Apr 20, 2016

Remembering Mets History: Giving Ed Kranepool Some Slugging Recognition (1963 & 1969)

Friday April 19th 1963: A small crowd of 8104 came out to see Casey Stengel's Mets already a sad 1-8 on the season host The Milwaukee Braves in the Polo Grounds.

This was to be the second & final year the Mets would play at the old Polo Grounds, as the opening of the grand Shea Stadium was just one season away.

Not only did the Mets win their second game of the year on this day but it was a mile stone for a young 19 year old Eddie Kranepool.

For "Kid Kranepool" today would be the day he hit his first career HR.

Starting Lineups

In the 2nd inning two Bronx kids went at it, as Ed Kranepool took Braves pitcher Bob Shaw (both born in the Bronx) deep with the first HR of his young career. Kranepool was no slugger but did have a very good career & was an 18 year Met who still holds the record for most years & most games played for the club. This was the first of Eddies 118 career HRs, tenth on the Mets all time list.

In the home 4th Cho Cho Coleman was hit by a pitch & back to back triples from  Jim Hickman & Ron Hunt made it 3-0 Mets. It almost a give that any Milwaukee Braves game from this era would have a Hank Aaron HR in it & yes he connected with a two run blast.

The game ended dramatically as the Mets were dwon 4-3 in the 9th, Cho Cho Coleman led off with a single. Jim Hickman then doubled with one out. Reliever Claude Raymond was brought in & Ron Hunt doubled to left scoring both runs for the walk off win. A happy Ed Kranepool was still smiling.

Tuesday April 29th, 1969: Gil Hodges Mets took a trip North of the border to take on the new expansion Montreal Expos at Parc Jary. Just 8577 came out to see this one at the wide open very cold stadium which later became a tennis facility.

Starting Lineups

Jerry Koosman took the mound for the Mets against veteran Mud Cat Grant, formerly of the 1965 AL Champion Minnesota Twins fame. Koosman had a short outing leaving the game in the 5th inning, after facing one batter.

He had allowed just four hits so along the way. He was relieved by Nolan Ryan. Ryan would go the rest of the way shutting down the Expos while striking out seven & walking no one.

All the Mets scoring came from Ed Kranepool, he homered in the 2nd inning & then again in the 6th. Both were solo shots coming off Grant. The Mets went on to a 2-0 win. Eddie would hit 11 HRs in 1969 (fourth most on the team) playing in 112 games.

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