Apr 24, 2015

Former 1969 Mets First Round Draft Pick: Randy Sterling (1974)

Randall Wayne Sterling was born on April 21st, 1951 in Key West, Florida. His father Clayton Sterling was a minor league first baseman who never got to the big leagues.

Randy Sterling was the Mets first round draft pick (4th pick overall) in the Championship season of 1969. The six foot two, right hander was another fine arm in a long line of quality young pitching prospects the Mets had in the early seventies.

By the time he got to AA Memphis in 1972 he was the staff’s leading pitcher going 12-11 with a 3.47 ERA just ahead of Bob Apodaca. The next season he was pushed up to AAA going 10-7 second on the staff to John Glass on the AAA Tidewater Tides staff. In 1974 he was only one of two pitchers (the other being Hank Webb) to reach double figures in victories. Sterling's twelve wins lead the staff going 12-11 with a 3.39 ERA.

Sterling got a 1974 September call up, making his debut at Jarry Park in Montreal on September 16, 1974 against the Expos. He became the first New York Met to pitch five no-hit innings in his MLB debut, the only other to do this again was Brian Bannister in 2006. Sterling earned his first win that night, pitching 5.2 innings, giving up two runs on two hits. Tug McGraw later came in to finish it off earning the save, in the 3-2 Mets win.

In his next start he got hammered for five runs in 1.2 innings pitched at Philadelphia against the Phillies. His next outing would be his last, an 8th inning relief appearance at Shea Stadium in a loss to the NL Eastern champion Pittsburgh Pirates.

 Randy remained in the organization for another season, but didn’t crack the big league rotation. His MLB career ended that September going 1-1 with a 4.52 ERA.

Retirement: Since his playing days, Sterling has become director of parks & recreation in Key West Florida. He also competes in fishing tournaments with his son Randy Jr. around the Key West area.

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