Jul 22, 2015

Late Sixties Mets Outfielder: Don Bosch (1967-1968)

Donald John Bosch was born on July 15, 1942 in San Francisco, California.

The five foot ten switch hitting outfielder was signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1960. Bosch hit .332 at A ball Kinston in 1963, then showed some power hitting 15 HRs at AA Asheville in 1964. He was touted as being a good centerfielder with a big future ahead of him.

He played three brief games for Pittsburgh in 1966, before getting traded to the New York Mets along with pitcher Don Cardwell in exchange for Dennis Ribant and Gary Kolb.

Bosch was a centerfielder with a bit of speed, but never hit too well in the major leagues. He arrived in New York with expectations to solidify the Mets centerfield position, which had been occupied by a young Cleon Jones who was more of a corner outfielder. Right away Bosch made a bad impression with his pre mature grey hair & small size.

He was the 1967 Mets Opening Day leadoff man; getting a single in his first at bat & scoring the Mets first run of the year. Bosch the struggled mightily; he was only batting .168 with no HRs & one RBI by early June when he was sent back to AAA Jacksonville. He hit .263 with 5 HRs & 31 RBIs there playing in 90 games.

He returned to the Mets in September, but still didn’t hit, finishing with a .140 average on the season, no HRs three stolen bases & two RBIs in 44 games with 101 at bats. He made the club again in 1968, but Tommie Agee, was now the center fielder & Bosch was just a reserve outfielder.

On June 14th he hit his first career HR, it came against the San Francisco Giants at Shea Stadium. Bosch hit another HR the next day in the first game of a double header. He then hit his third Mets HR in a Fourth of July double header at Shea Stadium in a 3-2 loss against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He remained on the club until August when he was sent back down to AAA Jacksonville where he hit .298 the rest of the way.

For the Mets in 1968 he only hit .171 with three HRs, one double, seven RBIs & a .231 on base %. In October of 1968 his contract was purchased by the expansion Montreal Expos.

Bosch became an original Montreal Expo & came to bat as a pinch hitter in the Expos first ever game, played at Shea Stadium on Opening Day 1969.

A few days later on April 14, 1969 he made history when he scored the first MLB run outside the United States at Montreal’s Jarry Park. He had led off the bottom of the first with hit, scoring (along with Rusty Staub) on a Mack Jones three run HR.

He played 49 games for the Expos, hitting a career best .179 with one HR & four RBIs. He played his last MLB game on July 9th as he was shut down with an injury. Bosch spent 1970 at AAA Buffalo & Oklahoma City ending his playing career.

In his four season MLB career he hit .164 with 52 hits, four HRs, six doubles, one triple, five stolen bases, a .217 on base %, 13 RBIs & 34 runs scored in 146 games played.

2 comments:

Brooklyn Met said...

Shouldn't the Mendoza Line be renamed for Bosch? At least Mendoza was a decent shortstop,a position with a preference for defense.Ironically,the Mendoza Line is the magical .200,an impressive percentage.The Bosch Line should be .170 -for which pitchers will be judged.

Anonymous said...

Bosch had 101 plate appearances but 93 at bats in 1967:
http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/boschdo01.shtml