Roger Cedeno all got hits. Jose Reyes walked to load them up, Mike Piazza reached on a fielders choice making it 7-0. Then Cliff Floyd drove in the 8th run with a base hit to left field.

Trachsel would lead the Mets in wins that year going 16-10, one game better than Al Leiter at 15-10.

An Original Met & Legendary Popular Player: Choo Choo Coleman (1962-1963)

Clarence Coleman was born August 25, 1937 in Orlando, Florida. The five foot nine, left hand hitting Coleman started out playing in the Negro Leagues, playing with the Indianapolis Clowns.

He was signed by the Washington Senators in 1955, but was soon released. He was then signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers & was taken away by the Philadelphia Phillies as a Rule V draft choice in the late fifties.

Choo Choo played in the minor leagues from 1955- 1961 before getting a big league call up. He would play 13 seasons total in the minors batting .251 with 67 HRs 212 RBIs. At AAA Spokane in 1961 he was a team mate of former Brooklyn Dodger pitcher, Don Newcombe. Choo Choo hit his minor league best .288 with good power 13 HRs 0 doubles & 45 RBIs in 73 games.

It appeared he was ready for the majors, getting a call up to the dismal 1961 Phillies squad that lost 107 games. He only batted only .128 in 34 games that season with one double & four RBIs. He was chosen as an original New York Met in the 1961 Expansion draft, the 28th pick overall.

He was to serve as a backup catcher to main backstop Chris Cannizzaro. Cannizzaro would play 56 games as the teams catcher with Coleman catching in 44 games.

The '62 club also used three other catchers: Sammy Taylor (50 games) Joe Pignatano (32 games) & Hobie Landrith (21 games). According to 1962 Mets pitcher Roger Craig in a great story in Mets lore: when Choo Choo gave the sign behind the plate to the pitcher, he looked down to see what it was himself.

Coleman is probably most famous for one of his first Mets interviews more than for his playing. In a classic interview with legendary Mets broadcaster Ralph Kiner, he was asked “Why do they call you Choo Choo?” Coleman replied “I don’t know”. Kiner then asked “What’s your wife’s name & what is she like?" Coleman responded “Her name is Mrs. Coleman & she likes me.”

Coleman once said his favorite sport was tennis, when asked in an interview how often he plays the game, he said “not since high school”. Casey Stengel praised Coleman on his ability to stop slow pitches & said he never seen a catcher move so fast to retrieve passed balls. Coleman was charged with five passed balls in 44 games.

In August '62 he saw a lot of action, gathering twenty hits hitting five HRs & putting together a six game hit streak. He hit HRs in back to back games against the Cincinnati Reds early in the month, driving in two runs in each game.

On August 15th he came to bat as a pinch hitter in the 6th inning of a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at the Polo Grounds. He hit a two run HR off Art Mahaffey, but the Mets lost the game anyway 8-7.

Choo Choo also homered off Don Drysdale & the Los Angeles Dodgers, in the Polo Grounds on August 24th. In his next at bat he hit between Marvelous Marv Throneberry & Hot Rod Kanehl who also both homered off Drysdale in those at bats. Surely Coleman saw a brush back pitch.

On August 25th, his actual 25th birthday, he was charged with his only error of the season.  With big Frank Howard at first base Coleman signaled Marv Throneberry for a pick off at first. Coleman claims “Throneberry missed the signal, and the ball went right past his head,” The official scorer gave him an error, just for bad judgment.

On September 14th, he came to bat in the bottom of the 9th inning of a 9-9 tied game with the Cincinnati Reds. Coleman hit a game winning, walk off HR against Johnny Klippstein bringing the Polo Grounds fans some excitement. He had a good September Series, against the Houston Astros driving in three runs with three hits over a two game span.

Overall for the '62 season, he batted .250 with six HRs, seven doubles, two triples a .303 on base % & 17 RBIs, showing some promise for a good future.

In 1963 he was road roommate to Charlie Neal who wore uniform #4 until Duke Snider arrived on April 1st. There are two conflicting stories with the same ending in Cho Choo Coleman lore: One of the two players were ragging him saying "I bet you don't know what my names is" Coleman responded "You number four". T

hat season the Mets had five different catchers again competing to play behind the plate. Coleman saw the most playing time (91games) as the team’s main catcher, playing in 106 games overall.

Although he made 15 errors (.961 fielding %) he threw out 50% of runners attempting to steal & turned nine double plays.

On May 12th in an 11-11 tie at the Polo Grounds, his 8th inning base hit off Cincinnati’s Al Worthington, drove home Al Moran in what was the games winning run.

Coleman never got his bat to hit that year. He hit just two HRs, one at Wrigley Field in August & the other a two run shot at the Polo rounds against the Houston Colt 45's. For the season, Coleman only hit .178 with three extra base hits (all three were HRs).

He drove in nine runs, posted a .264 on base % & stole five bases. After spending the next two seasons in the minors he resurfaced in 1966 for six games, going 3-16 ( batting .188) striking out four times.

Coleman will always be remembered for his classic quotes & having one of the best names in Mets history. Choo Choo is a life time .205 hitter, with 91 hits 9 HRs 7 doubles 7 stolen bases & 26 RBIs over four seasons in 201 games played.

He caught in 140 games behind the plate for the early Mets (19th most in Mets history) throwing out 40% of would be base stealers.

Retirement: After baseball Coleman retired to Orlando Florida. After his first wife died he remarried & his wife's daughter married into an Asian family.

Choo Choo Coleman then worked in their family business helping run a Chinese Restaurant, for twenty years in Virginia.

In honor of the Mets 50th Anniversary, Coleman flew on a plane to New York (his first flight in 35 years) & appeared at his first memorabilia show.

He was greeted warmly by old team mates Frank Thomas, Tommie Davis, Craig Anderson & Bill Wakefield. After all thsese years he said he got the name Choo Choo because he was fast, Ralph Kiner joked 'he could have told me that"!

Coleman is still loved by Mets fans & his casual slow demeanor certainly helps his legacy. "You play for a team, you always root for them" he said.

Aug 23, 2016

Remembering Mets History: (2015) Mets Hit Franchise Record 8 HRs & Score Season High 16 Runs

Monday August 23th 2015: Terry Collins first place New York Mets (68-56) were up 5 1/2 games in first place, on a roll during a seven game win streak where they would go 8-1 on a successful road trip through Baltimore, Colorado & Philadelphia.

Tonight the Mets were in Philadelphia taking on Pete Mackanin's Phillies (50-75). The Phils were 18 1/2 games behind the Mets as Jacob deGrom took on Adam Morgan in front of 23,744 fans.

Starting Lineups

It looked like a bad start for the Mets as Jacob deGrom gave up three early HRs. First a three run HR to Ryan Howard in the 1st inning, a solo shot to Cameron Rupp in the 2nd & another three run shot to Domonic Brown.

It was deGrom's shortest outing of the year as he was gone by the 3rd inning. He also gave up career highs in runs (7) & hits (8). His three HRs allowed tied a career high for himself as well.

The balls were flowing out of Citizen's Bank Park on this night as the Mets would set a franchise record eight HRs on the night.

Tonight marked the return of the Mets Captain, David Wright who had been out with back issues from April 15, four months prior. In heroic fashion Wright returned with hitting a HR in his first at bat, a solo shot his second of the year & the Mets first on this historic night.

The Mets got another solo HR from Juan Lagares (3rd inning), & then from Travis d'Arnaud in the 4th inning, followed soon by a two run shot from Wilmer Flores. It was one of two Flores would hit on the night. All of a sudden it was a 7-5 game.

In the Mets 5th, Daniel Murphy doubled & Yoenis Cesoedes was hit by a pitch. Wilmer Flores followed with a three run HR, his second of the night, his 14th of the year. Two batters later Michael Cuddyer blasted a solo HR to make it 9-7 Mets.

But it wasn't over yetm The Mets would hit nine HRs on this night. In the 6th Daniel Murphy added a two run shot & YOenis Cespedes capped off the night with his 24th HR of the year, an 8th inning two run blast. d'Arnaud & Lagares added RBI hits completeing the Mets 16-7 win.

