Feb 27, 2018

2019 Mets Front Office Advisor & Former 2018 Coach: Ruben Amaro Jr. (2018-2019)

Ruben Amaro Jr. was born on February 12th 1965 in Northeast Philadelphia. His father Ruben Amaro SR. played in the Major Leagues for eleven years, with the St. Louis Cardinals (1958) Philadelphia Phillies (1960-1965) AL New York team (1966-1968) & California Angels (1969). Amaro is Russian Jewish, Cuban Mexican American.

Ruben Jr. graduated from William Penn charter school where he played baseball as well as soccer. He attended Stanford University playing for the 1987 College World Series Championship team. He led the club in runs, triples & stolen bases. The outfielder was drafted by the California Angels in the 11th round of the 1987 draft.

In December of 1991, he was traded along with Kyle Abbot to the Philadelphia Phillies for Von Hayes. By 1992 he was the Phillies main right fielder playing in 126 games but hit just .219 with 7 HRs 15 doubles & 34 RBIs.

He began the Phillies 1993 NL Championship season at AAA getting back to the Phils in mid June. A few days later he was the hero of an 8-6 Phillies win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. After an early RBI single, he hit a two in HR off John Candeleria in the 8th inning, putting his team in front for good. 

In 25 games he batted .333 but did not make the post season. After the World Series he was traded to the Cleveland Indians for Heathcliff Slocumb. 

He played briefly as a reserve outfielder with the Indians including 28 games batting just .200 in their 1995 AL Championship season. He got into three ALCS games against the Seattle Mariners, getting one official at bat & scoring a run. In the 1995 World Series he went 0-2 in two games against the Atlanta Braves.

He then resigned with the Phillies as a free agent in 1996 playing three more seasons there. In 61 games he hit .316 in 1996 then played 117 games in 1997 while batting .234. In an eight year career he batted .235 with 16 HRs 43 doubles 100 RBIs & 218 hits in 485 games. 

In 1998 he was hired by the Phillies as assistant to the GM, serving seven years under Ed Wade & three under Pat Gillick.

In 2009 he was named the Phils General Manager & got the team to the World Series that same year earning the MLB Executive of the Year Award. The Phillies  went on to win three straight NL East titles with a core of Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Shane Victorino & Cole Hamels. 

By 2013 everything went rotten in Philly, manager Charlie Manuel was fired by Amaro & the fans voted 96% to fire Amaro as well. He was ranked the worst GM in baseball by the Sporting News with a reputation to sign washed up high price veterans. Amaro was fired by 2015.

Philly Legacy: Amaro is co-founder of the Richie Ashburn Harry Kalas Foundation, which provides baseball camps for underprivileged children in the Delaware Valley.

In 2016 he was hired by the Boston Red Sox as first base coach. In November of 2107 he was chosed as the New York Mets first base coach for 2018. He replaced Tom Goodwin, who went to the Red Sox. Amaro will also work with outfielders & oversee base running.

At the end of the season he was moved to a front office position as Glen Sherlock will be the 2019 first base coach.

Feb 26, 2018

Early Sixties Mets Reserve Catcher: Sammy Taylor (1962-1963)

Samuel Douglas Taylor was born on February 27, 1933 in Woodruff South Carolina. The six foot two, left hand hitting catcher was signed by the Milwaukee Braves in 1956. After two seasons in their minor leagues he was traded along with Taylor Phillips, to the Chicago Cubs for Eddie Haas, Don Kaiser and Bob Rush.

 Taylor became the Cubs regular catcher in 1959, batting .269 with a career high 13 HRs, 13 doubles & 43 RBIs. In June of the 1959 he was involved in a strange play while behind the plate.

The legendary Stan Musial walked on a ball four, wild pitch that got past Taylor. He argued the call, saying Musial had foul tipped the ball as it rolled to the backstop. Musial ran to second, Alvin Dark ran to the backstop to retrieve the ball. The ball wound up in the hands of the field announcer, a new ball was taken, and thrown into the outfield.

As Musial tried for third; the old ball was retrieved then thrown to third base where Ernie Banks tagged out Musial. Behind the plate that season, he caught 109 games and committed a league leading ten errors. 

In 1960, he was a second string catcher behind Ed Tappe, batting only .207 in 74 games. The next season, Dick Bertell took over as the Cubs main catcher, with Taylor as a aback up seeing action in 89 games; batting .238. On April 26, 1962 he got traded to the expansion New York Mets for Bobby Gene Smith. Taylor arrived at the Polo Grounds where the young Mets had played just 14 games in the team's history. At that point they were 2-12 already 8 1/2 games back. 

