Jun 9, 2015

Remembering Mets History: (1968) Ed Kranepool Leads Mets Not To Play In Wake of RFK Assasination

June 8th 1968: Senator Robert Kennedy was assassinated on June 5th 1968. The New York Senator was a very popular figure and a candidate for President nomination in the 1968 election. His funeral mass was set at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York & a train then took his body to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D.C.

The President declared Sunday a National Day of Mourning, MLB Commissioner William Eckert stated that no MLB games would be played until after the burial, but he did not suspend play except for games in New York & D.C.

The AL New York club were home & postponed their afternoon game. The Chicago Cubs & Washington Senators called off their home games & in Houston the first game of a double header was called off. Future Mets Rusty Staub & Bob Aspromonte both Astros at the time, refused to play on the National Day of morning (as did other MLB players around the league) & were fined by the club.

The New York Mets were scheduled to play in San Francisco. The Mets players led by Ed Kranepool voted to not the play the game out of respect for the New York Senator. Manager Gil Hodges backed up his team even if meant a forfeit.

Quotes: Ed Kranepool- ''We're from New York, It's a matter of respect. If we do forfeit, so what? It's only one game. It's better than playing.''

Giant owner Horace Stoneman was furious, a huge crowd of over forty thousand was expected that day which was the Giants bat day. He demanded the Mets Ball club make up the financial loss. He didn't get it & the game was not forfeited.

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