Ray Daviault: The First Canadian Born Mets Player & Original Met (1962)

Raymond Joseph Robert Daviault
was born May 27, 1934 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

The right handed pitcher had ties with all three National League New York baseball teams at one time or another in his career. 

The six foot one, right hand pitcher was originally signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1954. 

He pitched in their organization for six seasons mostly at the A ball levels or lower. 

At the time he arrived he only spoke French.

In 1960 he went to the San Francisco Giants organization & pitched there for two seasons. In 1960, he was a best 13-5 with a 2.76 ERA, at AAA Rio Grande Valley. 

Daviault was a ten game winner (10-9) in 1961 for Tacoma, in the AAA Pacific Coast League, before getting drafted by the New York Mets in the 1961 expansion draft.

Original Met: Daviault was an original 1962 Met & became the first Canadian born player to don a Mets uniform. He became known as "Frenchy" due to his Quebec upbringing. He was remembered as a good natured guy with a fine sense of humor. 

Daviault debuted in the second game in Mets history, also the first Mets home game. At the Polo Grounds, he came in relief of pitcher Herb Moford, against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He finished out the game & although he didn’t allow any hits in two innings of work, he walked four batters, allowing a run. 

He was sent down & briefly pitched at AA Syracuse in May but returned to the ’62 Mets staff on June 10th. 

Sandy Koufax No Hits the Mets:
 On June 30th, Daviault pitched one of his best games. He came in relief of Bob Miller in the 1st inning. Miller had already given up four runs, on five hits & a walk. Daviault, would pitch the rest of the game, giving up just one run, a HR to Frank Howard & striking out seven. 

But on this night, Sandy Koufax threw his first career no hitter, beating the Mets.

On July 7th he earned his first & only MLB win, it came in the first game of a double header, pitching two innings against the St. Louis Cardinals at the Polo Grounds.

Although he gave up the go ahead run in the top of the 9th inning, he was saved as the Mets won it in the bottom of the 9th, on a dramatic walk off HR by "Marvelous" Marv Throneberry. 

Trivia: It was the only game, in 36 appearances Daviault made, that the Mets won.

The rest of the year he took four losing decisions, all in relief & blew a save.  On the year Daviault would make 36 appearances going 1-5 with a 6.22 ERA,. He had 51 strike outs allowing 14 HRs & 48 walks in 81 innings of work. He finished up 14 games for the Mets as well.

He spent 1963 with the AAA Buffalo Bison's retiring from baseball the following year due to an elbow injury.

He appeared in Canada playing baseball for the Lachine Mets in 1967 under manager (former Met) Tim Harkness.

Retirement: In 1969 when the Montreal Expos came into MLB, Daviault sometimes threw batting practice at Parc Jarry. 

In 2017 he was honored in a Spring Training game held in Montreal, along with other Canadian born players.

Passing: Ray passed away in November 2020, after accident at his home, he was 86.


Anonymous said…
This is a very nice tribute to Ray Daviault. He's still alive and in good health. Thanks for your good work.

Best regards

Frank Daviault(Ray son)

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