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 May 17th, 1986 at Dodger Stadium, getting two hits (a single & a double) off Los Angeles' Bob Welch. He didn’t play too often but 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 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 fifty types of pills a day. The pills even led at one time to a prescription drug addiction.
Through it all, he has survived and become more successful than he could have been on a ball field.
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. 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.
Ed, his wife & son reside in Shawnee Kansas where he spends countless hours with the youth of Kansas City. Today Ed enjoys golf, hunting & fishing