May 23, 2019
Mid Seventies Mets Outfielder Pepe Mangual & His MLB Relatives (1975-1976)
Jose Manuel Mangual was born on May 23, 1952 in Ponce, Puerto Rico.
Jose became known as Pepe, & is the brother of former Oakland A’s player, Angel Mangual who played against the New York Mets in the 1973 World Series going 0-6.
Angel Mangual began his career in Pittsburgh playing six games in the 1969 season. He was then sent to the Oakland A's in 1970 to complete the Mud Cat Grant trade toward the end of his career. Mangual was lucky enough to be a reserve outfielder on three consecutive A's Championship teams (1972-1974).
In 1971 he was third in the Rookie of the Year Voting batting .286 with 4 HRs 8 doubles 17 RBIs 32 runs scored & a .324 on base %. In his seven year career he batted .245 with 22 HRs 44 RBIs 125 RBIs 122 runs scored & a .279 on base %.
The Mangual brothers, were cousins of early seventies Montreal Expos infielder Coco Laboy. Laboy was the Expos main third baseman in their inaugural season in 1969 coming in second in the Rookie of the Year Award.
That year he had his best season batting .258 with 18 HRs 29 doubles & 83 RBIs. He posted a .944 fielding % turning 28 double plays (4th most in the NL) while making 25 errors. In five seasons he batted .233 with 291 hits 28 HRs 62 doubles & 166 RBIs, posting a .944 fielding%.
Jose Mangual became known as “Pepe” in the baseball world getting signed as an outfielder by the expansion Montreal Expos in 1969. He saw action in parts of three seasons from 1972-1974 before getting a shot at a regular outfield job in 1975.
That year he played in 140 games for the fifth place Expos, batting .245 with 9 HRs & 45 RBIs while striking out 115 times (4th most in the NL) in 609 at bats. Mangual was a fast base runner; he stole 33 bases (6th best in the NL) & was caught just 11 times that season, but he posted just a .340. on base %.
The '76 Mets lacked speed, as Bud Harrelson & Bruce Boisclair led the team with just nine stolen bases. The Mets went after Mangual, midway through the 1976 season trading away long time Met, Wayne Garrett as well as centerfielder Del Unser. Also coming to the Mets in the trade was outfielder Jim Dwyer.
Examining this trade years later; Mangual would play in 41 games for the rest of the 1976 season as a Met, batting a weak .186 (19-106) while stealing seven bases in ten tries. Dwyer played in just eleven games for the Mets hitting .154 (2-11). Unser had hit .294 in his one full season in New York in 1975, but then dropped off to .228 in 77 games in 1976.
But after a bad year, he did bat .274 in 1977 and played out his career through the 1982 season. Wayne Garrett was at the end of his career & would hit .270 in 1977 and then retire at the end of 1978.
In just his second game as a Met, Mangual faced off against his old Expos team in Montreal. He tripled & drove in the only two runs of the Mets 3-2 loss. The next day Mangual had three hits with three more RBIs in the Mets 10-4 win. He would only drive in one more run over the next five weeks & just four more all season. He hit his only HR on the last day of the season, scoring the only run in a 2-1 loss at Philadelphia.
In 1977 Mangual only played in eight games with the Mets going 1-7 spending most of the year at AAA Tidewater. He then went to the Pacific Coast League playing at the AAA level through 1984.
In his six season MLB career, Mangual batted .242 with 235 hits 16 HRs 35 doubles 83 RBIs & 64 stolen bases in 90 attempts.