Bob Bailor: Early 1980's Mets "Super-Sub" (1981 - 1983)

Robert Michael Bailor
was born on July 10, 1951, in Connellsville, Pennsylvania. Bailor was originally signed by the 1969 Baltimore Orioles as an infielder.

The five foot eleven right handers, couldn’t get a chance breaking into the Orioles big league line up with players like Mark Belanger, Dave Johnson, Bobby Grich & Brooks Robinson solidifying the infield throughout the seventies.

In 1975 & 1976, Bailor made just a few brief appearances in each season. 

He was eventually chosen by the expansion Toronto Blue Jays in the 1976 expansion draft.

The speedy Bailor became one of Toronto’s first popular players during their inaugural season. He led the team in hits (154) at bats (496) stolen bases (15) & runs scored (62). 

Bailor hit .310 (second on the club) with 21 doubles, 5 triples & 32 RBIs, earning a spot on the Topps All Star Rookie team. 

Hard to Strike Out: Over the 1977 & 178 seasons, Bailor was the hardest man to strikeout in the American League, only going down on strikes 47 times in over 1117 at bats.

In 1978 His average fell to .264 but he still led the team in games (154) hits (164) at bats (621) doubles (29) & runs scored (74). He was second on the club to Dave McKay with seven triples & hit one HR with 52 RBIs.

In 1979 Bailor led all A.L. right fielders in assists (15) & was third in the league in fielding percentage (.986 %). His batting average fell to .229 as he missed some time in the summer on the DL. 

By 1980 he suffered more injuries & was no longer a starting everyday player. 

In December 1980 he was traded to the New York Mets for pitcher Roy Lee Jackson.

Mets Career: In New York, Bailor became an excellent utility player, playing all infield & outfield positions. He was known as "super-sub". He proved to be a good leadoff hitter & a good number two hitter as well. 

 In his first season at Shea Stadium, the strike shortened 1981 season, Bailor missed over a month of action, due to a rib cage injury. On April 29th, he debuted with the Mets, entering the game in the 7th inning going 0-1 as a pinch hitter in a 10-0 blowout from the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Bailor got his first start the next day & got a hit in the 7-4 loss to the Pirates. On May 1st, he had a two-hit game in a loss to the Padres. On May 7th, Bailor singled off the Giants Doyle Alexander & scored what the winning run Joel Youngbloods HR in the 3-2 win.

On May 30th, he had a three hit games in a loss to the Cubs &hit safely in three straight games before the players went on strike on June 12th. Baseball would return for a split season in early August.

On August 23rd at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, Bailor hit a sac fly off Tom Hume in the top of the tenth inning. It scored Alex Trevino in what would be the Mets winning run. 

On September 16th, he helped the Mets beat Steve Carlton & the Phillies with an RBI double & two hits in the 5-4 win.

Overall in 1981 Bailor hit .284 with three doubles, a triple, eight RBIs & 11 runs scored posting a .352 on base % in 51 games. The Mets finished last under manager Joe Torre.

1982: On Opening Day in Philadelphia Bailor collected three hits while driving in a season best three RBIs in a 7-2 Mets victory at Philadelphia.

On April 17th, Bailor & Mookie Wilson drove in both runs of Craig Swans 2-1 win over the Ray Burris & the Expos.

On April 28th, Bailor's RBI sac fly in the top of the 15th inning, off the Padres Gary Lucas, was the game winning hit in a 5-4 win in San Diego.

Walk Off Pinch Hit: On May 10th at Shea Stadium, Bailor came in as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the 9th inning, with the Mets down 2-1 to the Padres. With two on & two outs he doubled off Gary Lucas scoring Wally Backman & Ellis Valentine with the game winning walk off runs.

In May he hit safely in eleven of fourteen games, raising his average to .353 by the end of the month. In June he had an eight-game hit streak with three muti hit games that week. Bailor hit well enough into the summer to keep his average up over .300 until mid-July.

On July 1st, he & Mookie Wilson drove in both runs in Mike Scott's win over Scott Sanderson & the Expos at Stade Olympique.

