Apr 30, 2017

Remembering Mets History: (1980) Pete Falcone Ties MLB Record Striking Out First Six Batters

Thursday May 1st 1980: A small crowd of just 5928 came out to see Joe Torre's Mets (6-11) already in 5th place take on the eventual 1980 World Champion Philadelphia Phillies (7-9) led by Dallas Green.

Tonight an old Mets nemesis, Lefty Steve Carlton took on Brooklyn's own Pete Falcone.

Starting Lineups

The game would start out with Falcone striking out the first six batters he faced, setting a Mets record while accomplishing that feat. It also tied an MLB record & had only been done four times proio in baseball history.

Falcone struck out Lonnie Smith & Pete Rose swinging & then got Gary Maddox looking at a called third strike. In the 2nd inning, he got sluggers Mike Schmidt, Greg Luzinski & then catcher Bob Boone to all go down swinging.

Falcone was going good until weak hitting reserve second baseman Lis Aguayo hit a two run homer in the 5th inning. The two runs would be all the Phillies needed in the 2-1 win. Carlton walked Eliot Maddox with the bases loaded for the Mets only run. Former Met legend Tug McGraw came on for the save as a Phillie.

The Italian American Falcone, a Brooklyn kid & cousin of Mets coach Joe Pignatano went 7-11 for the 1980 Mets, tied for second most wins on the staff.

He spent four years with the Mets, going 26-37 with a 3.91 ERA in 145 games 86 starts.

Remebering Mets History: (1973) Jerry Koosman Wins NL Pitcher of the Month

Jerry Koosman started out the New York Mets 1973 season terrific himself. He won the N.L. April Pitcher of the Month Award.
Jerry Koosman made his 1973 debut pitching in the third game of the season. On April 11th 1973 Koosman took the mound in St. Louis against the Cardinals Reggie Cleveland.

The Mets helped out Koosman right away in the 1st inning. Bud Harrelson, Felix Millan & John Milner all singled. Cleveland then threw a wild pitch to Rusty Staub scoring Harrelson. Rusty then knocked a base hit into the outfield putting the Mets up 2-0. In the 3rd, John Milner hit his first HR of the season to make it 3-0.

In the 3rd St. Louis scored, when Jose Cruz tripled & scored when Jim Fregosi booted a ground ball.

In the 5th Felix Millan tripled  bringing in Duffy Dyer. Millan would score on a passed ball charged to catcher Ted Simmons.

Koosman pitched seven innings, allowing three runs (two earned) striking out four Cardinals. He was relieved by Tug McGraw who had a shaky 9th inning. Jose Cruz led off with a single & pinch hitter Tim McCarver drew a one out walk.

Lou Brock then grounded out but Ted Sizemore singled scoring a run, putting the Cardinals just one run behind. This was only the start of Tug McGraws troubles, something he would not work out until August when he became un hittable.

Manager Yogi Berra decided to remove McGraw with new comer to the Mets bullpen; Phil Hennigan. Hennigan got pinch hitter Bernie Carbo to fly out to centerfielder Rich Chiles, earning his first save.

On April 19th, Koosman made his first start at Shea for the 1973 season, facing Rick Reuschel & the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs scored first when Jose Cardenal drove home former Met Jim Hickman with an unearned run. Hickman had reached base on an error by Rusty Staub. But it was the only run Koos would allow on the day, as he sailed along on to a complete game five hit 3-1 victory.

The Mets offense came in the 4th inning; John Milner singled & then Wayne Garrett doubled driving him in. Next Jerry Grote singled to score Garrett with run number two. In the 8th inning, John Milner hit his fourth HR of the season giving the Mets an insurance run in the 3-1 win.

April 25th:  Koosman & the 9-7 Mets went against Leo Durocher's Astros at the Houston Astrodome, which was labeled the 8th wonder of the world. Koosman's opponent that day was Don Wilson.

Wilson was a fine pitcher, who put up double figures in wins in each of his eight seasons. In 1968 he tied what was then a record, striking out 18 batters in a game. He had won 15 or more games three times in his career & posted ERA's under three, three times in his career for poor Astros tams.

In 1971 he had his best year going 16-10 with a 2.45 ERA (third behind Tom Seaver & San Diego's Dave Roberts) & 180 strike outs (7th in the NL).