Wilmer Flores, Travis d'Arnaud, Daniel Murphy & Michael Cuddyer all had three hits on the evening. Cespedes, Wright & Lagares all had two hits each.

Trivia: The 16 runs were the most the Mets had scored in any single game all season. They would score 14 runs three different times during their 2015 NL Championship season.

Not only did the Mets set their franchise record for HRs in a single game but the two teams combined for 11 HRs which tied an NL record. It had been done five times in MLB history but bot since 1979 when the Phils & Chicago Cubs had done it.

Remembering Mets History: (1972) Jim Beauchamp Delivers Game Winning Hits In Two Straight Games

Monday August 21st 1972: A crowd of 24,242 came to Shea Stadium to see Yogi Berra’s second place Mets (60-53) take on Harry Walkers’ second place, Western Division Astros (66-52). Walker sent pitcher; Jerry Reuss to the mound against the Mets lefty; Jon Matlack (11-7). 

In the home 3rd, Ted Martinez singled & stole second base. Mets rookie Lute Barnes singled as well bringing in Martinez making it 1-0.

The two pitchers battled along the way, then in the 6th inning Houston’s Cesar Cedeno hit a solo HR off Matlack. In the bottom of the 7th, the Mets reserve outfielder; Jim Beauchamp answered with his own solo HR to put the Mets ahead 2-1. 

In the 8th Cedeno, haunted Matlack once again, he doubled to score Roger Metzger tying it up again. In the bottom of the 8th Jim Ray relieved Reuss, he walked Matlack then retired the next three batters. Matlack would go the distance allowing two runs, on seven hits with eight strike outs & three walks. 

In the bottom of the 9th inning, Ray retired the first two batters then walked rookie John Milner. Jim Beauchamp came up and delivered with a walk off HR giving the Mets the 4-2 win. 

The next day- August 22nd 1972: would be another Mets win with Tom Seaver throwing a complete game victory. Seaver would strike out ten batters; allow one earned run on seven hits besting his record to 15-7. The Astros; Dave Roberts took the loss, as Jim Beauchamp last night’s hero, supplied all the Mets offense. It was no doubt Beauchamp’s biggest two days in his Mets career & probably in his overall career. 

In the 2nd, Tommie Agee led off with a base hit & Duffy Dyer singled as well. Beauchamp singled with one out bringing in Agee. In the 4th inning, with New York down 2-1, Beauchamp hit his third HR of the year, his third in the past two games.

Seaver kept the score tied & in the 8th the Mets rallied again. Wayne Garrett walked & Duffy Dyer & John Milner walked to load the bases with two outs, setting the stage for Beauchamp once again. 

The hot hitting Beauchamp singled to left field bringing in what was the two winning runs. Jim Beauchamp would spend two years with the Mets, playing in his only World Series of his ten year career with them in 1973.He would hit 5 HRs in 1972 batting .242 with 19 RBIs in 58 games (120 at bats).

1973 N.L. Champion Mets Top Pinch Hitter: Jim Beauchamp (1972-1973)

James Edward Beauchamp was born August 21, 1939 in Vinita, Oklahoma. Beauchamp attended Oklahoma State University, the same school that would later see Robin Ventura, Jeromy Burnitz, and Pete Incaviglia, get to the major leagues.

The six foot two right hand hitting outfielder, first baseman was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1958. He spent over a decade in the minor leagues making brief call ups to the big leagues. In the minor leagues he was more of a power hitter, hitting over 20 HRs four times. He also showed some speed, stealing over twenty bases three times.

In 1963 Beauchamp won the Texas League MVP, at AAA Tulsa hitting 31 HRs with 105 RBIs while batting .337. He was first called up to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1963 striking out against the Cincinnati Reds Joe Nuxhall in his first MLB at bat.

Although he was a promising prospect, he was traded to the Houston Colt .45s in 1964, along with Chuck Taylor for outfielder Carl Warwick. Beach was back in the minors in 1964, hitting 34 HRs with 83 RBIs while batting .285. He would bounce back & forth to the majors over the next two years, hitting below .200 at the big league level both times in less than thirty games both years.

