Jul 8, 2020

Remembering Mets History (1969) Tom Seaver's Imperfect Game

 Wednesday July 9th, 1969: On this date back in 1969, the New York Mets ball club made it's mark on the baseball map. It was the first night that the ballclub was recognized as a true contender. It is one of the most important nights in Mets regular season history, as well as one of the greatest Mets regular season games ever pitched or played.

The Mets were an expansion team in 1962 and had lost a record 120 games. The team consisted mostly of washed up veterans & below average young players who never had a chance to develop. By 1969 they had finished last all but one season, but Manger Gil Hodges brought a new attitude to New York, it was about playing hard to win. They now had some good young players who came through their system as well as some of the best young pitching arms in baseball.

By July 9th 1969, the Mets were playing the best baseball they had ever played in their eight year history. The Mets were rolling along on a seven game win streak, as they hosted the first place Chicago Cubs. The Mets were in second place just three & one half games behind the Cubs, whose manager was the old New York Giants legendary skipper; Leo Durocher. 

The Cubs were the best team in the NL at that time, with future Hall of Famers Ernie Banks, Fergie Jenkins, Billy Williams & slugger Ron Santo. They also had former Met Jim Hickman (21 HRs) as well as Todd Hundley's dad Randy Hundey at catcher & twenty game winner, New Jersey born; Bill Hands.

But the Mets were creeping up to the Cubs in the standings, especially now as the Cubs were on a five game losing streak. 

The Mets were surprising everyone & were the talk all around baseball. The Cubs didn't take them seriously and many others outside of New York also thought they were a farce. On July 9th 1969 that all changed. 

The previous night, Jerry Koosman beat Fergie Jenkins putting the Mets just 3 1/2 games behind the Cubs in the standings. 

Going into the second game of the series 51,079 Mets fans piled into a wild Shea Stadium to witness Tom Seaver pitch one of the best games of his career, now known as "The Imperfect Game". His opponent that night was Chicago's; Ken Holtzman.

Starting Lineups

Trivia: Mets All Star Short stop & Tom Seaver's room mate; Bud Harrelson was away in the Military Reserves.

The Mets wasted no time supporting Seaver, lead off batter;Tommie Agee led off with a triple . The number two hitter; Bobby Pfeil doubled to left field to score Agee, with the first run.

 The Shea fans were up & excited right away not even dreaming of the treat they were in for. In the top of the 2nd inning, Seaver struck out the side, sending Santo, Banks & Al Spangler down.

In the bottom of the 2nd; Jerry Grote & Al Wesi both reached on infield errors, from Santo & Don Kessinger. Tom Seaver then helped his own cause with a single to right field bringing in Grote. Next, Tommie Agee doubled to right, bringing home Al Weis; making it 3-0 Mets. Cleon Jones would add a solo HR in the bottom of the 7th, making it 4-0, as by this time the crowd was going crazy.

Tom Seaver said he felt like he could throw the ball where ever he wanted that night, hit every corner & have every pitch go exactly where he wanted. His fast ball was completely over powering. In the 3rd he got two fly outs & then struck out relief pitcher; Ted Abernathy.

In the 4th, he struck out Don Kessinger looking then got to east ground outs to third base. In the 5th he got Santo to fly out, Ernie Banks to ground out & then struck out Al Spangler. That night, Spangler struk out three times, Ernie Banks, Don Kessinger, & Ted Abernathy all went down on strikes twice each. 

In the 6th Randy Hundley & Jim Qualls grounded out & Abernathy went down looking. In the 7th; Kessinger & Beckert both flew out, with Billy Williams grounding out to third base. Seaver had not allowed any hits, nor any walks along the way.Through seven he had a perfect game going.

In the 8th inning, Ron Santo led off with a fly out to Agee in center. Seaver then struck out Banks & Spangler for his tenth & eleventh strike outs of the night. The Shea crowd were on their feet with excitement of every pitch. It was an incredible night for Mets fans.

In the top of the 9th with the Shea crowd on their feet, catcher Randy Hundley led off & cowardly attempted to bunt for a hit. But was the ball was played cleanly by Seaver, he tossed to Clendenon at first for the out. The next hitter was Jimmy Qualls.

