May 20, 2015

Brief Member of the 1969 Amazing Mets: Bobby Heise (1967-1969)

Robert Lowell Heise was born on May 12, 1947 in San Antonio, Texas. The six foot infielder attended Vacaville high school in Vacaville California, and played baseball in the Peninsula League during the winter of 1965.

Bud Harrelson was attending a game there that Heise was playing in one day. Harrelson was impressed on what he saw Heise do. Harrelson told Mets scout Roy Partee, “this kid Heise, has a little talent” so he checked him out. Partee & the Mets organization agreed, giving Heise a deal in 1966.

Heise first served in the U.S. Marines then went on to bat .298 at A ball in the Carolina League with the Durham Bulls. He got a big jump through the ranks, as he joined the Mets big league club on September 12th 1967 as the starting second baseman in a game against the Atlanta Braves. In his MLB debut he was 1-for-4, getting a base hit with two outs in the ninth inning. He represented the winning run but was caught stealing to end the inning, the Braves won it on Hank Aaron & Joe Torre's hits in the bottom of the inning.

Heise played in sixteen games that September going 20-62 good for a .323 average, he had four doubles & three RBIs. On September 19th he doubled off the Dodgers Bill Singer, driving in two runs tying the game. He would score on Tommy Davis' base hit helping the Mets to a 6-4 win.

Heise played 114 games at AAA Jacksonville the next year, with a lot of soon to be Mets like; Tug McGraw, Gary Gentry, Danny Frisella & Ken Singleton just to name a few. He was a September call-up once again batting only .217 in six games.

In 1969 he was the AAA Tidewater Tides main short stop, although he made 25 errors at the position. He got a four game September call up to the eventual World Champion Amazing Mets. He hit safely in three of the four games he played in, & did not make the post-season roster. After the World Series, on December 12th 1969 he was traded with Jim Gosger to the San Francisco Giants for Ray Sadecki and Dave Marshall.

In San Francisco, Heise was a utility infielder hitting his only career HR on June 30, 1970, off the San Diego Padres, Danny Combs at Candlestick Park. He was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for Floyd Wicker in June 1971 & hit .254 for the rest of the year.

He spent two seasons as utility man in Milwaukee, batting .266 in 1972, and .204 in 1973. He would end up spending brief periods of time in 1974 with the St. Louis Cardinals & the California Angels.

He then went to the Boston Red Sox for two seasons playing behind Rico Petrocelli & Butch Hobson at third. Rick Burlson at short, Jerry Remy & Denny Doyle at second. He was on the 1975 AL Champion Red Sox team, batting .214, driving in 21 runs with five game winning hits, playing in 63 games. His best day was during a July 6th doubleheader in Cleveland, where he went 4-for-7 with five RBIs on the day, against the Indians. He drove in three runs in a 5-3 Red Sox win in the first game of that twin bill.

In the post season, he watched from the bench not seeing any action in one of the greatest World Series ever played, as Boston fell to the Big Red Machine in seven games. Heise went to the Kansas City Royals in 1977 with his former minor league instructor from the Mets years, Whitey Herzog.

There got into 54 games for the NL Western Champion Royals, batting .258. In an 11 year career he hit .247 with 283 hits, one HR, 43 doubles, three triples, 104 runs scored, a .280 on base %, 86 RBIs & 30 sacrifice hits in 499 career games played.

Retirement: Bobby became a corrections police officer, at San Quentin prison and worked as a fire fighter for 16 years. He then retired, suffered a bout with cancer, beat it, and is now cancer-free.

Quotes:" You know, I have an American League Championship ring, and it says Boston Red Sox on it. And it's a thing that I'll get to pass down to my son, and he'll pass it down to his kid."

1 comment:

Clifford Blau said...

Yes, he won a ring, although he wasn't on a World Series champ. The two things are not synonymous. Let that be a lesson for everyone.