Unfortunately in January 1975, Wilson was found dead at his home, in the passenger seat of his Ford Thunderbird from carbon monoxide poisoning. The garage was connected to the house, his son was also killed, as his wife & daughter were hospitalized but survived. Don Wilson was just 29 years old.

In the April 25th game, Koosman rolled along to another complete game victory, beating the Astros 5-2. He struck out three, walked two & allowed six hits. He served up a HR to Doug Rader (nick named the Red Rooster) & a sac fly to Cesar Cedeno.

The Mets offense was led by Le Grande Orange; Rusty Staub who hit a pair of solo HRs against his old team mates. Staub had come up with Astros in the early sixties & was one of Houstons first star players.

These HRs were Staub's first two of the season, up to that point he was batting just .151.

In the top of the 3rd inning, Bud Harrelson & Felix Millan both singled. John Milner delivered with a two run double & then scored when left fielder, George the Stork Theodore singled him home.

AApril 29th 1973: Koosman closed out his big month with his best outing on the 1973 regular season. He pitched a four hit shut out in Atlanta beating the Braves Carl Morton in a 1-0 pitchers duel.

Morton was the 1970 Rookie of the Year while pitching in Montreal, going 18-11 posting a 3.60 ERA, but lead the league with 125 walks. He would win 15 or more games three times with Atlanta with a best 17 wins in 1975.

Koosman struck out four & walked just one batter, lowering his ERA to 1.06.

The Mets manufactured their only run in the 2nd inning. Ed Kranepool had a one out base hit, followed by a Wayne Garrett base hit advancing Kranepool to third base. Jerry Grote then delivered a sac fly for the games only run as Kranepool scored.

On the month Koosman went 4-0 with three complete games in four starts.

He allowed just four earned runs in 34 innings, striking out 14 batters while walking 7 & posting a 1.06 ERA. He was the leagues top pitcher up to that point.

Former Mets Catcher & Helmet Inventor: Charlie O'Brien (1990-1993)

Charles Hugh O’ Brien was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma on May 1, 1960. The six foot two Charlie O attended Wichita State University, hitting 25 HRs with 116 RBIs while leading his team to the 1982 College World Series.

That year he was drafted by the Oakland A’s in the fifth round as a catcher. Initially he hit .291 with 14 HRs at AA Albany in the Eastern League in 1983 but dropped off significantly the next two seasons. In 1985 the solid defensive catcher, got a September call up batting .273 in 16 games.

In 1986 he got traded to the Milwaukee Brewers along with two minor leaguers for pitcher Moose Hass. He played three seasons in Milwaukee and never hit like he did in college ever again, putting up a best .234 with 6 HRs 35 RBIs in 1989. In Milwaukee he was primarily B.J. Surhoff’s backup catcher, putting up strong defensive numbers. He threw out 43% of runners attempting to steal in 1989 & tossed out at least 36% every season in Milwaukee.

In August of 1990 he was traded to the New York Mets for two players to be named later, who turned out to be Julio Machado and another player named Kevin Brown. He didn’t hit much but became known around the league as one of NL's best defensive catchers. O’Brien battled Mackey Sasser & Rick Cerone for the Mets catching job in 1991. Although he did not win the starting role, mostly due to his hitting, he became Dwight Gooden’s personal catcher.

With the Mets, O’Brien would also catch former Cy Young winners Bret Saberhagen & Frank Viola, adding to a career total of eleven Cy Young winners he would call pitches for in his career. O’Brien became famous for his long curly hair over the collar look, similar to Gary Carter.

O'Brien debuted in New York on September 1st with the first place Mets catching Julio Valera who earned his first win that day, beating the San Francisco Giants. On September 8th O'Brien had a rare big day at the plate getting three hits with three RBIs in a Mets 12-2 win over the Phillies.

On September 11th he had another three RBI day in a Mets 10-8 win over the Cardinals topped off by a walk off Daryl Strawberry HR. In the month he hit .162 with nine RBIs in 28 games played. Behind the plate he threw out a league best 46% of would be base stealers 16 of 35.

In 1991 his first full season as a Met he hit .185 with two HRs, six doubles & 14 RBIs. But it was his defense that made him such a good player, in 1991 he posted a .988 fielding % throwing out 32% of would be base stealers. At the plate he enjoyed a three hit day on May 15th driving in a run against the Padres at San Diego.

Later that summer he drove in three runs in a 904 win over the Dodgers at Shea Stadium. He hit his first HR of the season on August 22nd in a Mets 6-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. On August 30th he hit a solo HR helping David Cone beat the Reds 3-2 in Cincinnati.

