Sep 18, 2009

Today In Mets History: 1967- Wes Westrum Resigns & Gil Hodges Is On The Way

September 20, 1967: It was on this day that Met manager Wes Westrum, a former catcher for the 1950's NY Giants, resigned his position. Westrum was waiting for the Mets to announce he would be retained for 1968, with the writing on the wall that he probably wouldn't be, he walked into the Mets front office & announced his resignation. He left with a 57-94 record in 10th place. Westrum had managed the club since taking over for Casey Stengel in August 1965. Westrum went 15-48 for the remainder of the '65 season finishing 10th. 1966 was an improvement, finishing 9th with the most victories the franchise had ever had at that point going 66-95. In 1967 the team took a step back, and the fans were beginning to get restless as was the organization.

Mets coach Salty Parker took over for the remaining 11 games in 1967 going 4-7 as their interim manager. A turning point for the Mets came a few short days later when the front office announce they would be able to obtain Gil Hodges for the position of manager. At the time Ho
dges was managing the Washington Senators and it was tough convincing them to let him go. Mets GM Johnny Murphy met with his former team mate Washington's GM George Selkirk and worked out a deal. Hodges was eager to come back to New York and his old Brooklyn Dodger fans still loved him. The Mets sent a pitcher named Bill Denehy to Washington and a sum believed to be $150,000. Hodges signed a contact for the Mets at $60,000 annually. The rest is history by the end of his second season as Met manager he won the World Series.

*Westrum would reappear as manager of his old team, now in San Francisco in 1974 taking over mid season going 38-48. He was at the helm in 1975 going 80-81 finishing third.

No comments: