September 20, 1967: It was on this day that Met manager Wes Westrum, a former catcher for the 1950's NY Giants, resigned his position.
Westrum was waiting for the Mets to announce he would be managing again in 1968. But he soon saw the writing on the wall that he wasn't going to be in their plans. He then walked into the Mets front office & announced his resignation. He left with the Mets in tenth place, posting a 57-94 record with eleven games left in the 1967 season.
Westrum had managed the club since taking over for Casey Stengel in August 1965. Westrum went 15-48 for the remainder of the '65 season finishing 10th. 1966 was an improvement, finishing 9th with the most victories the franchise had ever had at that point going 66-95. In 1967 the team took a step back, and the fans were beginning to get restless as was the organization.
Mets coach Salty Parker took over for the remaining eleven games in the '67 season, going 4-7 as their interim manager.
A turning point for the Mets franchise came just a few short days later, when the front office announce they would be able to obtain former popular Brooklyn Dodger great & early Mets player; Gil Hodges for the position of manager.
At the time Hodges was managing the Washington Senators and it was tough convincing them to let him go. Mets GM Johnny Murphy met with his former team mate; Washington's GM George Selkirk and worked out a deal.
Hodges was eager to come back to New York, where he still lived & had lots of family & friends. The Mets fans already loved him & his old Brooklyn Dodger fans practically canonized him a Saint. The Mets sent a pitcher named Bill Denehy to Washington and a sum of cash believed to be $150,000.
Hodges signed a contact for the Mets at $60,000 annually. The rest is Mets history by the end of his second season as Met manager he won the World Series with the Amazing, Miracle World Champion Mets.