In 1965 he was traded to the Milwaukee Braves, where he played four games, spending all of 1966 at AAA Richmond, hitting .319. In 1967 he played four games in Atlanta when the Braves franchise changed cities. In October 1967 he was sent to the Cincinnati Reds, spending two seasons there as a reserve player.

In 1969 he played in a career high up to that point 43 games, batting .250. In 1970 he played with both the Houston Astros (31 games) and St. Louis Cards (44 games) batting .238 overall. The journeyman never made it as a full time player in the big leagues, appearing mostly as a reserve outfielder & pinch hitter. He had 46 lifetime pinch hits and became a well respected bench role player.

In October of 1971, he came to the New York Mets with Harry Parker, Chuck Taylor and Tom Coulter in exchange for Art Shamsky, Rich Folkers, Jim Bibby and Charlie Hudson.

On April 22nd 1972, he made his dramatic debut as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the 9th inning in the second game of a doubleheader against the Chicago Cubs. With the bases loaded he singled to center field off Steve Hamilton, scoring Tommie Agee with the winning run as the Mets swept the twin bill 7-6.

On June 28th, he came up with a pinch hit RBI single, off the Expos Woodie Fryman, breaking the 2-2 tie with the winning run at Montreal.

On August 21st he hit a pair of HRs against his old Astros teammates, including a 9th inning walk off against pitcher Jim Ray. The next day he hit another HR, had three hits and drove in all four Met runs, helping Tom Seaver to a 4-2 win over those same Astros. On the last day of the season he hit a two run HR in the 6th inning leading the Mets to a 3-2 win over the Montreal Expos. Beauchamp would have five pinch hits on the year (going 5-23) as well as seeing action at first base.

In his first year as a Met he hit .242 with five HRs 42 RBIs, ten runs scored & seven walks in 58 games with 120 at bats.

In the 1973 Mets pennant season, Beauchamp hit a career best .279, driving in 14 runs with a double, a triple, & seven walks while playing in 50 games. Nine of his 17 hits came as a pinch hitter as he became Yogi Berra’s most reliable Mets pinch hitter off the bench.

On April 22nd, in his first game of the ’73 season, Beauchamp had a two run pinch hit single off Joe Gilbert, against the Montreal Expos in a 13-3 Met win. On April 26th he got a start at first base & in the 5th inning tied up the game with an RBI single scoring Willie Mays. The Mets went on to a 2-1 win.

On May 13th in Pittsburgh he had big day, starting at first base, going 2-4 against the Pirates while driving in four runs in the 6-4 Mets win.

On July 9th, Tom Seaver & Don Wilson had a pitchers duel going, until the Houston Astros scored a 7th inning run on Lee May's HR. Beauchamp came to bat as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the 9th with two on & two outs. He delivered with a base hit off Wilson to tie the game. The Mets went on to a 2-1 extra inning victory.

By the end of July he was hitting just under .300 (at .298) and was very important part of the Mets run to winning the NL East. He would go three for twelve the rest of the year as a pinch hitter. In two important September games against the Pirates, who were holding on to first place, Beauchamp had two big pinch hits. On September 18th in Pittsburgh, his 9th inning single ignited a five run rally where the Mets came from three runs behind to win the game.

Two nights later on September 20th, at Shea Stadium, his 8th inning single led to the game tying run. Ted Martinez came into run for him & Felix Millan delivered the RBI base hit scoring Martinez. This was the famous “Ball off the Wall” game where the Mets would win it in extra inning win, and move to within ½ game of first place. 

He did not see action in the NLCS and was 0 for 4 in the 1973 World Series, pinch hitting in four of the seven games against the Oakland A’s. He was released by the Mets before the 1974 season began and chose to retire.

Beauchamp finished his ten year playing career batting .231 hitter with 153 hits 14 HRs 18 doubles 90 RBIs & 79 runs scored playing in 393 games. In his Mets career he played in 108 games, hitting for a .254 average with five HRs, 33 RBIs.

Retirement: Immediately after retirement he began to coach & manage in the Houston Astros organization.