In 1992 as Todd Hundley's backup catcher, he threw out 46% of would be base stealers, second best in the National league while posting a .991 fielding %. At the plate he hit .212 with 2 HRs 12 doubles & 13 RBIs. On May 1st he hit a two run HR in Atlanta against the Braves in an 8-7 win. O'Brien added another HR in late August in a game against the Cincinnati Reds. On September 14th O'Brien drove in three runs with a bases clearing double in a Mets 10-8 win at Wrigley Field.

In 1993 he had his best year at the plate & hit a career high .255 with 4 HRs 11 doubles & 23 RBIs appearing in 67 games. In early May he had a three game stretch where he had seven hits while driving in runs in three straight games. On May 25th his double in the top of the 9th inning drove in two runs putting the Mets ahead for good, after rallying from being down 4-1.

Again in July he had a three game stretch where he drove in runs in each game, enjoying a four game hit streak. In August he had another four game hit streak & had two different games where he drove in more than one run. On September 22nd, he hit a two run HR in Pittsburgh scoring Jeromy Burnitz for the game winning runs. He averaged 67 games behind the plate in each of his three seasons with the Mets.

O’Brien was not resigned for 1994 as Kelly Stinnett was given the backup catcher’s role. Charlie O went to the Atlanta Braves as a free agent & became the personal catcher of Cy Young winner Greg Maddox. He also was Steve Avery’s main catcher as the Braves went on to win the 1995 World Series. O’Brien went 2-5 in the NLCS good for a .400 average and 0-3 in the World Series against the Cleveland Indians.

He became unpopular with Met fans, when he was involved in a brawl at Shea, leveling short time Met John Cangelosi . Cangelosi had charged the mound after getting hit by a pitch from John Smoltz a second time that season. Charlie O tackled the little Cangelosi from behind wrestling him to the ground.

After two seasons he moved onto to the Toronto Blue Jays backing up Pat Borders and having career highs in 1996 in HRs (13) & RBIs (44) hitting .238. In Toronto he would catch Pat Hentgen in his CY Young season adding to his list of award winners. O’ Brien had brief stints in Anaheim, Chicago & Montreal before retiring in 2000.

In a 15 year career he was a lifetime .221 hitter, with 493 hits 56 HRs 119 doubles a .303 on base % & 261 RBIs. He posted a .990 lifetime fielding % making only 47 errors in nearly 5800 innings. He threw out a career 37% of would be base stealers (265 runners) posting a .990 fielding %.

Inventor: The biggest thing Charlie O’Brien will be remembered for is pioneering the hockey-style catcher's mask used today by many catchers. While playing with the Blue Jays he invented the new style mask, and worked with the Van Velden Mask Co. of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, to develop his idea. The new design, called the All-Star MVP, was approved by MLB in 1996 and O’Brien was the 1st to use it.

Retirement: Since baseball O'Brien, a life long hunter & lover of the outdoors, now runs one of the premier whitetail deer operations in the country, Catch 22 Ranch. His hunting success and knowledge of deer hunting has led him to be one of the key members and hosts of the ever-popular hunting show Deer Thugs.

Family: O’Brien’s son was a star basketball player & catcher at his dads old college at Wichita State. In 2011 he was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 18th round.

Apr 29, 2017

Remembering Mets History (2017) Mets Take First Two in D.C. End Skid

The 2017 Mets were in a place no one expected them to be at. They had fallen to last place struggling through a six game losing streak, dropping ten of their last eleven. Injuries, an MLB suspension to their closer & bad breaks got them here. But it is only April, their manager Terry Collins told them to look ahead, be aggressive & a weekend series against the first place, rival Nationals may be just what they needed to turn things around.

Friday April 28th, 2017: A large crowd of 34,532 including a contingent of Mets fans, making the journey, filed in to Nationals Park to see the Nats ace Matt Scherzer take in Mets star, Jacob deGrom.

In the 2nd inning, Travis d'Arnaud started off his big night with a two run HR off Scherzer giving the Mets a 2-0 lead. In the bottom frame, the hot hitting Ryan Zimmerman as well as Matt Wieders both homered putting Washington ahead 3-2.

In the 4th, after Jose Reyes singled & T.J. Rivera walked, Travis d'Arnaud became the first catcher since Hall of Famers; Mike Piazza & Gary Carter to have a multiple HR game. d'Arnaud's HR put New York up 5-3.