On July 24th he had yet another game winning hit on the road, again in San Diego. The Mets entered the 9th inning behind 3-2, but Rusty Staub's double tied the game at three each. With two on & two out, Bailor singled, scoring Hubbie Brooks with what was to be the games winning run.

In August he had a ten-game hit streak with four multi-hit games. He also drove in ten runs in the

Triple Play: On August 3rd, Bailor started a triple play in the 8th inning of a Mets loss to the Cubs at Wrigley Field. He made a one-handed grab with his back to the plate on a Larry Bowa bloop into left field. 

He quickly threw over to Wally Backman at second base who stepped on second to force out Jay Johnstone who had broken for third base & couldn't get back in time. 
Backman then fired a throw to Dave Kingman at first to nail Ron Woods who thought the bloop was a sure base hit. 

It was the first triple play the Mets had turned in 16 years & the fifth in team history.

He finished 1982 batting .277 with 104 hits 14 doubles, a triple 31 RBIs 44 runs scored & .313 on base% in 110 games played. His 20 stolen bases were second best on the club to Mookie Wilson's Mets record (at that time) 58.

Super-sub-Bailor played at short stop (60 games) second base (56 games) third base (21 games) & outfield 94 games).

1983: This season, things slowly began to look up around Shea Stadium, Bailor began the season on Opening Day as the Mets short stop batting in the second position. It took him until June to get over the .200 for good on the season.

Only Mets Career HR: On April 13th, he hit his first & only Mets career HR. It came off the Phillies Sid Monge, in a 10-9 loss at Veterans Stadium. It was Bailor's first HR in three seasons dating back to 1980.

On June 3rd, Bailor came off the bench with a 7th inning two run single off the Dodges Tom Niedenfuer in a 5-2 win at Dodger Stadium.

On June 9th, Bailor came into the game in the 7th inning as a pinch runner & scored the tying run in a game at Wrigley Field. In the top of the 11th, he doubled home Mike Jorgensen & Danny Heep in what turned out to be the winning runs as Jesse Orosco shut down the Cubs in the bottom of the 11th inning. 

On July 26th, Bailor tied up a game against the Atlanta Braves with a 6th inning base hit, bringing in rookie Daryl Strawberry home. The Mets on it 2-1 on a Mookie Wilson Walk off HR. 

On August 8th, in a tied game at Montreal in the top of the 10th inning, Bailor appeared to be picked off of first base by reliever Jeff Reardon. But the ball got away from first baseman Al Oliver, Daryl Strawberry who was on third base, scored what was too be the Mets winning run.

On the year Bailor hit .250 with one HR, eight doubles, a triple, 30 RBIs & 33 runs scored with a .313 on base % in 118 games. He stole another 18 bases in 21 attempts (second to Mookie Wilson & Daryl Strawberry).

Bailor played at short stop (75 games) second base (50 games) third base (11 games) & outfield (3 games).

That December Bailor was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for pitcher Sid Fernandez. 

Mets Career Stats: In 279 career Met games Bailor hit .266 with 212 hits 25 doubles two triples one HR, 69 RBIs & 88 runs scored. He stole 40 bases in 46 attempts, posted a .308 on base % & 614 OPS. He played at second, short, third & all outfield positions for New York.

Post Mets Career: Bailor played two seasons (1984-1985) in Los Angeles making the first post season of his career in his last season. In the 1985 NLCS loss to the Cardinals, Bailor played in two games going 0-1 as a pinch hitter.

Career Stats: In an 11-year career he batted .264 with 775 hits 107 doubles 23 triples 9 HRs 222 RBIs & 339 runs scored. 

He posted a .310 on base % & .636 OPS. Bailor stole 90 bases in 126 attempts. He struck out just 164 times in 2937 at bats.

Retirement & Coaching:
After his playing days, Bailor managed in the Blue Jays organization from 1987-1991. In 1989, his Syracuse Chiefs finished in first place. 

From 1992-1995, Bailor was the Blue Jays first base coach under manager Cito Gaston, winning two World Series with the club in that role.

After baseball he & his brother were hunting guides in Colorado. He then moved to Palm Harbor, Florida where his hobby was fishing.

Family: Bob & his wife Jaime have two children.


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