Sep 5, 2015

Former Mets Broadcaster: Fran Healy ( 1984-2005)

Francis Xavier Healy was born on September 6, 1946 in Holyoke, Massachusetts. The big six foot five catcher, attended American International University at Springfield. In 1964 he was signed by the Cleveland Indians, spending five years in their minors leagues.

In 1968 he was drafted as the 56th pick in the expansion draft, chosen by the Kansas City Royals. He would make his MLB debut playing six games there in 1969 & spending the next year in the minors. In October of 1970, he was traded to the San Francisco Giants for Bob Garibaldi.

Healy played in 47 games for the 1971 Western Division Champion Giants, as the backup catcher to Dick Dietz. He hit .280 with two HRs & 11 RBIs. He did not play in the NLCS & after hitting just .152 the next year in 45 games, he was traded back to Kansas City.

He became the Royals main catcher in 1973 playing solid behind the plate, throwing out 44% of would be base stealers. That year he had the distinction of catching Steve Busby’s no hitter, the first no hit game in Royals history. At the plate he hit .276 with 15 doubles, 6 HRs & 34 RBIs.

In 1974 he lad all A.L. backstops with 138 games played behind the plate & caught another no hitter, this one thrown by Steve Busby. With all those games behind the plate, he would also lead the league in passed balls (21). Healy was fourth in assists, fifth in put outs, and caught 45 base runners trying to steal (third most in the league). He also had 95 runners steal successfully, on him, which was the most in the AL. In 1975 he lost his starting catcher job to future ESPN announcer, Buck Martinez.

Midway through the 1976 season he was sent to the A.L. New York club for pitcher Larry Gura. Healy spent the next two seasons backing up Thurman Munson seeing limited action, mostly being used for his defense.

He became very friendly with Reggie Jackson, and served as a peacemaker between Jackson, Billy Martin & Thurman Munson as the three constantly feuded. Healy did not play in any post season games in his time there.

He retired in 1978 after appearing in only one game, finishing his nine year career with a .250 average, 332 hits 20 HRs 60 doubles 141 RBIs & a .329 on base %. In 415 games behind the plate, he threw out 37% of would be base stealers.

Retirement: After his playing days, he became a broadcaster, with the AL New York club on Sports Channel through 1981. He then signed on with the New York Mets broadcasting games from 1984 –2005 working on Sports Channel, MSG & WOR channel 9.

He also was the lead guy for the cable networks; Mets Inside Pitch & Halls of Fame television sports shows. When Keith Hernandez joined the Mets broadcasting team, Hernandez & Healy’s game-calling often became very funny as the two bantered together. Healy was not signed up in 2006, to be part of the Mets' new cable channel, SportsNet New York (SNY).

Healy is the also the host of "The Game 365" on the MSG Network, in New York.

Family: His father Bernard Healy played as an outfielder in the St. Louis Cardinals organization in the 1930’s. His uncle Francis, was a catcher for the New York Giants (1930-1932) & the 1934 St. Louis Cardinals Gas House Gang.

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