He later became the Atlanta Braves bench coach (from 1991- 1998) during the Braves glory years under Bobby Cox, appearing in four World Series. He met Cox as a team mate back at Richmond in 1967, there the two developed a friendship. In 1999 he became the Braves minor league outfield coordinator.

Family: Jim is the father of minor league player and manager Kash Beauchamp. His other son, James, Jr., signed with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1982 but did not make the majors.

Passing: In Spring Training of 2007, Beauchamp began to feel sick, he was soon diagnosed with Leukemia. When leukemia and pneumonia put the 67 year old Beauchamp in an Atlanta-area hospital, Manager Bobby Cox was very upset he could that he could soon lose a long time friend dear to him and the Braves organization.

In 2007 Braves alumni Jeff Francoeur, Brian McCann, Ryan Langerhans, and Cox visited Beauchamp in the hospital. They were forced to wear sanitized gowns and masks.

 "He's been a part of our organization forever," Cox said. "All of these young kids love him. He taught all of the Major League outfielders how to play the outfield." Sadly Beauchamp Passed away on Christmas Day 2007.

Honors: In the 2007-2008 seasons, the Braves wore a patch on their uniform sleeve in his honor that simply said “Beach”.

Aug 22, 2016

The Truly Amazing Story of 1986 World Championship Mets Backstop: Ed Hearn (1986)

Edward John Hearn was born August 23, 1960 in Stuart, Florida. The six foot three catcher, was drafted in 1978 by the Philadelphia Phillies but never made it through the organization. He was released in January 1983 & then signed with the New York Mets the next month.

In 1984 Hearn hit .312 at AA Jackson with 11 HRs & 51 RBIs. In 1985 he was promoted to AAA Tidewater playing behind the Tides main catcher John Gibbons.

In 1986 Hearn played just 22 games at Tidewater batting .265 before getting called up to the Mets squad in May. In the 1986 Mets Championship season Hearn won the spot over Gibbons & Barry Lyons as a back up to Gary Carter.

The clean cut, Hearn wore glasses and stood out on the raucous ’86 Mets like Clark Kent stood out in Metropolis. His teammates called him “Ward” in honor of the straight clean cut, Ward Cleaver from the “Leave it To Beaver” television show.

Hearn made his MLB debut on Saturday May 17th, 1986 at Dodger Stadium, as Gary Carter got a day off. Hearn faced Los Angeles' Bob Welch, getting a single in his first at bat & a stand up double in his next at bat.

Although He didn’t play too often he was a quality reserve player & good defensive backstop.

His biggest day at the plate came at Shea Stadium on June 15th in a the second game of a double header against the Pittsburgh Pirates. That day he had two hits, including a three run HR off Cecilio Guante, in the Mets 8-5 win.

Five days later he hit another HR after replacing Gary Carter behind the plate in the 8th inning of a game against the Chicago Cubs at Shea Stadium. Earlier Carter had hit a three HR in the previous inning. On July 3rd he hit an early HR off Houston's Jim Deshaies, in a 6-5 Mets win over the Astros.

Hearn saw the most action in August (17 games) & kept his average up at .275. On September 7th, he broke up a 4-4 tie as he walked with the bases loaded in the 6th inning in a game against the San Diego Padres. The Mets went on to win it 6-5.

In 49 games Hearn batted .265 with 4 HRs 5 doubles 10 RBIs & a .322 on base %. Defensivley he was in 45 games throwing out 21% of would be base stealers, making three errors with a .987 fielding %.

Hearn got to appear in the Mets 1986 “Let’s Go Mets Go” music video as well as get on the post season roster. He was the only roster player not to get into any post season games. Hearn did join in on the field & in the club house with the victory celebrations.

In the off season he was traded to the Kansas City Royals along with Mauro Gozzo & Rick Anderson for rookie pitcher David Cone & Chris Jelic. Hearn would only played 13 games at the major league level in two seasons at Kansas City before finishing his brief three year career. He even got to teach the "hot foot" to Royals pitcher Bret Saberhagen who used it on a Royals coach.