Jacob deGrom got the Mets to the 8th inning, settling in after allowing the two long balls, by striking out a total of 12 Nats, while walking just one. It was his third straight game with double digit strike out totals, as he became the NL Leader in strike outs (44) as well as strike outs per nine innings (12.5) on his way to his second win of the year (2-3) lowering his ERA to 2.84.

In a wacky 8th inning, Jose Reyes doubled, T.J., Rivera then reached on an error & stole second. Travis d'Arnaud then walked to load the bases. After a pitching change, Kevin Plawecki connected with a pinch hit RBI single. Michael Conforto then drew a bases loaded walk to make it 7-3.

In the home 8th, Addison Reed came in to relieve Jerry Blevins with a runner on second & the hot Zimmerman at the plate. Reed, who has not been the Reed of 2016 served up a two run HR making it a 7-5 game.

In the 9th, a rusty Mets closer Jeurys Familia, still looking for his first save of the year, quickly loaded the bases with no one out. He reared back to strike out Trea Turner for the first out.

Then in a surprising turn of events, Manager Terry Collins came out of the dugout & took the ball from an upset Jeurys Familia. He brought in Josh Edgin to face Bryce Harper, whom he had never faced before. Daniel Murphy tried to give some insight to Harper about Edgin but it certainly didn't help.

Edgin got Harper to ground out to the mound, Edgin threw to the plate, d'Arnaud caught it & stepped on the plate. He then threw to first nailing Harper for the game ending double play. The Mets had a much needed win.

Saturday April 29th, 2017: The Mets regrouped & sent Zack Wheeler to the mound to face Steven Strasburg in front of 36, 501 including lots of Mets fans.

In the 1st, Ryan Zimmerman continued his hot streak with an RBI base hit making it 1-0. In the 5th inning, Jose Reyes who is slowly staring to break out of his hitting funk, led off with a base hit. T.J. Rivera who is also hitting well in this series, doubled to left field. Travis d'Arnaud then reached on a fielders choice scoring Reyes to tie it. Then todays hero, the hot hitting Michael Conforto blasted a two run HR to right center field making it 3-1 Mets.

In the bottom of the 5th, the Nats scrapped another run after a Reyes error, a single & an infield hit. Terry Collins then pulled Wheeler bringing in Josh Edgin, who got Murphy to fly out to right field to end the inning.

In 4.2 innings Wheeler allowed two runs on five hits, with four strike outs & four walks. Hansel Robles would pitch 1.2 innings of hitless ball.

In the 8th inning, Michael Conforto hit his 6th HR of the year, his second of the day making it 4-2 Mets. In the bottom of the 8th Addison Reed allowed another HR  to Ryan Zimmerman, making it a one run game once again. In the top of the 9th Jose Reyes blasted his second HR of the year, topping off his multi hit game.

In the bottom of the 9th, Jeurys Familia earned his first save of the year with a 1-2-3 inning, closing out the game with a strike out. The Mets took the first two in D.C hopefully turning their season around.

Remembering Mets History (1996): John Franco Earns 300th Save

Monday April 29, 1996: Dallas Green was still heading the New York Mets at this point, but would not last the season, as he would be replaced & the Bobby Valentine era would begin.

On this day the Mets (11-13) took on a Felipe Alou's very good Montreal Expo team (17-9) that would finish second in a period still without a wild card.

It was a milestone day for Mets reliever John Franco. The New York born pitcher became the first left handed reliever to record 300 saves.

Starting Lineups

In the home 3rd, Rey Ordonez doubled & was brought in by Mets All Star, Lance Johnson. After the Expos tied it, a Lance Johnson ground out scored Edgardo Alfonzo to put the Mets ahead 2-1. Jeff Kent doubled in another run putting the Mets ahead 3-1.

In the 8th, Mets relievers Doug Henry & Bob Macdonald surrendered a run to bring the game with in one. Henry gave up back to back singles & then a ground out by Henry Rodriguez scored the run. A typical small ball game was underway.

That set the stage for Franco, who came on in the 9th inning. He struck out Darin Fletcher & then surrendered a base hit to F.P. Santagello. He struck out Shane Andrews & then got Sherman Obando to fly out to end the game.

It was Franco's his fifth save of the year, and #300 of his career, the most ever by a left hander.

Pete Harnish got the win, Lance Johnson led the offensive attack with two hits and two RBIs.

