Apr 5, 2016

Former Mid Sixties Mets Player Turned Succesful Rice University Coach: Wayne Grahm (1964)

Wayne Leon Graham was born on April 6, 1936 in Yoakum, Texas. After attending high school in Houston he went to the University of Texas at Austin, playing baseball under coach Bibb Falk.

The six foot, right hand hitting Graham, was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1957 as an amateur free agent.

In 1960 he batted .331 with 51 doubles & 85 RBIs at AA Chattanooga in the Southern League. In 1962 he was promoted to AAA & was the Texas Minor League Player of the Year, at Dallas/ Ft. Worth. He batted .311 with 17 HRs & 70 RBIs.

These were his best two pro seasons; he debuted with the Phialdelphia Phillies for ten games in 1963 going 4-22 (.182 average). The following August, he was traded along with Gary Kroll to the New York Mets, in exchange for slugger Frank Thomas.  

He was put on the '64 Mets roster as soon as he arrived, being used mostly as a pinch hitter, although he only got two hits in 13 pinch hit at bats. His first Mets hit came, on August 12th, a double in a 5-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Overall he batted 0.93 going 3-33. He also played in eleven games at third base making no errors in eleven chances. He spent the 1965 season at AAA Buffalo in the Mets organization; he had 23 doubles but batted just .243 with only 3 HRs & 52 RBIs.

In February 1966 the Mets sent him back to the Phillies organization, along with Bobby Klaus and Jimmie Schaffer in exchange for "Dr. Strange Glove"; Dick Stuart. Graham never made it back to the big leagues, spending the rest of his playing days in the minor leagues throughout the sixties.  

Retirement: In 1981 he began to coach at San Jac Junior College. He won five Championship titles in six years, being named the Junior College coach of the Century by Collegiate Baseball. He moved on to become the head coach at Rice University in 1992.

He immediately turned them into a baseball powerhouse, making 16 consecutive tournament appearances (1995–2010) and winning 15 consecutive regular-season or tournament conference championships (1996–2010) in three different conferences.

Graham led his Rice team to seven College World Series’ winning the school’s first ever title in 2003. His teams have produced twelve first round draft picks, eight of them pitchers.

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