Sep 27, 2014

Original 1962 Mets Pitcher: Herb Moford (1962)

Herbert Moford was born on August 6th, 1928 in Brooksville Kentucky. The six foot one right-hander spent a total of 17 years in the minor leagues going 147-131 in 462 games pitched at that level. In 1954 he won 17 games (17-14) at AA Columbus and made his debut the next year with the St. Louis Cardinals.

He was 1-1 with a 7.88 ERA in 14 games through mid June when he was sent back down to the minors. He was 1-6 the rest of the year & was traded to the Detroit Tiger organization for Bob Thorpe. He returned to the majors in 1959 going 4-9 with a 3.61 ERA & was soon traded to the Boston Red Sox.

On April 16th 1959 he was shelled for two HRs & four earned runs in his Red Sox debut in a game against the Washington Senators. In his third & final outing of the season he was hit for five runs on five hits , again by the Senators. His ERA ballooned to 11.42 as he lost both decisions & was shipped back to the minors the rest of the year. He ended up in Baltimore Orioles organization until December 1961 when he was purchased by the expansion New York Mets.

Moford became a true original Met, pitching a scoreless 7th inning in the first game ever played in Mets history. He was the third Met pitcher to ever take the mound, following Roger Craig & Bob Moorhead. He also pitched in the first Mets home game, two days later allowing one run in two innings to the Pittsburgh Pirates, in the Polo Grounds.

 On April 17th, 1962 the Houston Colt 45's Don Buddin tagged him for a three run HR in extra innings to give him his only Mets decision, a loss. In seven appearances he was 0-1 with seven strike outs & six walks with a 7.20 ERA.

He pitched one more year in the minors before ending his brief four year career, He was 5-13 with a 5.03 ERA in 50 games, 78 strike outs & 64 walks in 157 innings.

Retirement: After baseball he became a tobacco farmer & cattle rancher in Minera Kentucky. Moford turned to politics, becoming the campaign manager for former team mate Jim Bunning, who once ran for the Governor of Kentucky. Bunning of course is best remembered for throwing a perfect game against the Mets on Father's Day 1964.

Moford passed away in December 2005 at age 77 in Cincinnati Ohio.

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