On April 28th he appeared as a pinch hitter drawing a walk in a 8-6 loss to the Phillies. In his second game as a Met, Taylor got a hit. driving in a run, in a rare '62 Mets 8-0 win, also over the Phillies. On May 19th, he helped spark an 8th inning, four run Mets rally, as he singled in a run, off Milwaukee's Lew Burdette. Hot Rod Kanehl came in to run for him & scored the winning run on a Jim Hickman sac fly. 

Eleven of his twenty RBIs came in the month of June, when he saw the most playing time (21 games) getting 13 hits, including a four game hit streak. On July 7th, Taylor had a big day, hitting HRs in both ends of a doubleheader at the Polo Grounds, in games against the St. Louis Cardinals. In the first game he hit a sixth inning solo shot off Larry Jackson, which was the first run in the Mets 4-3 win. In the second game he hit another solo shot, this one off Ray Washburn, although the Mets lost the game 3-2. It would be the last HR of Taylor's career & he would finish with just three on the season. 

In July he went down with injury missing over a month of time, returning at the end of September. He spent the season in a revolving door of New York Mets catchers who tried out for a regular job in that position.

Included in the cast were; Chris Cannizzaro, Choo Choo Coleman, Joe Pignatano, Hobie Landrith & Harry Chiti. Overall in 68 games Taylor hit .222 but led all the weak hitting catchers with three HRs & twenty RBIs. In 56 games behind the plate he threw out 33% of base runners attempting to steal & posted a .992 fielding %. 

In 1963 he didn't get to the Mets club until late May, & would see action in 22 games through June, batting .257 with six RBIs. On July 1st he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds along with Charlie Neal, for another catcher; Jesse Gonder.

After one month there, Taylor was sent to the Cleveland Indians for Gene Green. He played just four games in Cleveland & spent the next two seasons in the minor leagues before retiring from the game. 

Taylor finished his brief six season playing in 473 lifetime game, hitting .245 with 309 hits 33 HRs 47 doubles, 147 RBIs & a .313 on base %.

Feb 25, 2018

Former Mets Backup Catcher: Mike Nickeas (2010-2012)

Michael James Nickeas was Born on February 13, 1983 in Vancouver, British Columbia. He is the son of British professional soccer player, Mark Nickeas.

Nickeas grew up in West Lake California & then attended Georgia Tech. University playing on their baseball team for three years. The six foot right handed hitting catcher was originally drafted by the Texas Rangers in 2004. In August of 2006 he was traded to the New York Mets in exchange for Victor Diaz. 

After having success early in his career, especially during the Pan Am games & low levels of the minors, he struggled at both A ball St. Lucie & AA Binghamton. He was at Mets Spring Training as early as 2007, but didn't get near making the team. That year he played for Great Britain in European Baseball Championship making it's All Star team & winning a silver medal. 

In 2008 he hit just .210 in the minors, in 2009 he fell to .164 playing in just twenty games as he suffered a broken finger. In 2010 he hit .283 at AA Binghamton with 15 doubles 5 HRs & 33 RBIs as the clubs main catcher. He was promoted to AAA Buffalo& after seven games got a September call up to the Mets ho still had faith in him. 

Nickeas made his MLB debut on September 4th in Chicago at Wrigley Field, getting the start behind the plate catching Jenrry Mejia. He went 0-2 that day, getting his first hit in his third game at Citi Field against Milwaukee. He played in five games going 2-10.

In 2011 he began the year with the Mets out of Spring Training, finishing up Opening Day behind the plate in the last three innings. He got his first start in Philadelphia in the fourth game of the season, going 0-5. He then hit safely in five of six games and hit his first career HR on April 21st, coming at Citi Field. 

On April 27th he was sent back down to the minors at AAA Buffalo. There he played in 60 games behind Raul Chavez who played 78 games, hit just .199 but threw out 47% of would be base stealers. Nickeas hit .214 while throwing out 40% of would be base stealers. He returned to the Mets at the end of August and got to play in a dozen more games, finishing the year at .189 (10-53) with one HR one doubles & 6 RBIs. 

Behind the plate he posted a perfect .1000 fielding % making no errors in 124 chances, in twenty games. He threw out four of thirteen base runners trying to steal on him. 

In 2012 he caught the third game of the season, going 0-4 in the Mets 7-5 win over Atlanta. On May 5th his two run single off Patrick Corbin, led to a Johan Santana 4-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. On May 26th, at Citi Field, he hit a grand slam HR off former Met Dale Thayer in a 9-0 Mets win over the San Diego Padres. Nickeas struggled, batting just .168 at the end of June & he was sent down to AAA Buffalo. He hit .364 there in 22 games. 

He was brought back up in September finishing the year batting .174 with one HR three doubles 13 RBIs & a .242 on base %. In the 2013 off season he was traded to Toronto in the R.A. Dickey / Travis d'Arnaud / John Buck deal.

He appeared in just one lone game with the Blue Jays, spending most of his time at AAA Buffalo where he batted just .166. In 2014 he hit .285 at AAA Buffalo in 49 games.

Old Time Bronx Born New York Giants Player Who Was Banned From Baseball: Heinie Zimmerman (1916-1919)

Henry Zimmerman was born February 9th, 1887 in the Bronx, New York. By the age of 14 he was working as a plumbers assistant to help his family earn money. He became a star player on the sand lots of New York City, before signing a contract with the Chicago Cubs in 1906. 

Zimmerman became known as a dim witted eccentric in the baseball world & was also known for erratic play, as well as his erratic behavior. Once during a five game stretch in 1913, the umpire hating Zimmerman, was thrown out of three different games. He was also known as "the Great Zim". 

 After four years as a reserve infielder, he became the Cubs main second baseman in 1911, taking over for the injured Johnny Evers. Zimmerman made it to two World Series with the Cubs, winning the 1907 Series over the Detroit Tigers. In 1910 he got into five games, driving in two runs in the loss to the Philadelphia A's. He hit 17 triples (4th in the league) batted .307 (9th in the league) & drove in 85 runs (9th in the league). 

In 1912 he moved over as the third baseman & had a big year, coming in sixth in the MVP voting. He originally won the NL Triple Crown, but through the years, it was discovered his RBI totals were wrong & he came in third in the league. He won the batting title, hitting .372, led the league in hits (207) doubles (41) HRs (14) & slugging (.571%). 

Zimmerman spent ten seasons with the Cubs, hitting over .300 once more (1913) & won an RBI title that remained intact through history in 1916, driving in 83 runs. During those Cub years he was in the top ten in the league's batting race four times. He would also be in the top ten in doubles, triples, HRs, RBIs, hits & total bases many times. In 1916 he was traded to the New York Giants for Larry Doyle, Herb Hunter & Merwin Jacobson. He has been voted #98 on the All Time 100 Greatest Cubs list. 

His career in New York began well, in 40 games of the 1916 season he batted .272 with 19 RBIs. In 1917 he won another RBI title, driving in 102 runs. He batted .297 (7th best in the NL) with five HRs 22 doubles, nine triples & 174 hits (4th in the NL). At third base he continued his fine fielding, leading the league in assists (349), was second in games played (149) & fourth in fielding (.947) as well as put outs (148). That year the Giants won the NL Pennant & played the Chicago White Sox in the World Series. 

Post Season: Zimmerman is infamous for a rundown play in the final game decisive Game #6. The game was scoreless in the 4th inning, when Chicago's Eddie Collins got caught in a run down between third & home plate. The catcher Bill Rariden, ran up the line starting the run down play. Unfortunately neither the pitcher (Rube Benton) nor the first baseman (Walter Holke) went to cover the plate. 
 Zimmerman chased Collins to the plate with his arm motioning to throw, but no one was covering the plate to throw to. Collins scored what turned out to be the game & series' winning run. Zimmerman was blamed for losing the game for years, but even Giants manager John McGraw blamed Benton & Holke who made the mental error not covering home. 

Years later it was said that Zim commented on the play, saying " who the hell was I suppose to throw to, the umpire Bill Klem?" Others say, a New York sports writer made up the quote. Overall in the World Series, Zim batted just .120 with a triple going 3-25. 

He played for the Giants for two more years, batting career low .255 in 1919. 

Drama: That same year- 1919, Zimmerman along with his friend, Hal Chase was banned from baseball for attempting to fix games. This all came down during the 1919 Chicago Black Sox scandal. Giants Manager John McGraw testified in court to Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis & both were indicted for bribery.

The two denied the accusations but based on past corruption, they were banned from the game. The Giants had previously released Zim, mostly due to the events of the 1917 World Series. 

