Mid Sixties Mets Pitcher Traded In Exchange For Jerry Grote: Tom Parsons (1964-1965)

Thomas Anthony Parsons was born September 13, 1939 in Lakeville Connecticut. (This is Tom Parsons the pitcher, not be confused with Tom Parsons the world famous Australian cricketer).

The tall six foot seven right hander, was signed in 1957 by the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was 12-7 in first year at AAA ball then fell off to below .500. In 1963 he went 11-15 at AAA Columbus, getting him a September call up to the Pirates staff.

He pitched in one game, taking a loss giving up six runs in four innings pitched. 1964 was a wacky year for Parsons; in June he was sent to the Houston Astros but then got returned back to Pittsburgh two months later.

After going 8-7 for the two organizations minor leagues, his contract was then purchased by the New York Mets. He was brought right up to the Mets staff, debuting on September 15th finishing up a 3-1 loss in San Francisco.

He pitched in four games for the ’64 Mets that September On September 20th he got the start in his second appearance in a game at Houston. He pitched a solid eight innings at his old home in the Astrodome, only giving up one run. But Parsons still ended up taking the loss as the Astros Bob Bruce pitched a two hit shutout. He ended up 1-2 that month with a 4.19 ERA striking out ten batters in 11 innings.

Parsons earned a spot on the ’65 Mets pitching staff but had a rough year. He started two games in April, allowing five runs in ten innings over the two starts taking a loss. As a starter & reliever he went 0-4 with two saves by the end of June.

On July 5th he pitched one of his best games of the year, throwing a six hit shutout against the Chicago Cubs at Shea Stadium. He struck out three & walked two, as the Mets rolled to a 3-0 win. But from there it all went downhill for Parsons.

He would lose his next five straight starts & when he was put in the bullpen he lost his first appearance there as well. He would only see action in seven more games after August 16th. In 35 appearances he would go 1-10 on the year with a 4.67 ERA. He struck out 58 batters with 17 walks in 90 innings pitched.

That off season Parsons most memorable moment in Mets history came, he was the player to be named later in a trade that brought Jerry Grote to New York. Parsons never made the Houston Colt 45’s staff or the Astros staff when the team was renamed. He finished his pitching career in the minor leagues going 95-98 at that level.

In three major league seasons he was 2-13 with a 4.72 ERA, he struck out 70 batters & walked 25 in 114 innings pitched over 40 games.


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