John Strohmayer: Short Time 1973 NL Champion Mets Pitcher (1973)

John Emery Strohmayer was born October 13, 1946 in Belle Fourche, South Dakota. His father was a cement mason & his mother a vocational nurse. The tall six-foot one right hander attended the University of the South Pacific in Stockton California. 

Strohmayer was drafted first by the Oakland A’s, then taken as a Rule V player, by the expansion Montreal Expos in 1969. There he & former Mets pitching prospect Steve Renko would become roommates & friends for life.

MLB Career: He debuted with the Expos in April 1970 used as a middle reliever, winning his first three decisions. John was also used to finish up 11 games in 42 appearances. He went 3-1 with a 4.86 ERA. 

The Expos used him as a starter as well the next season, making 15 starts in 27 appearances. His first two wins as a starter were complete games against the Mets. In the first game of a July 5th double header at Shea, he beat Nolan Ryan allowing just one run on five hits. He closed out the year with three straight wins to finish up at 7-5 with a 4.34 ERA. 

In 1972 he posted career highs in appearances (48) games finished (20) & saves (3) going 1-2 with a 3.52 ERA.

In June of 1973, he had a 5.84 ERA after 17 games & was placed on waivers. Strohmayer was picked up by the New York Mets to help out a struggling bull pen at that time.

Mets Career: Strohmayer made his Mets debut on July 16th, pitching in relief of Jerry Koosman in an 8-6 loss in Atlanta to the Braves. The next night he pitched a scoreless 7th in the Mets 8-7 win.

On July 26th in the first game of a double header in St. Louis, he had a rough outing, where he surrendered a grand slam HR to the Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson. He allowed six runs in a 13-1 Mets debacle, ballooning his ERA over six. 

He made three more appearances in August, lastly giving up three runs in two innings to the Padres in San Diego, on August 14th. He had arm troubles & got sent down to AAA Tidewater, missing the September pennant run. 

During the post season he was playing winter ball in Puerto Rico & watched Game #7 of the World Series with his manager there, Frank Robinson. 
On the year Strohmayer made seven appearances with the Mets, finishing up three games allowing nine runs with five K's in ten innings of work with an 8.10 ERA.

He spent most of 1974 at AAA Tidewater going 2-4 with a 3.45 ERA pitching in 39 games. He appeared in just one game with the Mets that season, on September 14th mopping up a 12-0 loss to the Cubs. Arm injuries ended his career at just 28 years old.

Career Stats: In a five-year career Strohmayer was 11-9 with a 4.47 ERA, striking out 200 batters walking 128 in 312 innings of work. He finished up 49 games with four saves in 142 appearances.

Retirement: After baseball he & his wife moved west to California. He eventually became a schoolteacher at Central Valley High school in Central Valley California. He was a successful & popular basketball coach there as well, winning a championship.

He eventually reached the Superintendent level in the school system, retiring in 2009 after 32 years in the profession.

Family: He & his wife Connie have three sons.

Passing: John passed away on Thanksgiving Day 2019 at the age of 73.


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