Jan 12, 2016

Early Seventies Mets Reserve Outfielder: Dave Marshall (1970-1972)

David Louis Marshall was born on January 14, 1943 in Artesia, California. The left handed hitting outfielder got signed by his home state Los Angeles Angels as an amateur free agent in 1963. In the minors he kept hitting better each year, batting .294 at AAA Phoenix by 1967.

Earlier that year he was traded to the San Francisco Giants for prospect Hector Torres and debuted that September as a defensive replacement . He would spend two more years in San Francisco, making the 1968 Topps All Star Rookie team batting .264 with 1 HR 5 doubles 16 RBIs & 40 walks in 76 games. In 1969 he played 110 games in an outfield with Willie Mays, Bobby Bonds & Ken Henderson. He got 267 at bats, batting .232 with 2 HRs 7 doubles & 33 RBIs. As an outfielder, the scouting reports said he had a strong throwing arm with decent range.

In December of 1969 he was traded with pitcher Ray Sadecki to the New York Mets for Jim Gosger and Bobby Heise. Marshall would spend three seasons in New York, as a utility outfielder. He was part of a crowded but talented Mets outfield in 1970 that included Cleon Jones, Tommie Agee, Ron Swoboda, Art Shamsky & youngsters Ken Singleton & Leroy Stanton. After five pinch hit appearances he got his first start in Los Angles getting his first Mets hit while playing left field.

In his second outfield Mets start, he went up against his old Giants team mates in Cadlestick Park. Marshall hit a grand slam HR off Gaylord Perry, helping the Mets to a 5-2 win. The next month when the Giants visited Shea Stadium, he hit well again, going 3-6 with four RBIs in the May 9th 14-5 Mets win. On May 18th he hit his first two run HR, a solo shot off Montreal's Bill Stoneman. Marshall was used often as a pinch hitter getting a dozen pinch hits batting over .375 in that role.

He had 14 hits in a twelve game span in the last two weeks of June, as he saw more playing time in the outfield. On July 25th with the Mets down 6-4 to the Los Angeles Dodgers at Shea Stadium, Marshall blasted a 7th inning three run HR off Jose Pena for the winning runs. On August 4th he had a two hit, three RBI day at Shea Stadium in a 4-0 Nolan Ryan win against the Chicago Cubs. He finished the season playing in 92 games, hitting a career high six HRs with ten doubles 29 RBIs 17 walks& a .304 on base % while batting .243.

In 1971 he started out the year well, and was seeing more action. After three hitless pinch hit appearances, he saw steady playing time in the outfield batting .393 at the end of April. On May 11th at the Houston Astrodome, he hit another grand slam for the Mets, helping them to an 8-5 win over the Astros.

Four days later he hit another HR in Pittsburgh helping New York to a 9-5 win over the Pirates. In early June he drew six walks in a three game home stand with the San Diego Padres. The next day when the San Francisco Giants came to town, he hit a HR against Jerry Johnson. It came in the bottom of the 9th inning to tie the game, although the Mets would lose it the next inning when Tug McGraw threw a wild pitch to Willie Mays allowing Hal Lanier to score.

As the summer went on, Marshall fell off and saw less playing time, finishing the year playing in 92 games. Marshall batted.238 with three HRs nine doubles 21 RBIs & a .322 on base %.

In 1972 he started out the year slow, not getting his first hit until June 20th, his seventieth game played. On June 21st he hit a HR the in Houston off the Astros Tom Griffin, helping the Mets to a 5-4 win. On July 1st he helped Jerry Koosman to his 6th win of the year, hitting a two run HR scoring the only two runs at Jarry Park in Montreal as the Mets beat Mike Torrez & the Expos 2-0.

In August he hit two HRs & drove in five runs playing sparingly. Marshall hit better as the year went on finishing up at .250 with four HRs five doubles 22 walks 11 RBIs & a.346 on base %. In November he was traded to the San Diego Padres for Al Severinsen, who never played a game in a Mets uniform.

In 39 games for the 1973 Padres, Marshall hit .286 with four RBIs in 39 games. He ended his seven year playing career that season at 30 years old. He batted a career .246 with 258 hits 16 HRs 41 doubles four triples 114 RBIs 13 stolen bases 133 walks & a .333 on base %.

In 294 games in the outfield he posted a .966 fielding % & made ten assists.

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