Sadly his trade for David Cone was a one sided deal, player wise. The Kansas City Star even went & called it one of the worst deals in Royals history. Hearn would get over it as he was to have issues beyond baseball.

He ended with a .263 lifetime batting average, 45 hits 9 doubles 4 HRs 14 RBIs and a .324 on base %. He also earned a World Series ring that he still wears proudly.

Retirement: After spending four seasons trying to get back to the majors, he retired in 1992. Hearn then became an insurance salesman in Overland Park, Kansas. Ed Hearn has become a remarkable story, not on the field but in life itself. After being a successful healthy athlete he was stricken with many health problems since the early nineties.

He was diagnosed with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, was treated for cancer twice, & underwent three kidney transplants. At night he needed mechanical assistance to breathe & takes over forty types of pills a day. The pills even led at one time to a prescription drug addiction as well as depression.

At one point he held a revolver to his head & even thought about suicide. His faith in God & his love for his family made him think clearer & he decided to move on & fight through his problems. Through it all, he has survived and become more successful than he could have been on a ball field. Ed Hearn is a true Mets & human hero.

Honors: He is a highly sought after motivational speaker, who was awarded the Certified Speaking Profession Designation from the National Speakers Association. He is the only athlete to ever receive this designation & only eight % of speakers get this award.

He also operates two charities: the Neph Cure Foundation, (researching kidney diseases) and the Bottom of the Ninth Foundation.

Hearn is the author of the best selling Conquering Life’s Curves and has appeared on numerous television programs.

Family: Back in 1986 Randy Nieman's wife had just had a baby & while Hearn was shagging fly balls with Nieman in the outfield, he asked if there were any pretty single nurses at the hospital maternity ward. Nieman said there actually was, he introduced Ed to Tricia & the two have been together ever since. 

At the time Hearn was still dating pitcher Calvin Shiraldi's sister. The ex Met was now a member of the Red Sox whom the Mets faced in the World Series.

Trivia: During the World Series classic Game #6, Hearn had tickets for Tricia & his family. Shiraldi's sister also asked him for a ticket & she sat with Hearns parents on the other side of the row from Ed;s new love. Even clean cut Ed Hearn had drama on the 1986 Mets.

The Hearn's were married in 1987, settled in Kansas where Ed was playing at the time. His wife's experience as a nurse has sure helped Ed Hearn. The Hearn's & their son now reside in Shawnee Kansas where he spends countless hours with the youth of Kansas City. Today Ed enjoys golf, hunting & fishing.

Honors: Hearn was on hand for the 30th Anniversary of the Mets 1986 Championship team at Citi Field in 2016. He is also featured in the book- Kings of Queens, Life Beyond Baseball With the '86 Mets.

The Oldest Player To Ever Hit a HR & 2006 NL Eastern Champion Mets Player: Julio Franco (2006-2007)

Julio Ceasar Franco was born in Hato Mayor, Dominican Republic on August 23rd, 1958. The six foot right handed hitter was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1978.

In December 1982 he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies along with Manny Trillo, George Vuckovich, Jay Baller & Jerry Willard for Von Hayes. He hit .273 with 8 HRs 80 RBIs & 32 stolen bases (9th in the AL) for the last place Indians coming in second in the Rookie of the Year Voting.

Franco spent six years in Cleveland batting over .300 & stealing 25 or more bases three times. In 1988 he was even considered for an MVP Award, getting few votes & won a Silver Slugger Award. He would use a bat that was the heaviest allowed by MLB & had a whip style swing to go with it. In December 1988 he was traded to the Texas Rangers for Oddibe McDowell, Jerry Browne & Pete O'Brien.

In Texas he would have his best seasons making three straight All Star teams (1989-1991) & winning three Silver Slugger Awards. In his first season with the Rangers he hit .316 driving in 92 runs stealing 21 bases. He had his best season in 1991 for the third place Rangers under Bobby Valentine.

After coming in the league's top ten in batting four times, in 1991 he won the batting title batting .341 with a career high 201 hits. He hit 15 HRs with 27 doubles 78 RBIs & 36 stolen bases (6th in the AL). His .408 on base % was fourth best in the league. He was injured most of the 1992 season & in 1993 returned to hit .289 in 144 games.