 In his 13 year career he batted .295 with 58 HRs 275 doubles 105 triples (143rd all time) 695 runs scored 175 stolen bases 432 RBIs & a .331 on base % in 1456 games played. 

At second base he played 945 games, at third base he played 327 games, where he made 231 errors (59th most all time at the position). At third he is in the top 100 all time in assists & put outs. He also played at short (63 games) first base (53 games) & in the outfield (13 games).

Feb 23, 2018

The Wild Story Of the Heavy Drinking New York Giants Pitcher: Bugs Raymond (1908-1910)

Arthur Lawrence "Bugs" Raymond was born on February 24, 1882 in Chicago, Illinois. The five foot ten, right hander supposedly got his nickname due to his antics on & off the field. Raymond pitched in pro ball in 1904, making a brief debut with the Detroit Tigers, pitching five games going 0-1. 

He went back to the minor leagues, and began throwing a spitball which was legal at the time. All of a sudden he won 35 games (35-11) for Charleston in the South Atlantic League in 1907. The St. Louis Cardinals bought his contract & he was back in the majors that season. In St. Louis he was the last place Cardinals top pitcher in 1908, winning 15 games on a team that only won 49 games in total. He struck out 145 batters (fourth in the NL), posted a 2.03 ERA (10th in the NL) but led the league in losses (25) and wild pitches (9). 

On average Raymond gave up fewer hits per games than the great Christy Mathewson did in New York with the Giants. Bugs threw five shutouts of his own, but in eleven of his starts the Cardinals were shut out as well. 

Raymond’s biggest problem was his heavy drinking which of course led to his wild antics. In December of 1908 the Cards gave up on him & traded him to the New York Giants with two other players for pioneer catcher; Roger Bresnahan. At first New York Manager John McGraw seemed to able to keep Raymond under control. 

In 1909 he then went & had his overall best season. Raymond won 18 games (18-12) with a 2.47 ERA pitching 270 innings and struck out 121 batters (9th in the NL) he also posted the tenth best strike out per nine inning ratio. He made 39 starts (5th in the NL) but also served up seven HRs (7th in the NL) 87 walks (9th in the NL) 239 hits, committing nine errors (second most in the NL). 

McGraw controlled his drinking only for a short time, soon Raymond was off the wagon & out of control once again. McGraw tried to fine him, so he wouldn’t have any money to buy liquor but that didn’t work. He would then send the money to Raymond's wife, but when Bugs found out he threatened to stop pitching saying "If she's getting my money, let her pitch." McGraw hired a private detective just to follow Raymond around to keep him in line, but that didn’t work either. Christy Mathewson once said, "after a night out, don't get too close to Bugs, his breath will stop a freight train". 

In 1910 Raymond dropped to a 4-11 record, pitching in just 19 games posting a 3.81 ERA. One old Giants Tale is that during a June game, when McGraw told Raymond to start warming up, he snuck over to a local saloon & traded a game ball for two shots of whiskey. When he was called into the 3-2 game, he hit two batters threw a wild pitch & gave up a pair of hits. McGraw was so pissed off he suspended him indefinitely. During another game he asked to be removed, even though he had pitched a scoreless one hit game through five innings. He told reporters he ate a strawberry sundae before the game & was suffering from a serious stomach ache. " 

Quotes: Team mate Fred Snodgrass once said: "When he was sober, and sometimes when he wasn't, he was the greatest spitball pitcher who ever lived." The great Giants pitcher Rube Marquard said "Sometimes it seemed the more he drank, the better he pitched. They used to say he didn't spit on the ball, he just breathed on it and the ball came up drunk, too." 

The next year he went 6-4 in 17 games, but was released mid season he kept showing up late and/ or drunk. McGraw had enough & he moved on as the Giants went on to win the 1911 pennant. Raymond hung his uniform in a saloon near the Polo Grounds & became a bartender there for a short time. 

Passing: In 1912 he pitched in the United States league in his home town of Chicago, but he kept drinking getting into fights. That same year he was badly beaten up & took some blows to the head with a baseball bat, after a bad bar fight. A few weeks later he got into a fight with an angry fan and took a few more blows to his head. Later that week, he complained of headaches and then was found dead in a Chicago hotel room. 

