Ed Bauta: Mets Pitcher Who Pitched in the Final Game at Polo Grounds & First Game in Shea Stadium (1963 - 1964)

Eduardo (Galvez) Bauta was born on January 6th, 1935, in Florida, Cuba to his parents Pablo & Alicia Bauta. Eduardo had a brother & two sisters.

Eduardo dropped out of school at ten years old to help his father work in the sugar cane industry with livestock. He worked hard & was a good pitcher in Cuban baseball.

In 1956 the tall six-foot three right hander got his big break when a scout from the Pittsburgh Pirates saw him pitch in an amateur game. A few weeks later he received a $500 bonus & a contact in the mail.

He spent four years in the Pirates minor leagues going from A-ball to AAA-ball. 

On May 28, 1960, he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals, along with Julian Javier in exchange for Dick Gray & future Met / politician Vinegar Bend Mizell.

MLB Career: On July 6th, 1960, he made his MLB debut pitching two innings of relief in a 10-1 loss at Wrigley Field. The Cubs nailed him for six runs, including two HRs from George Altman. On August 10th he earned a save in an extra inning win at Philadelphia. He made nine appearances that season posting a 6.32 ERA.

In 1961 Bauta started the year at AAA Portland going 9-1 with a 1.95 ERA. He was brought up to the Cards in late July. 

From July 30th to August 29th, he earned a win & five saves, allowing just one run over eight innings for a 1.13 ERA. He would win another game to finish the year 2-0 with a 1.40 ERA in 13 appearances. His five saves were second best on the club to Lindy McDaniel's nine.

In 1962 Bauta went 1-0 with a save in 20 appearances. On June 20th he gave up six runs including two HRs to Smoky Burgess, raising his ERA to 5.01. He was then he sent back down to AAA Atlanta going 5-2 the rest of the way.

In 1963 he saw the most action, pitching in 38 games for the Cards, going 3-4, while finishing off 19 games through August 5th. Bauta spent four years with the Cards pitching as a reliever going 6-4 with ten saves & a 4.13 ERA in 80 appearances finishing off 41 games. 

On August 5th, 1963, Bauta was traded to the New York Mets for pitcher Ken Mackenzie. He went from a third lace Cardinal team that were five games back of the Dodgers to the last place Mets who were 32 games back.

Mets Career:  On August 11th, 1963, Bauta debuted with the Mets pitching four innings of relief in an 8-1 loss against the Chicago Cubs in the first game of a double header at the Polo Grounds. He would allow two runs that day as well as allow two runs in three of his first four appearances.

Last Game at the Polo Grounds: On September 18th, 1963, the Mets played the final MLB game in the Polo Grounds. Bauta relieved Roger Craig in the 6th inning, with the Mets down 5-1 to the Phillies. Bauta pitched two scoreless innings retiring every batter he faced in the Mets loss. 

In October, Bauta would also pitch in the final baseball event at the Polo Grounds, a finale charity event between Latin American players. 

Overall, in nine appearances with New York he posted no record, finished one game while posting a 5.21 ERA.

1964: The Mets third season began with excitement as they were playing their home games in the new grand ballpark in Flushing Meadows, Queens called Shea Stadium. Upon its opening Shea was one of the league's biggest & most beautiful state of the art stadiums, ushering in a new era of baseball.

On April 17th, in the new Shea Stadium, Ed Bauta relieved Jack Fisher in the top of the 7th inning with the Mets clinging to a 3-2 lead. Roberto Clemente & Willie Stargell were on base with two outs.

Bauta immediately gave up an RBI single to future Met Donn Clendenon tying up the game.

In the top of the 9th inning, Bauta got the first out, then gave up base hits to Stargell & Clendenon. He got Bob Bailey to line out but then Bill Mazeroski singled bringing in Stargell in what was the game winning run.

On April 26th Bauta, earned his only Mets save, closing out a 3-2 win over the Pirates in Pittsburgh. He made another appearance & closed out April with a 1.59 ERA after five appearances.

On May 3rd, in the first game of a double header at Cincinnati, Ed blew an 8th inning one run lead giving up four singles including a two-run hit from Hal Smith. Bauta took the loss.

He made two more appearances, allowing runs both times & was sent down to AAA Buffalo in late May. With the Mets he had gone 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA in eight appearances.

Quotes- Ed Bauta: "I lost two in relief; Casey called me into his office & sent me to Buffalo".

Bauta would pitch in the minor leagues through 1973 going 70-49 there with a 2.94 ERA in 450 games over 14 seasons total.

Celebrity Friends: His good looks & baseball connections had him live a party filled life off the field. His obituary mentions friendships with the likes of Doris Day, Dean Martin & Marilyn Monroe.

Retirement: After baseball Bauta settled in Patterson, New Jersey. There he worked in the moving business transporting furniture. 

In 1988 he retired from that & moved to Daytona Beach Florida.

In his final years, he lived in a assisted living facility in Port Orange, Florida.

Passing: His final home was in Manahawkin, New Jersey near his son Freddy. In July 2022 Bauta passed away at age 87.


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