In 1994 he signed a one year deal with the Chicago White Sox at age 35. As Big Frank Thomas won his second MVP Award, Franco hit behind him, batting .319 in 112 games as the first place Sox' designated hitter. That year there was no post season as MLB went on strike, disappointing the fans.

In 1995 he played in Japan with the Chiba Lotte Marines under his old manager Bobby Valentine. He signed back with the Indians in 1996, returning to hit .322 in 112 games.

He was the first place Indians main first baseman that season & a lot had sure changer from his first go around with the Tribe, as they were now one of league's best teams in this era with guys like Jim Thome, Kenny Lofton, Manny Ramirez & Albert Belle. He struggled hitting just .133 in the ALDS against the Baltimore Orioles.

In 1997 he was released & signed by the Milwaukee Brewers where he hit .241 in 42 games. He then went to play in Korea & Mexico before returning to the major leagues at age 43. In 2001 the Atlanta Braves purchased his contract & he played 25 games there that season hitting .300.

Over the next three years he got into over 100 games each season with Atlanta getting to the post season each year, but losing in the NLDS. He hit better in each of his first three seasons with Atlanta, batting.294 in 2003 & then .309 in 2004.

In these years he was more of a role player, filling in at any position he could, pinch hitting & being used as a designated hitter. In December of 2005 he signed on board with the New York Mets, as GM Omar Minaya was collecting as many Dominican players he could to add to his team.

Franco debuted with the Mets as the oldest player in the major leagues on Opening Day going hitless in a pinch hit at bat in a 3-2 Mets win over the Washington Nats. The next day he got a 9th inning pinch hit off Chad Codero for his first Mets hit. In the month of April, Franco would get four pinch hits & a walk in twelve at bats.

On April 20th, he became the oldest player in MLB history to hit a HR, when he hit a two run go ahead HR against the San Diego Padres. On April 26th he became the second oldest player to ever steal a base, second to New York Giants Arlie Latham (49).

He began to see more time as a designated hitter in inter league games & action at first base when Carlos Delgado missed some time.

He became the oldest player to ever pinch run, when he came into a game for Delgado that July. Franco hit well enough to be a pleasant surprise, batting .346 by late June. His hot hitting tailed off in the last two months, but he went out with a bang having his biggest Mets day on September 30th. In a 13-0 Mets win in Washington, Franco hit a pair of HRs, had three hits & drove in five of the runs.

He finished the Mets NL Eastern Division winning season batting .273 with 2 HRs ten doubles 26 RBIs & a .330 on base %.

Post Season: Franco got to his seventh & final post season with the '06 Mets. In the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers, he got two at bats, going hitless, but did have an RBI on a ground out in Game #2. He also went 0-2 in the NLCS vs St. Louis.

In 2007 he came in as a pinch hitter in the third game of the season. His sac fly scored David Wright & when an error was made on the play he reached base safely. He later scored a run on Jose Reyes double.

On May 4th he hit his last career HR, it came off Randy Johnson & the Arizona Diamondbacks landing in the outfield swimming pool in a 5-3 Mets win. Franco had continued to extend his own record as being the oldest player to hit a HR. His average quickly fell below .200 & on July 7th he was released. He was batting .200 with one HR & 8 RBIs at the time.

He was picked up by the Atlanta Braves & played 15 games there closing out his career. He once said I want to collect a pension & paycheck, wishing to play at 50 years old, but he fell one year short, ending his playing career at age 49.

In a long 23 year career in 2527 games (48th most all time) Franco batted .298 with 2586 hits (83rd all time), 407 doubles 54 triples 173 HRs 281 stolen bases (180th all time) & 1194 RBIs (151st all time) with a .365 on base % & 80 sac flies (90th all time). In his career he grounded into 312 double plays which is eighth most all time.

Franco played short stop (715 games) second base (663 games) first base (508 games) third base (7 games) & four games in the outfield.

Retirement: In 2008 he played his 31st year in pro ball in the Mexican League.

In 2009 he managed for the Mets rookie level Gulf Coast League team.