Jun 6, 2015

Remembering Mets History: (1983) Manager George Bamberger Resigns

June 3rd 1983: George Bamberger was a native New Yorker born in Staten Island in 1923. He was a long time minor league pitcher who pitched 13 seasons in the Pacific Coast League. He had brief stints in the majors with the New York Giants & Baltimore Orioles.

His biggest success came as long time pitching coach of the Baltimore Orioles from 1968-1977 under Manager Earl Weaver. His staff's went to three straight World Series & produced 18 twenty game winners, including four in the incredible 1971 season.

In 1978 he went to Manage the Milwaukee Brewers, who were known for their hitting instead of pitching. In 1980 he suffered a hear attack & took a rest from the game. Those Brewers went on to win the 1982 AL Pennant.
Bamberger came back to baseball in 1982, taking over as the Mets Manager, replacing Joe Torre who had moved on to the Atlanta Braves organization. The Mets were under new Ownership & the new GM was Frank Cashen who had been the Orioles GM in their hey day. One of his first moves was bringing in Bamberger.

But the Mets were rebuilding & not ready to contend. Bambi's 1982 Mets finished 65-97 in last place. The 1983 started out just as bad, thru June 2nd the Mets were 16-30 already in last place with a poor .348 win loss %.

On June 3rd, the Mets were in Los Angeles taking a 5-4 loss to the Dodgers in 14 innings. Before the next nights game Bamberger told the press: ''We all have a little ego, I thought the club should have done better.

But the nature of managing is to suffer, and I probably suffered enough. The tenseness and all that, getting headaches after games. I just told them I was stepping down and going fishing.'' 

Bamberger had thought of stepping down three weeks earlier, but Cashen convinced him to stay on.  The Mets chose coach Frank Howard, at the time to replace Bamberger. Another choice was veteran Jim Frey who was also a coach in the organization.

The '83 Mets would finish last again (68-94) but make a major improvement getting Keith Hernandez from the St. Louis Cardinals.

It would be the teams last losing season in a long while as the Davey Johnson era would begin in 1984.

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