An investigation proved he had a fractured his skull, most likely in the brawls, and died of a cerebral hemorrhage. Bugs Raymond was only 30 years old, at the time of his death in 1912.  When his former manager McGraw learned of his death, he said " that man took seven years off my life", hence the nick name of Bugs. 

 In his six year career he was 47-57 with a 2.49 ERA, striking out 401 batters in 854 innings pitched over 136 games pitched.

Feb 21, 2018

Remembering the 1964 MLB All Star Game at Shea Stadium

The 1964 All Star Game was held at Shea Stadium in Queens, New York. At the time the area was jumping with a new excitement; Shea Stadium was a brand new $29 million dollar ball park & one of baseball's most glamorous.

It was designed by the standards of that day, to be the greatest ever built for baseball. It was huge compared to most of the smaller parks still in use at the time, with seating for 56,000 fans. It was billed as having great views of the play from every seat, since it had no columns or pillars in the sightlines, like the older parks.

The walkway rafts & escaladers were considered modern at the time, as to exit fans more quickly. Shea had its most famous feature, the tremendous state of the art scoreboard, 175 ft. long & eight stories high. A large screen in center top, originally projected photos of the players coming to bat, this was way ahead of its time in 1964.

Shea was like nothing baseball had ever seen, ushers dressed in Mets colored suits, lots of concessions & it was the most easiest park to get to at the time as well. Right next to major highways, bus routes, NYC subways & the LIRR all right outside its gates. Few remember the beauty Shea had during its first decade, as by the 1980s it had started to become outdated quickly.

Also at the same time the 1964 New York's World Fair was going on in Flushing Meadows Corona Park as well. An estimated 51 million people came to the World's Fair which cover one square mile, from April 1964 through October 1964 & then again from April-October 1965.

The Fairs theme was "Peace through Understanding", the Space age & a showcase of modern technology, including giving the public its first interactions with computers. The United States had exhibits from all parts of the country as did a grand world showcase. One of the most popular exhibits was Michelangelo's Pieta transported directly from the Vatican at Rome. Big business also had a huge part in showing off American technologies, as many large corporations had their displays.

1964 NY Worlds Fair
Some of the structures from the World's Fair still stands today, most famously the Unisphere: depicting earth in "The Space Age". Located directly at the center of the park, it was & is a symbol of "Man's Achievements on a Shrinking Globe in an Expanding Universe".

On July 7th, 1964 Shea Stadium was host to its first & only All Star Game. A crowd of just under 51,000 attended the Mid Summer Classic on a warm summer day in New York. It was a large crowd by standards of the time, but almost impossible to imagine today with the games fanfare & high priced hard to get tickets.

1964 All Star Game at Shea Stadium, Queens NY

Ron Hunt
World Champion Los Angeles Dodgers Manager Walt Alston took the helm for the NL Stars & The White Sox Al Lopez took over in place of Ralph Houk, as the AL Stars manager. Houck had briefly stepped in as GM of the AL New York team, before returning as manager later on.

One of the proudest moments of the early Mets was having their second baseman Ron Hunt start the All Star Game held at Shea Stadium. Hunt was the first Mets All Star to have a starting position.

In 1962 Richie Ashburn made the All Star reserve team, as did Duke Snider in 1963. But it was Hunt, who had no ties with other teams, that was a true Mets first time All Star for the young team, only three years in the league. In those days there was no fan voting, Hunt received the honor by getting voted in by his fellow NL Players. He was having an outstanding year, especially on the 23-58 last place Mets. He was batting .311 with 14 doubles 4 triples 3 HRs 22 RBIs & a .361 on base% at the break.

Manager Casey Stengel told the press in June, that there would be something wrong if Hunt didn't start the All Star Game. This certainly helped promote the young Ron Hunt.

According to a recent Daily News article; Hunt took his grandfather to Shea the night before the All Star game. He had his friends in the grounds crew turn on the lights to show his grandfather, who had taught him the game, the grand ball bark, it was quite a thrill for both.

The starting lineups for the game were AL: Jim Fregosi- SS / Tony Oliva -RF/ Mickey Mantle -CF/ Harmon Killebrew -LF/ Bob Allison-1B/ Brooks Robinson -3B/ Bobby Richardson -2b/ Elston Howard -C & Dean Chance on the mound.

For the NL: Roberto Clemente -RF/ Dick Groat -SS/ Billy Williams -LF/ Willie Mays -CF/ Orlando Cepeda -1B/ Ken Boyer -3B / Joe Torre -C/ Ron Hunt -2B & Don Drysdale pitching.

