Dec 7, 2019

Bruce Boisclair: Late Seventies Mets Outfielder (1974-1979)

Bruce Armand Boisclair was born December 9, 1952 in Putnam, Connecticut. The tall slender six foot two, outfielder was drafted in the 20th round of the 1970 draft by the New York Mets. In 1972 he hit .348 at A ball Visalia, by far the best he average he ever hit for in his pro career. That season he also hit a minor league career high four HRs.

He was known for his base stealing as he stole 20 base at A ball Pompano Beach in 1971, followed by 16 more in 1972 with Visalia .In 1974 he played at AAA Tidewater, where he stole ten bases & batted .239 good enough to earn a September call up.

Boisclair made his MLB debut as a pinch runner, on September 11th, 1974 in a classic extra inning game. He entered the game as a pinch runner, in the 23rd inning of the Mets/ Cardinals marathon. He actually reached third base with two outs, but Cleon Jones flied out to end the inning. He went 3-12 that month and spent the next full season at AAA Tidewater where he hit .278 & stole 20 bases.

He returned to the Mets squad in the bicentennial year, making the club as a fourth outfielder. He took over Rusty Staub’s old uniform number 4, after Staub had been traded to the Detroit Tigers that off season. Boisclair had ten hits in an April stretch where he hit safely in seven of nine games.

On April 27th, the Mets came back from a 5-3 deficit in the bottom of the 9th inning in a game against the Atlanta Braves. After John Milner tied the game up, Boisclair won it with a walk off double off Pablo Torrealba. 

He didn't drive in another run for two months, but he hit well enough playing as a reserve to remain over .300 into late July. On July 15th he had a 7th inning pinch hit, RBI single off the Houston Astros J.R. Richard helping the Mets to a 3-1 win.

On August 15th he helped Jerry Koosman in his five hit shut out win against the World Champion Big Red Machine, by driving in the only run of the game. 

On August 28th he hit his first career HR coming off the Los Angeles Dodgers Rick Rhoden at Shea Stadium. He had another hot streak hitting safely in 16 of 20 games toward the end of the season.

On the season he hit a solid .287, with two HRs 13 doubles 13 RBIs 28 walks & a .350 on base % playing in 110 games with 286 at bats. The tall Boisclair still had his speed, and led the slow footed Met team with nine stolen bases.

Showing some promise for a good future, he returned next year starting out April hitting safely in 9 of 11 games. He drove in three runs against the Chicago Cubs on April 17th, in one of Tom Seaver's last wins in a Mets uniform, a 6-0 shutout. 

Boisclair went on a hot streak, driving in a total of ten runs in his next eight games. He was batting .364 at the end of April but in May fell off to .286 driving in just one run all month.

He had two more three hit games the week of May 21st & was consistent throughout the year when he played. On June 15th, the night Tom Seaver was traded away in "The Midnight Massacre" Boisclair hit a two run HR, at Atlanta Fulton County Stadium in the Mets 6-5 win.

On August 22nd he drove in both runs of a Mets 2-1 win over J.R. Richard & the Houston Astros. In September he drove in 14 runs and kept his season average up near .300 & had six multi hit games. 

In the last week of the season he drove in runs in five of seven games. On the season he hit a career best .293 in 307 at bats. He also had career highs in on base (.359 %) doubles (21) RBIs (44) & hits (90) while leading the team in sacrifice hits as well.

In 1978 he began the year in hitting a two run HR in the third game of the season, in a tight 6-5 win over the Montreal Expos. 

On April 19th, he drove in both runs of a 2-0 Pat Zachary shut out against the Cardinals in St. Louis. ON May 8th he drove in the winning run off Pedro Borbon in the top of the 10th inning at Cincinnati, scoring Lenny Randle. 

At the end of May he drove in runs in three straight games, including hitting a three run HR in the first game if a May 29th double header.

Bruce’s career soon took a nose dive, he only drove in four runs in the last four months of the season & his batting average plummeted to. 224 on the season.

In 1978 he played in 107 games (214 at bats) with 4 HRs 7 doubles 15 RBIs & a .293 on base %. 

By 1979 he only played in 59 games partly due to July injuries & partly due to his .184 batting average.

In 98 at bats he had six extra base hits with four RBIs & a poor .210 on base %. 

He was released at the start of the 1980 season, and then went to Japan to play for the Hanshin Tigers.

He signed with the Toronto Blue Jays but never resurfaced in the majors again. 

He finished his brief five season career with a .263 lifetime average, 241 hits 10 HRs 47 doubles 6 triples 18 stolen bases a .324 on base % & 77 RBIs in 410 games played.

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