Qualls was playing in just his 18th career game & Seaver wasn't familiar with him. Seaver was a genius in knowing the hitters, their weakness & how to get them out. But with Qualls he had never faced him nor had any scouting reports on him. 

Qualls singled to center field ruining the no hit bid as well as the bid for a perfect game. Seaver just put his hands on his waist & then slapped his glove, going about his business. The home town Shea crowd gave him a huge standing ovation. 

The next batter pinch hitter; Willie Smith, popped up for the second out. Then Don Kessinger flied out to Cleon Jones for the third out to end what became known as "Tom Seaver's The Imperfect Game".

Quotes: Tom Seaver:  "After the game my wife, Nancy, met me in tears, but the fact that I kept my composure and got the last two outs showed we were a team of maturity—a team ready to play more "big ones". Seaver explained that he told his weeping spouse, "What's the matter? I just pitched a one-hit shutout, didn't walk anybody and struck out 10."

The Mets fell as far as ten games back on August 13th, 1969 but from there on went 33-11 the rest of the way. On September 9th, 1969 they took over first place & never lost their lead. The "Amazing" Mets / The "Miracle" Mets- went on to win the 1969 NLCS & the World Series as one of the biggest underdog stories in sports history.

Tom Seaver went on to win his first Cy Young Award that Year leading the league in wins (25) going 25-7 with a .781 winning %. He struck out 208 batters (tenth in the NL), the first of a record setting nine straight seasons with over 200 strike outs. He posted a 2.21 ERA (4th in the NL) with 18 complete games (7th in the NL), five shut outs (6th in the NL) 273 innings pitched & 36 starts. 

July 9th, 1969 was the first of five one hitters thrown by Tom Seaver & the third in Mets history up to that point.

As for Jimmy Qualls, he would play in 43 games in 1969 batting .250 (30-120) with no HRs, five doubles, three triples & nine  RBIs, while posting a .266 on base %. Mets fans sent him hate mail & threatening letters. He was booed when ever he was spotted anywhere in New York.

He would get traded to the Montreal Expos in April 1970 & play most of the year in the minors. He played in just nine games getting one hit in nine at bats. He spent the next two years in the minors while getting traded to the Chicago White Sox where he played 11 games in 1972 going 0-11. 

Qualls ended his career in the minors in 1973 as Tom Seaver went on to win his second Cy Young Award. Qualls was a lifetime .223 hitter.

Remembering Mets History (2019) Pete Alonso Wins the All Star Game HR Derby

Pete Alonso won the 2019 HR Derby in Cleveland the day before the MLB All Star Game. He was the first Met since Darryl Strawberry to win the award (tied with Wally Joyner) in 1986.

In the final round of the HR Derby, Alonso  hit 23 HRs in his final at bats beating out Vlad Guerrero Jr. of the Texas Rangers.

Quotes- Pete Alonso: “It’s crazy to be not just in the Derby, but an All-Star as a rookie. I’m really happy with the impact I’ve had on my team, just trying to help us win. I’m just thankful and blessed. I’m looking to make the most of this and enjoy everything.”

Jul 7, 2020

Remembering Mets History: (2006) Mets Score 17 Runs As Jose Valentin Drives in 7 Runs & Cliff Floyd Drives In 5 Runs

Saturday July 8th 2006: Willie Randolph's first place New York Mets (52-36) were hosting Joe Girardi's third place Florida Marlins (38-47).

This was the second game of a doubleheader in which the Mets had lost the first game 3-2. A good crowd of 41,477 check in by the second game & were in for a big hitting scoring day.

This game featured the MLB debut of Mike Pelfrey as he went up against Ricky Nolasco.

Starting Lineups

Pelfrey was fine, pitching five innings, allowing two runs on five hits striking out three. He would be relieved by Henry Owens who would pitch just three games as a New York Met. Pedro Feliciano & Aaron Heilman would close it out, as Pelfrey got his first career win.

The '06 Mets offense was in full support today, giving the Mets pitchers 17 runs to work with. Most of them came from the bat of veteran Jose Valentin. Valentin was given a chance by the Mets as he was signed as a 36 year old free agent. He ended up taking over the secnd base position from Kaz Matsui & had a fine year, having his best day today.