Mets manager Casey Stengel would coach the lines at Third base to the delight of the fans. Drysdale was shaky in the first allowing a single then a passed ball. Harmon Killebrew drove in the first run with a base hit of his own.

The Mets hometown hero; Ron Hunt, came to bat to a huge standing ovation from the Shea Faithful, in the 3rd inning & delivered with a base hit to left field. The crowd went wild. He would ground out & strike out looking later in the game. In the 9th with one out & two on, he would be pinch hit for by non other than Henry Aaron.

Ron Hunt on deck @ the '64 All Star Game
In the 4th Billy Williams & Ken Boyer both hit a HRs off pitcher John Watt, giving the NL the lead. In the 5th they added another run when Roberto Clemente singled off Camillo Pasqual & Dick Groat doubled him home. In the top of the 6th, Brooks Robinson tripled in the right center field alley, off Chris Short with two men on, to tie it at 3-3.

In the top of the 7th, future Met Jim Fregosi hit a sac fly off Turk Farrell to score Elston Howard, giving the American Leaguers a 4-3 lead which they held to the bottom of the 9th.

Johnny Callison blasts walk off HR
In the 9th, Boston's Dick Radatz (known as the Monster) was pitching his third inning, trying to close it out.

Willie Mays still a hero in New York & one the games most popular players, drew a leadoff walk. He then stole second base & scored on an Orlando Cepeda pop fly single.

Johnny Edwards drew a walk & then with two outs the Phillies Johnny Callison delivered a dramatic walk off HR that landed in the deep right field seats. It was the third walk off HR in All Star history, as Ted Williams & Stan Musial had both done it before. It still remains as one of the top All Star moments in the Mid Summer classic.

The NL players rushed to home plate to shake hands & greet Callison, as the Shea fans cheered. Quite a finish.

Feb 19, 2018

Remembering Mets History: (2016) Jeruys Familia Sets Franchise Save Record

Wednesday August 31st, 2016: The hot New York Mets (69-64) hosted Don Mattingly's slumping Miami Marlins (67-66) in game three of an important four game series.

Today the Mets learned that they will lost their second baseman Neil Walker for the rest of the season as he will need back surgery. With David Wright & Lucas Duda also gone for the year to back issues 3/4 of the Mets projected infield for 2016 was gone. But these Mets have stepped up & are making an exciting hopeful playoff run going into September. With the Mets win tonight, (their third straight) it marks their ninth win in eleven games, putting them within 1 1/2 games of the wild card.

Bartolo Colon took the mound for his team leading 27th start of the year. Who would have though the oldest pitcher on the young staff would be leading the club in starts? In the top of the 2nd, sloppy Mets errors by Colon & Jose Reyes led to a Marlins run.

But the resilient Mets answered back as Curtis Granderson led off the home 2nd with a walk & Wilmer Flores hit a two run HR, his 15th of the year off Marlin starter Jason Esch who was making his MLB debut. 2-1 Mets.

Quotes: Wilmer Flores- "Righty, lefty, I don't really care who's out there. I have the same approach. Whenever you're feeling good, you hit righties, lefties, it doesn't matter. I feel good against anybody."

The Mets let some opportunities go leaving seven men on base & having pitcher Colon ground into two double plays killing rallies. But again these resilient Mets wont give up. After the Marlins tied it on another Christian Yelich HR, the Mets answered in the home 8th.

Yoenis Cespedes started it off with a base hit, Granderson followed with a walk. After Flores flew out,  the struggeling Jay Bruce popped out for the second out. 

But A.J. Ramos then lost control & walked Travis d'Arnaud to load the bases. Ramos got Kelly Johnson to afull count before the clutch hitting veteran delivered a three run double to right field.

The big crowd of 33,471 including the Little League World Series Champions from upstate New York who were honored by the Mets tonight, went wild. Lets Go Mets!

Quotes: Kelly Johnson-"It's nice to look up in September and we're still right in the middle of it. It's there. You talk about the Wild Card, you've got half the teams still in the race there. Honestly, we've just got to win."

Colon got no decision but the workhorse threw seven innings allowing two runs (one earned) on seven hits with three Ks. Addison Reed got the win (4-2) lowering his ERA to 2.01.

