Hank Webb: 1970's Long Island Born Mets Pitcher (1972-1976)

Henry Gaylon Matthew Webb was born May 21st, 1950, in Copiague, Long Island. 

The tall six-foot right-handed pitcher known as “Hank” was drafted by the New York Mets in the 10th round of the 1968 draft. 

Webb was another of the many good Mets minor league pitching prospects of the early seventies. But it was tough to break into those solid Mets pitching staffs in those days. 

In 1969 Webb went 6-2 for the Marion Mets & then 5-2 at A ball Pompano Beach in 1970. By 1972 he was 12-8 overall, with a 2.87 ERA pitching through A ball into AAA. Webb was 9-5 at AA Memphis that year posting a 227 ERA.

MLB Debut: He got a 1972 September call up, making his MLB debut on September 5th, 1972, at Shea Stadium. He allowed two runs in one inning of work, earning no decision in the Mets 3-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs. Three days later he got his first start, pitching seven innings, allowing four runs to the St. Louis Cardinals.

He left the game while the Mets tied it up, although they eventually lost 9-4. On October 3rd, he had another solid start, coming against the Montreal Expos. Webb allowed three runs over six innings but got no decision in the Mets 4-3 win. Overall, he allowed nine earned runs in 18 innings pitched in six games.

1973 NL Pennant Season: Webb pitched in just two games in May 1973, allowing two runs in 2.1 innings of work, to post an ERA over ten. He was sent down to AAA Tidewater where he went 8-9 (fourth most wins on the staff) with a 3.05 ERA.

Minor League No Hitter: On June 7th, 1974, Webb pitched a seven inning 1-0 no hit victory for the AAA Tidewater Tides of the International League. He was 10-8 on the season at Tidewater, second to only Randy Sterling in wins. He pitched well enough to get another September 1974 call up.

Longest Game in NL History: In his first game back up he was involved in one of the longest games in baseball history. It occurred at Shea Stadium on Sept. 11, 1974 as the Mets and St. Louis Cardinals were tied 3-3 in the 25th inning.

 Webb came in to pitch in relief of rookie Jerry Cram & faced the Cards' Bake McBride who greeted him with a single. With the speedy McBride on first base, Webb attempted to pick him off.

He threw wildly to first base, and the ball bounced against the stands. John Milner retrieved the ball & threw home as McBride was attempting to score. Mets catcher Ron Hodges dropped the ball & McBride was safe, scoring all the way from first base. It turned out to be the games winning run, ending the deadlock after seven hours & four minutes.

Webb made two starts that month. On September 15th he allowed three runs in five innings against the Chicago Cubs but earned no decision. He ended the year getting pounded by the Phillies on September 25th, allowing five runs in four innings of work. He went 0-2 that September with a 7.20 ERA.

1975:  Hank saw the most action of his career in 1975, getting up to the big-league staff by May. He would pitch both as a starter & reliever. In May he quickly earned two losses in the first week. 

On June 8th, he earned a victory in relief against Atlanta, after pitching just one inning. The Mets Felix Millan scored on a bases loaded wild pitch thrown by Elias Sosa in the 14th inning. 

On June 23rd he got the start & pitched eight innings allowing just one run, which came in the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals. But he took a loss because Ron Reed shut out the Mets on just five hits.

In July, Webb had three starts, he pitched two complete game victories allowing one run each time. The first came in Atlanta in a 3-1 win & the second was in the nightcap of a double header at Wrigley Field. 

That August he made five starts, losing three of them while earning a no decision in Houston. His
best outing came on August 25th when he threw a five-hit shutout against the Padres in San Diego. He didn't walk anyone & struck out two.


In September he began with a horrible start, allowing four runs in less than an inning in a Met loss at Montreal. On September 13th, he earned a win in St. Louis pitching seven innings allowing two runs. 

For the year, Webb pitched in 29 games making 15 starts, going 7-6 with a 4.07 ERA in 115 innings pitched, striking out 38 batters while walking 62. It was the only time in five years with the Mets he ever recorded any victories.

At the plate he was a good hitting pitcher batting .258 collecting all eight hits of his career that year, with three RBIs.

Trivia:
That Year he appeared on his second Topps Rookie baseball card.

1976: Webb began the year in the bullpen. On April 15th he blew a save opportunity in Chicago. He came into the game with a runner on first & one out holding a one run lead. Webb then allowed a triple to Bill Madlock & a base hit to Jerry Morales. taking the loss. 
Webb was 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA when he was sent down to Tidewater in May, going 2-9 there the rest of the way.

Mets Career: In his Mets career Hank Webb pitched in 48 games making 19 starts, games going 7-9 with 69 strike outs & 90 walks serving up 17 HRs in 161 innings pitched. 

That winter he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers along with minor leaguer Richard Sander in exchange for Rick Auerbach. 

Post Mets Career: He pitched in only five games for the 1977 NL Champion Dodgers before ending his playing career at AAA Albuquerque. 

Career Stats: In his six-year career, Webb pitched in 53 games going 7-9 with 4.39 ERA, striking out 71 batters, while walking 91 in 169 innings pitched.

Family: Webb moved south to Clearwater, Florida after his baseball days.

His son Ryan Webb was an MLB relief pitcher from 2009 - 2016. He pitched for the San Diego Padres (2009-2010) Florida / Miami Marlins (2011-2013) Baltimore Orioles (2014) Cleveland Indians (2015) & Tampa Rays (2016).

In 2010 Ryan Webb earned a win in an extra inning victory against his dad’s old Mets team on June 2nd. 

On September 23rd 2012, Ruben Tejada hit a base hit off Webb, in the bottom of the 9th inning scoring Jerry Hairston with the walk off win. 
On April 23rd, 2013 he took a loss to the Mets pithing in the 7th inning but then came back for a win two days later. He would face the Mets five more times in 2013 with no decisions. 

Ryan Webb pitched for eight seasons going 17-18 with a 3.43 ERA in 375 appearances.

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