Feb 24, 2016

Late Sixties Mets Pitcher: Don Shaw (1967-1968)

Donald Wellington Shaw was born on born on February 23, 1944 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The six foot left hander attended San Diego State University getting drafted by the New York Mets in 1965, down in the 35th round. Shaw went 6-2 at the A ball level, at Marion & Auburn in 1965, showing some good stuff. 

By 1967 he had become one of the Mets Chairman of the Board, M. Donald Grant’s favorite players. Shaw soon found himself on the '67 Mets big league staff. Trivia: This Mr. Shaw was no relation to Bronx born pitcher Bob Shaw, who was also on the 1967 Mets staff. 

 Donnie Shaw made his debut on Opening Day 1967, closing out a 6-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. He appeared in two more games, before he recorded two saves on back to back days, at the end of April. On April 23rd Shaw took his first loss, blowing a save to the Philadelphia Phillies. First he served up a tie breaking HR to Dick Allen & then a two run double to former Met, Phil Linz. On May 2nd he earned his first career win, although he only pitched to one batter in the top of the 12th inning. In the bottom of the inning, Ed Kranepool tripled , scoring Al Luplow & then he scored on a John Sullivan walk off RBI single. 

On August 1st, he pitched five scoreless innings striking out five Astros at the Houston Astrodome, in a 5-1 Mets victory. In the next two weeks he took a relief loss to the Giants, then earned a two inning save against the Pittsburgh Pirates at home. Two days later on that home stand, although he gave up two earned runs in the 8th inning, he earned the 11-9 win against the Pirates. It was the last game he pitched in that season. 

Shaw would make 40 relief appearances with the '67 Mets, going, 4-5 with three saves posting a 2.98 ERA. Shaw allowed seventeen earned runs in 51 innings pitched, striking out 44 batters & walking 23. That off season he was supposed to go to the Chicago White Sox along with Tommy Davis, in a deal to get Rookie of the Year Tommie Agee. But the trade was balked because M. Donald Grant, still favoring his pitcher, said “we’re not trading my Donnie Shaw”. It was decisions like this that drove Mets Minor league Director of Player Development Whitey Herzog crazy. 

Setbacks only got Shaw into seven games in 1968 and he was eventually picked by the Montreal Expos in the 1968 expansion draft. Shaw made history on Opening Day 1969, as the winning pitched in the first game in Montreal Expos history. The win came at Shea Stadium against his old Mets team mates. Shaw pitched 35 games as a mid reliever with the Expos, going 2-5 with a save. 

 He pitched in just 14 games in 1970 in the minor leagues & returned with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1971. He had his best season there going 7-2 with two saves & a 2.65 ERA in 45 games. In May of 1972 he was traded to the Oakland A’s, pitching in just three games there for the eventual World champions.

Shaw ended his five season career in 1973 at age 29. He was 13-14 lifetime with six saves, 123 strike outs, 101 walks in 188 innings pitched posting a 4.01 ERA appearing in 138 games (one start).

No comments: