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

Donald Wellington Shaw was born on born on February 23, 1944, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

By the time Shaw was in high school he his family had relocated to Reseda, California. The six-foot left hander attended San Diego State University being a teammate of Graig Nettles with the Aztecs. 

In 1965, Don was drafted by the New York Mets in the 35th round. That year Shaw went 6-2 at the A ball level, at both Marion & Auburn where he was a teammate of Nolan Ryan.

Mets farm director, Eddie Stanky convinced Shaw he would make it in the big leagues if he was a full-time short reliever. 

1967: That March Shaw went to Spring Training with two other young promising Mets pitchers in Tom Seaver & Jerry Koosman. Mets coach & former catcher said Shaw's sinker was a "worm killer". 

By now Shaw 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. 

Mets Career:
Donnie Shaw made his debut in relief on Opening Day 1967, closing out a 6-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. On April 20th, he recorded his first career save, finishing off a 6-1 win over the Cubs. He collected back-to-back saves when he closed out a win over the Phillies the next day.

On April 23rd Shaw took his first loss, blowing a save to the Phillies, serving up a tie breaking HR to Dick Allen & then a two run double to former Met, Phil Linz. 

On May 2nd, although he only faced one batter, retiring the Giants Willie McCovey in the top of the 12th inning, Shaw earned his first career win. In the bottom of the 12th, Ed Kranepool tied the game with a triple scoring Al Luplow. Then John Sullivan singled home Cleon Jones with the walk off run. 

After his first 11 appearances he had an ERA of 5.84, but the rest of the year he settled in to post an ERA of 2.08 allowing just nine earned runs in 39 innings of work. 

On June 6th, Shaw got his second win as he   
finished off a combined five hit 1-0 shutout (Tom Seaver six innings/ Ron Taylor 2.2 innings) over Dennis Ribant & the Pirates at Forbes Field. The only run scored was on a sac fly from Ken Boyer.

Shaw saw steady action out of the bullpen & suffered two more losses over the next two months. On August 1st, he pitched five scoreless innings striking out five Astros at the Houston Astrodome, in a 5-1 Mets victory. On August 6th, he gave up a run & took a loss to the Giants at Shea. On August 11th he pitched 2.1 scoreless innings against the Pirates & earned a save in the 3-2 win.

On August 13th, Shaw gave up two earned runs, two hits & two walks in the 8th inning, he still  got the win over the Pirates as the Mets put up five runs in the bottom of the 8th inning. 

Military Service: It was the last game he pitched in that season as he was called away for a six month tour of Vietnam to fulfill his military obligation.

In 1967, Shaw made 40 relief appearances 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. 

Off Season Hot Stove: After his good season he was a hot commodity. That off season Mets GM Bing Devine went to the Cardinals & Eddie Stanky was manager of the White Sox. Both wanted to get Shaw on their team. A deal with the Chicago White Sox would have sent Shaw & Tommy Davis, in exchange for Rookie of the Year Tommie Agee. But all trades were balked because M. Donald Grant, still favored his young pitcher, saying “we’re not trading my Donnie Shaw”. It was decisions like this that drove new Mets Minor league Director of Player Development Whitey Herzog crazy. 

1968: In 1968 Gil Hodges took over as Mets manager & things changed. Shaw suffered setbacks with a sprained back at Spring Training. He spent most of the year at AAA Jacksonville going 4-6 with a 2.07 ERA. He made just two appearances to fill roster spots during the season, then got a September call up making five more appearances. In seven games he posted a 0.75 ERA.

Post Mets Career: The Mets were loaded with young pitching talent & let Shaw go in the expansion draft, where he was picked by the Montreal Expos. 

First Win in Expo's History:
 Opening Day 1969, 
Shaw made history on as the winning pitcher in the first game in Montreal Expos history. The win came at Shea Stadium against his old Mets teammates. Shaw entered the game in the 6th inning of a 6-6 tie, then Montreal put up five runs to go ahead. He fell apart in the 9th inning but Carroll Sembera saved the 11-10 win.

Shaw pitched 35 games for the Expos before going for another tour of military duty & an option to AAA Vancouver. As a mid-reliever he was 2-5 with a save & a 5.21 ERA. 

In 1970 he pitched in the Expo's minors & was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals where GM Bing Devine still thought he had something left. But Shaw then broke his hand pitching in just 14 games.

In 1971 he had his best season going 7-2 with two saves & a 2.65 ERA in 45 games. In his final 23 appearances that year he gave up just one earned run in 26.2 innings of work for a 0.34 ERA while going 5-2 for the second place Cardinals.

In May of 1972 after eight games he had a 9.73 ERA allowing three runs in three innings of work, he was traded to the Oakland A’s. He pitched in just three games there for the eventual World champions. 
In April 1973 he was traded to the Detroit Tigers & spent the year at AAA Toledo. After the season he ended his baseball career at age 29.

Career Stats: In Shaw's five-year career he was 13-14 with six saves & a 4.01 ERA. He had 123 strike outs with 101 walks in 188 innings pitched in 138 games, making one start.

Retirement: After baseball Shaw was a manager of an employee benefits company & worked in insurance.

Family: Donnie & his wife Sandra were married in 1966 & had a son the net year.


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