May 29, 2015

Short Time Original Mets Player: Bobby Gene Smith (1962)

Bobby Gene Smith was born on May 28, 1934 in Hood River, Oregon. In 1952 he signed with the St. Louis Cardinals as an outfielder.

He would hit .300 twice in the minors making the Cardinals as a reserve outfielder for three seasons (1957-1959). He hit a HR in first career game but didn’t hit too many more as the season went on.

He was labeled the ultimate six o’clock hitter by teammate Bill White, meaning he would hit HRs in batting practice but rarely in the real game. 

He was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for Carl Sawatski in December 1959. He hit a career best .286 in 98 games with the 1960 Phillies, hitting 4 HRs with 5 doubles & 27 RBIs. Smith was the New York Mets 16th pick in the 1961 expansion draft, making him an original Met.

Smith appeared in the third game in New York Mets history as a pinch hitter in the 9th inning, grounding out against Pittsburgh’s Roy Face. Smith’s Mets career was very short, lasting just eight games. In that time he got three hits (3- 22).

He drove in two runs on April 23rd when he tripled at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, driving in Felix Mantilla & Elio Chacon. At the end of April he was traded to the Chicago Cubs for Sammy Taylor.

Two months later he would be traded to the St. Louis Cardinals. He did not reappear in the majors until 1965 finishing out his seven year career with the California Angels. He batted .243 lifetime with 13 HRs 35 doubles & 96 RBIs in 476 career games. He was a good outfielder posting a perfect .1000% in 1962 & .986% lifetime.

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