The Brooklyn born John Franco would pitch in 51 games in 1996, going 4-3 with 28 saves and a solid 1.83 ERA. He would become the All Time Mets leader in saves with 276, and retire third on the All Time list with 424 saves. He is still first among left handed relievers.

Apr 28, 2017

1969 World Champion Mets Third Baseman: "The Glider" Ed Charles (1967-1969)

Edwin Douglas Charles was born on April 29, 1933 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Charles grew up in a poor house in a family of nine children in the segregated south. He suffered the serious conditions of racism but overcame his hardships.

He was once a school drop out who later educated himself to earning a college degree later in life.

His childhood hero was Jackie Robinson who's Brooklyn Dodgers played Spring Training in Charles childhood town. He would follow Robinson out of the ballpark onto the team bus with the other black children in awe of their hero.

The five foot nine inch, right hand hitting Charles worked hard to fight his struggles & excelled in baseball. He was eventually signed by the Boston Braves in 1952. He went off to military service during the Korean War from 1953-1955. When he returned he hit 19 HRs & batted .333 at Corpis Christie in the Big State League. Charles got to AAA for good by 1958 & spent four seasons there between Wichita, Louisville & Vancouver.

In 1961 he batted .305 with 13 HRs & 77 RBIs for the Mounties. Overall he spent eight long years in the Braves farm system, due to the fact that Hall of Famer Eddie Mathews had the Milwaukee third base position all secured.

Charles wrote poetry of his experiences with racism playing in the segregated South during the 1950's & also wrote poems having to due with baseball. He was eventually traded to the Kansas City A’s in 1962 along with Joe Azcue and Manny Jimenez for Lou Klimchock and future Bronx born New York Met, Bob Shaw.

He got a break getting traded to Kansas City, he was able to see playing time in a town rich in Negro League baseball history. He was one of the top players in Kansas City Athletics history during their brief existence.

In his 1962 rookie season he was already 29 years old, Charles had career highs in batting (.288) HRs (17) on base % (.356%) & stolen bases (20), fourth most in the league.

At third base he was fourth in the league in fielding (.964%) fifth in put outs (145) & assists (285). He drove in 74 runs & had the honor of making the Topps All Star Rookie team as well.

In 1963 he hit .267 & was second on the club to Norm Siebern in HRs (15) . He had career highs in RBIs (79) runs scored (82) hits (162) & doubles (28). The Glider stole 15 bases (7th in the AL) posting a .395 on base %.

On the field he posted the leagues fifth best fielding % (.949). The next season his batting average fell to .241 but he still hit 16 HRs with 25 doubles & 63 RBIs. He was overshadowed by sluggers Rocky Colavito & Jim Gentile in the hitting department, although the Kansas City A’s still finished tenth in the AL.

In 1965 Charles played in 134 games and his power numbers dropped off to just eight HRs, as A's owner Charlie Finley moved the Municipal Stadium's fences back . The Glider had 19 doubles & 56 RBIs while batting .269.

In 1966 he improved his batting average to .286, playing in 118 games with 9 HRs 18 doubles 12 steals & 42 RBIs. By 1967 he lost his starting job to Danny Cater & a young Sal Bando was on the horizon just as the A’s were about to move to Oakland. Charles was the odd man out & on May 10th 1967 he was traded to the New York Mets for Larry Elliot & $50,000 cash.

Ed Charles was 34 years old when he arrived in New York, the oldest player on a very young Mets team that needed a veteran.

He helped to cheer up a young Cleon Jones when he was down on himself, especially when the media said he wasn't giving his all. Charles also helped ease tension with some of the newest players making adjustments to young veterans like Ed Kranepool & Ron Swoboda.

Charles debuted with his Mets uniform #5 on May 12th 1967 in St. Louis, hitting an RBIs sac fly off former Met Al Jackson. He became Known as “The Glider “because of his graceful base running and smooth fielding at third base. As he remembers he had made a diving stab at a ball & moments later Jerry Koosman came over to him saying ; "You sort of glide to the ball. That's it. You're The Glider from now on.'"

Charles got two hits that day & quickly took over the Mets third base spot. Ten days after his arrival he had a four hit day against the Los Angeles Dodgers in a 5-2 Mets win at Shea, he would have another four hit day in August.

On June 9th the Glider hit his first Mets HR coming off the Giants Juan Marichal in an exciting Mets 8-7 Fourth of July victory. On June 26th Charles won the game with a walk off RBI single to beat Roy Face & the Pittsburgh Pirates.

