Feb 28, 2015

The First Mets Player To HR In Four Straight Games: Larry Elliot (1964/1966)

Lawrence Lee Elliot was born on March 5, 1938 in San Diego, California. The left handed hitting outfielder was signed out of Herbert Hoover high School by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1958. 

Elliot was a power hitter in the minors, hitting 25 HRs in the Carolina League in 1959. At the AAA level he hit over 20 HRs in both the 1962 & 1963 seasons at Columbus. He made the Pirates club starting the 1962 season, hitting an even .300 in eight games. He hit his first MLB career HR in his last game before going back to the minors at San Francisco on May 3rd. His contract was purchased by the New York Mets in December of 1963. 

 In 1964 he was primarily used as Jim Hickman’s backup centerfielder. He made his first Mets start on April 15th, 164 in the third game of the season. He batted sixth & played centerfield, going 0-4 in the 4-1 loss at Philadelphia. 

On April 17th, in the first game ever played at Shea Stadium, he came in to pinch run for Jim Hickman, in the fourth inning. He remained in the game & got an 8th inning single off Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Bob Friend.

That May Elliot hit his first Mets HR, coming in 10-1 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals at Shea Stadium. Elliot didn't get over the .200 hitting mark until July, but then had a good month as he got himself going. 

That month Elliot saw the most playing time of his season, seeing action in 23 games. He started out the month with a three hit day, including a HR in Houston, in an 8-6 Mets win over the Astros. On July 12th he drove in two runs in a 5-1 Mets win over the Reds, in the second game of a rare twin bill sweep. Then starting on June 21st, he had the best week of his career. 

He became the first Met in history to hit HRs in four straight games, it began on a road trip to Cincinnati when he hit HRs in all three games. Two of them were solo shots, in the first two games, then a two run shot off the Reds Jim Maloney, in the third game. 

 The next day when the club returned home to Shea Stadium, Elliot hit another HR against the Milwaukee Braves. Two games later, he hit a three run pinch hit HR in the bottom of the 7th inning, in a wild 15-10 loss to the Braves. Overall during that week in a seven game stretch he hit five HRs, drove in nine runs & scored nine runs while gathering up ten hits. 

On August 2nd, Elliot hitting a three run HR against the Houston Colts, & drove in another run with a sac fly, but the Mets still lost 9-7. On August 11th, he hit a HR in the 3rd inning in a game at Pittsburgh, then later hit a game winning double in the 7th inning. The game officially ended after eight innings, with New York winning 3-2.

He then missed two weeks of action, after getting injured trying to break up a double play & getting hit in the face with the ball. He returned in early September. He was mostly used as a pinch hitter, but went 2-14 in the month. For the season in 80 games, Eliot hit .228 with 9 HRs, eight doubles & 22 RBIs. He drew 28 walks which gave him a .320 on base %. 


Elliot spent the entire 1965 season playing in the AAA Pacific Coast League for San Diego, hitting .247 with 14 HRs 26 doubles & 48 RBIs. In 1966 he returned to New York batting .303 at AAA Jacksonville, getting called back up to the Mets squad that July. Upon his return he went on a nine game hit streak & at one point got his average up to .348. 


On July 7th at Philadelphia he came to bat in the top of the 9th inning with two men on base. Al Luplow had just broken a 6-6 tie with the Phillies, Elliot then doubled giving the Mets a three run lead in a game they would win 9-6. 

On July 18th he drove in four runs, with a three hit day including a solo HR in a 6-3 win over the Astros. That August he drove in runs in three straight games, during two different stretches. Over a mid month road trip to Pittsburgh & St. Louis, Elliot had three straight multiple RBI games. Overall he drove in 18 runs from the end of July to the end of August, ending the month hitting safely in ten of thirteen games. 

He tailed off in September & would finish the season batting .246 with five HRs, playing in 65 games. He had also added career highs in RBIs (32) & doubles (14). That season he played all three outfield positions and appeared eleven times as a pinch hitter. Elliot had a strong throwing arm & made ten assists in just 54 games in the outfield on the season. He did make eight errors posting a .912 fielding %. 


In May of 1967 the Mets traded him to the Kansas City A’s (with $50,000) cash for a key member of the 1969 Mets squad, veteran third baseman "The Glider" Ed Charles. Elliot would play three more seasons in the minor leagues never appearing in the majors again. 

Retirement: In a four year career, he batted .236 with 103 hits 22 doubles 2 triples 15 HRs & 56 RBIs posting a .311 on base % playing in 157 games. After his playing days he became a high school baseball coach in San Diego.

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