Oct 2, 2014

Late Sixties - Long Island Born Mets Pitcher Turned College Coach: Jack Lamabe (1967)

John Alexander Lamabe was born on October 3, 1936 at Farmingdale, New York. Lamabe attended the same high school as future 1969 Mets hitting star Al Weis.

The right-hander then attended the University of Vermont where he went 33-41 with 435 strike outs posting a 4.24 ERA in 285 games. He was then signed by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1956. He was sent to the Pittsburgh Pirates organization in 1957 where he won 13 games (13-7) at A ball that season.

In 1960 he was 15-10 at A ball Savannah & two seasons later he was in the big leagues. He went 3-1 with two saves for the '62 Pirates before getting Traded along with future Met “Dr. Strange Glove”-Dick Stuart to the Boston Red Sox for Jim Pagliaroni and Don Schwall.

His first season in Boston went well going 7-4 with six saves. In 1964 he led the league in earned runs allowed (116) going 9-3 with a 5.89 ERA and was eventually traded to the Houston Astros the next year. The journeyman then was traded to the Chicago White Sox where he was reunited with his old schoolmate , the future star of the 1969 World Series, Al Weis.

At the end of April 1967 he was sent to the New York Mets as part of a conditional deal. He would debut as a Met, in Cincinnati on April 28th pitching one inning of in relief. He would appear in two games on that road trip. His Mets career was very brief lasting just 16 games.

On July 2nd he pitched seven innings against the St. Louis Cardinals allowing three runs but took the 3-1 loss to Steve Carlton. Later in the week he allowed an 11th inning HR to Atlanta's Mack Jones taking another loss. In just two and one half months with the Mets, he went 0-3 with a 3.98 ERA, earning a save in Atlanta on June 24th in the second game of a double header.

On July 16th he was sent to the St. Louis Cardinals as they were solidifying their bull pen for the stretch run. The Mets eventually got Al Jackson back as the player to be named later.

In 23 games Lamabe went 3-4 with four saves and a 2.83 ERA. He got to pitch in three games of the World Series for the 1967 Champion Cardinals. He took the loss in Game #6 at Fenway Park, when future Met Joe Foy doubled in the tie breaking run in the bottom of the 7th inning.

At the start of the 1968 season he was sent to the Chicago Cubs where he went 3-2 with a save in 42 appearances He finished out his career pitching at AAA Vancouver in 1969, getting traded to the Montreal Expos for Paul Popovich but he did not make either big league squad. In a seven season career he went 33-41 with 15 saves posting a 4.24 ERA with 434 strike outs & 238 walks in 711 innings pitched in 285 appearances.

Retirement: After his playing days he coached Jacksonville University from 1974-1978 & then was the baseball coach at Louisiana State University for the LSU Tigers from 1979-1983. 

He is a member of the University of Vermont Athletic Hall of Fame and the Jacksonville University Athletic Hall of Fame.

Passing: Lamabe passed away at Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 2007 at age 71.

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