For the season he hit .238 with a .319 on base %, 3 HRs 13 doubles 3 triples 32 runs scored & 31 RBIs. He played in 101 games & led the team in with seven hit by pitches (5th most in the NL) & six sacrifice hits (7th in the NL). At third he posted a .944 fielding % making 17 errors turning 16 double plays.

He was actually put on waivers at the end of the year but got invited back to Spring Training 1968. Through his hard work & determination he impressed new Mets manager Gil Hodges & made the ball club to go north.

In the "Year of the Pitcher" Charles ended up being one of the team’s best hitters, leading the club in HRs (15) batting a solid .276.

Charles had 102 hits, with 11 doubles a .328 on base % and 53 RBIs. He also helped solve the Mets third base problem by playing a good defense, posting a .954 fielding % (5th best in the NL).

After a slow start batting just .180 through the start of May, he got hot. On May 2nd he hit a two run HR, helping Nolan Ryan to a three hit 3-0 shutout win. In his next game Charles hit another HR & drove in five runs leading the Mets to a 7-3 win over the Chicago Cubs.

On May 20th he hit two HRs while scoring both Mets runs in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He also had a walk off HR that night off Bob Veale helping Jerry Koosman to a win.

The Glider began June with HRs in back to back games & then hit two more three days later at Wrigley Field leading the Mets to a 5-3 win. Charles would drive in three runs in the second game of a double header against the Dodgers leading the Mets to a 5-3 win. He finished off an eleven game hit streak two days later with another three RBI day. His hitting continued through the summer, keeping his average above .300 into August before tailing off.

In the 1969 Championship season, Charles was now 36 years old, and the mentor of the ball club. He could remember back to two years ago when the younger guys would laugh after losing a game.

But now with Gil Hodges at the helm, they were playing serious baseball & a loss was no laughing matter. At the start of the season the Mets were hoping for Amos Otis to take over the position from Charles as the season went on, but that never worked out. Otis was a natural outfielder & the attempt of a transition was a mistake.

Charles ended up played against lefties in Gil Hodges platoon system, sharing time with a young Wayne Garrett.

In 52 games at third base he posted a .946 fielding % turning nine double plays. He struggled at the plate as his age caught up with him, he didn't get over the .200 mark until the end of June then struggled to stay there all year. On May 31st he helped put the Mets ahead of the Giants with a three run HR off future Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry.

He later added an insurance run, driving in all four Mets runs for the teams third straight win of an eleven game winning streak. On July 6th he hit a HR off the Pirates Luke Walker, tying the game helping lead New York to an eventual 8-7 win. On September 24th 1969, he had one of the biggest moments of his career, hitting a HR off St. Louis’ Cardinals future Hall of Famer Steve Carlton.

It was a two run shot helping the Mets win the game while clinching their first NL Eastern title at Shea Stadium, in front of 54,000 fans. It was the last regular season game of his career, as well as his last career HR. finally after eight losing seasons, Ed Charles played on a winning team.

Overall for the 1969 Amazing Mets, Charles appeared in 61 games, batting .207 with three HRs, eight doubles, one triple, four stolen bases & 18 RBIs in 169 at bats. But the Glider was more important to his team than the stats show, as many of the young players acknowledged his veteran leadership helped turn them into Champions.

1969 Post Season: In the postseason, he platooned at third base with Wayne Garrett in the usual situations. Charles didn't see any action in the NLCS against the Atlanta Braves right-handed pitchers, but did get a chance to play in the World Series. Charles dream came true, as he played in four World Series games going 2-15, for a .133 average.

In Game #2 in the top of the 9th inning at Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium, Charles hit the first of three consecutive singles off Orioles pitcher Dave McNally. When he was on first base, he got the steal sign and took off as Jerry Grote singled to right field, Charles then glided into third base.

He would come around to score the game’s winning run on Al Weis’ base hit in the next at bat. In the bottom of the 9th with a runner on first & two outs, Jerry Koosman was relieved by Ron Taylor.

Charles took an extra couple of steps toward the third base line, just as the Orioles Brooks Robinson pulled the ball exactly where Charles was able to scoop it up. His throw was low but Don Clendenon dug it out of the dirt for the last out, giving the Mets their first ever World Series game victory.