In the 9th it was Jeruys Familia coming on to make Mets history. Tonight he got the save, his 44th of the year setting a new Mets single season save mark. With all the great relievers of Mets past, Tug McGraw, Ron Taylor, Jesse Orosco, Roger McDowell, Randy Meyers, John Franco, Armando Benitez & others, Familia now ranks 1st in single season saves. He broke the mark of 43 which he held tying Armando Benitez last season.

Deuces wild- Johnson, Cespedes, Bruce & d'Arnaud all had two hits each on the night.

After the game manager Terry Collins broke his own rule stepping into the clubhouse to tell the team how proud he is of them. "I took 30 seconds and told them how proud I was of the fact that they've hung in there," Collins said. "Through all the midsummer injuries and all the different things that have happened, they've hung in there."

Joe Frazier: Mid Seventies Mets Manager (1976-1977)

Joseph Filmore Frazier was born on October 6, 1922 in Liberty, North Carolina.

The right handed hitting outfielder was signed as an amateur free agent by the Cleveland Indians in 1941.

He served three years Military service during World War II, returning to baseball in 1946 playing with Wilkes Barre at A ball batting .300.

MLB Career: In 1947 he batted .276 at AA Oklahoma City getting called up for nine games with Cleveland going 1-4. 

 He was traded to the St. Louis Browns organization and toiled in the minors for seven seasons.

In 1953 he had his best year, winning the Texas League MVP batting .332 with 22 HRs 55 doubles & 113 RBIs. He was eventually traded to the St. Louis Cardinals, finally getting back up to the big leagues in 1954.

He played in 81 games, batting .295, with 3 HRs 5 doubles 18 RBIs & a .388 on base %. His teammate Eddie Stanky “the Brat” called Frazier “the Cobra” because he’d strike like a snake as a pinch hitter.

The next season he hit only .200 in 58 games with a career high four HRs. In 1956 he bounced around with three teams, going from St. Louis to the Cincinnati Reds & Baltimore Orioles batting .245 in 69 games. He went back down to the minors for four more seasons before retiring from his playing career.

Manager Career: His MLB career lasted four seasons playing in a career 217 games with 68 hits 10 HRs 45 RBIs & a .241 average. After his playing days, he scouted for the Houston Colt .45s, and then managed in the newly named Astros' system in 1965 & 1966. 

Frazier moved on to the Mets organization in the late sixties & managed at all minor league levels.

After three seasons as manager he finished first with the 1971 Visalia Mets of the California League. He then went on to win league championships with AA Memphis (1973) and Victoria (1974) in the Texas League. Next he won the AAA title at Tidewater in 1975 earning the Minor League Manager of the Year Award. 

That season the Tides won 22 of their last 33 games, tying for first place. Nino Espinosa pitched a four hit shutout winning the title game for the Tides.

Frazier’s team then went on to sweep two playoff series & win the junior World Series four games to one. 

At the end of the 1975 season the Mets fired manager Yogi Berra & Roy McMillan was promoted from coach to the interim manager. McMillan agrees to take the job but stated he didn’t want the job for the 1976 season.

Mets Manager: The Mets surprised everyone that off season when they promoted Frazier from within their organization. At his introductory press conference, Mets GM Joe McDonald said, "Joe Frazier has consistently proved to us his ability to handle players. Winning is what it's all about, and Joe Frazier is a winner."

Frazier himself added, "I'm the type of manager who stresses
fundamentals. I think a man should go from first to third on a hit and second to home. I demand hustle. If I have my way, you're going to see a Mets' club next year that will hustle."

In 1976, Frazier became seventh manager in Mets history taking them to a 86-76 record. They finished in third place and stayed in the pennant race up until mid September. Frazier's Mets struggled in the hitting department batting a team .246 ninth in the NL.

His pitching staff was one of the best, leading the league in ERA (2.94) strike outs (1025) shut outs (17)  complete games (53) as well as the least hits, runs, earned runs & walks (419).

The next season after a slow start, the Mets were 15-30 in May, Joe Frazier was let go. He was replaced by Joe Torre who started out as a player/manager.

Everything fell apart for the Mets from there, as Tom Seaver was traded the next month & the team fell into last place for the next few years.

During the Joe Frazier era the team was 101-106, just below the .500 mark. His 101 wins are the 15th most by Mets managers. For Frazier it would be his only big league managerial job.

In 1982 he managed for the last time, with the St. Louis Cardinals organization in the minor leagues, finishing in second place.

Passing: Frazier passed away on February 15, 2011 at the age of 88 in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. He is survived by his wife, three children & six grand children.