Charles went hitless in games three & four, but he was on the field for the final out of the Series in Game #5. The image of him leaping in the air, with a big smile on his face, behind Jerry Grote & Jerry Koosman, as the last out was recorded at Shea Stadium, is forever etched in time as the Mets' celebrated the World Championship.

In the club house he said “We’re #1 in the world & you just can't get any bigger than this”. He appeared with the team on the Ed Sullivan show & got to recite a poem he wrote in 1962 at the ticker tape parade celebration.

Following the World Series, the Mets released Charles, and he decided to go out a winner, retiring at the age of 36. Charles always remained a dignified gentleman and was a class act all the way.

In his eight year career he batted .263 with 917 hits, 86 HRs, 421 RBIs, 147 doubles, 30 triples, 86 stolen bases a .330 on base % & 438 runs scored in 1005 games played.

He played in 279 Mets games batting .249 with 21 HRs 32 doubles 94 runs scored a .309 on base % & 102 RBIs. At third base he posted a .957 fielding % (83rd all time) turning 165 double plays making 122 errors in 942 games.

Retirement: Soon after retirement he worked for promotions for Buddha Records which distributed the 1969 Amazing Mets album.

He got to meet his hero Jackie Robinson in 1972 in Manhattan while putting together a line of baseball novelties. He then went on to scout for the Mets through the 1985 season.

He is credited for signing & Mets relief pitcher Neil Allen. Charles has worked with New York City’s Juvenile Justice Dept. helping kids in the Washington Heights section of the city as well as in the Bronx.

Charles was a frequent visitor at Shea Stadium, and still is at Citi Field, Spring Training, fantasy camps, and charity events. In 2007 he joined Mrs. Jackie Robinson along with Ralph Branca in honoring Robinson on the 50th anniversary of his breaking into the major leagues.

He made it a point to attend both Bob Murphy & Ralph Kiner Nights when they were honored at Shea Stadium.

Charles was at the closing ceremonies of Shea Stadium in 2008 and on hand at the 40th anniversary celebrations of the 1969 Amazing Mets in 2009.

He still lives in New York City & said his only regret was not getting here sooner.

Remembering Mets History (1968): The Glider Has Two Big Days vs. Cubs

Saturday May 4th 1968: A She Stadium crowd of 14,214 came out for a matinee game where Gil Hodges Mets (9-10) hosted Leo Durocher's Chicago Cubs (9-12).

The Mets Dick Selma would go up against the Cubs Ken Holtzman. It would be the biggest day for Ed Charles in his Mets career as he drove in five runs, with a HR helping the Mets to a 7-3 victory.

Starting Lineups

The Mets scored first as Cleon Jones drove home Phil Linz. The Cubs went ahead with Randy Hundley's two run HR. In the home 3rd, Holtzman got wild, walking Linz, Greg Goossen & hitting Jerry Grote with a pitch. He was removed from the game & Jack Lamabe came in & served up a bases loaded walk to Ed Charles.

 In the 5th inning, The Glider Ed Charles came to bat with the bases loaded once again. This time he drove a single up the middle scoring Ron Swoboda & Greg Goossen putting the Mets up 4-2.

In the 7th, Charles connected for a two run HR, his third HR in the young season. He finished the day with a HR, two hits, a walk, five RBIs & a run scored. Charles had homered the day before, a two run shot helping Nolan Ryan (seven innings) & Ron Taylor (two innings)  to a 3-0 shut out over the Phillies.

Thursday June 6th 1968: Gil Hodges Mets (23-27) were playing good ball showing early signs of what was to come in 1969. On this day they were at Wrigley Field in Chicago in front of 5,858 fans to take on the Cubs (25-26). Once again it was Dick Selma vs Ken Holtzman & once again it was another big Ed Charles day.

In the top of the 3rd, with Jerry Grote aboard, Ed Charles lifted  a two run HR over the Ivy putting the Mets up 2-0. Greg Goossen added an RBI double making it 3-0. The Cubs got a run on Ron Santo's HR.

In the 5th inning, Charles "The Glider" led off with another HR, making it 4-1. A Tommie Agee triple then scored Gooosen who had walked. The Cubs came close but the Mets won it 5-3 as Ron Taylor got the save.

Ed Charles would lead the 1968 Mets in HRs with 15. He would have just one other game; May 20th 1968 in his three year Mets career, where he would hit multiple HRs in a game. For 1968 Charles was third in RBIs (53) & second in slugging (.434%) on the Mets team.