In the home 1st, the Mets stuck Endy Chavez tripled & was brought in on a Paul Loduca single. Carlos Beltran walked & Cliff Floyd singled to load the bases. Jose Valentin stepped in & hit a grand slam HR, his ninth HR of the year. It was quickly a 5-0 Mets lead. The Marlins got two runs off Pelfrey in the top of the 2nd.

In the 2nd inning, the Mets knocked Nolasco out. With two outs Paul Loduca was hit by a pitch, Beltran then singles & David Wright drew a walk. Nolasco walked Cliff Floyd & then final blow came as Jose Valentin continued his big day. Valentin tripled to right field clearing the bases with his seven RBIs for the day, giving the Mets a 9-2 lead. 

In the 4th inning, Beltran led off with a walk. With one out, Cliff Floyd hit his 7th HR of the year coming off Jason Vargas, making it 11-3 Mets. 

In the 5th the Mets attack continued, three straight singles by Chris Woodward, Xavier Nady & Endy Chavez started it off. Then back to back ground rule doubles by David Wright & Cliff Floyd made it a 16-3 game. For Floyd LoDuca & Wright scored with his fourth & fifth RBIs of the day.

The big day had Valentin with 
two hits & seven RBIs. Cliff Floyd having one of his best days of the year, had three hits, with a HR five RBIs & five runs scored. 

Paul LoDuca had a two hit day, with three RBIs & Endy Chavez had himself a three hit day as well.

At the end of this day the Mets had a 12 game lead over the second place Philadelphia Phillies & a 12.5 lead over the Florida Marlins in third place.

Remembering Mets History (1969) Ed Kranepool's Walk Off Hit Shows First Place Cubs These Mets Are Amazing

Tuesday July 8th 1969: The 1969 Amazing Mets were continuing to play well into July & were now breathing down the necks of the first place Chicago Cubs. The Cubs were still not taking the Mets seriously enough, but this weeks exciting head to head action opened their eyes as well as all of the baseball worlds. These games can possibly be looked at as the biggest turning points of the 1969 Miracle Mets season.

Gil Hodges Mets (46-34) sent Jerry Koosman to the mound, as they hosted Leo Durocher's Cubs (53-32) with Ferguson Jenkins pitching for Chicago. The Cubs had a 4/12 game lead over the Mets, the game began in front of 55,096 excited Mets fans at Shea Stadium.

Starting Lineups

Cubs- Don Young
In the 1st the Cubs Don Kessinger led off with a bunt base hit, trying to stir things up. The Cubs would leave two men on as Koosman struck out Ernie Banks to end the inning. In the 2nd, the Cubsgot a pair of singles & another Koosman walk to load the bases. But Kooz settled in struck out Kessinger & got Glenn Beckert to fly out, ending that threat.

Both pitchers held each team scoreless until the bottom of the 5th inning, when the Mets Ed Kranepool hit a solo HR, his 8th HR of the season. The Cubs answered in the 6th as future Hall of Famer; Ernie Banks tied the game with a solo HR of his own.

In the 7th the pitcher,Jenkins led off with a walk, he was sacraficed over & was brought in by a Glen Beckert single making it 2-1 Cubs. Former Met, Jim Hickman added a solo HR in the 8th inning, putting the Cubs up 3-1.

Jenkins shut the Mets down 1-2-3 in the 7th & 8th innings. He was working on a one hitter at that point, the only hit being Kranepool's HR. He took the mound in the bottom of the 9th with a 3-1 lead.

The Mets Ken Boswell led off & roped a shot to center field. The Cubs outfielder Don Young first broke back on the ball & then rushed in after misjudging it. But it was too late, it droped as Boswell scampered into second base with a double. 

Quotes- Cubs Catcher Randy Hundley: "Anyone who has ever played center field in Shea Stadium in a day game, knows the sun is very difficult."

After Tommie Agee flew out, Donn Clendenon pinch hit for Bobby Pfeil . The big man, hit a shot to left center field that once again, outfielder Don Young could not get. The ball popped out of his glove as he slammed into the Shea outfield wall.

Clendenon was credited with a double, but Boswell had to hold up at third.

Cleon Jones one of the top hitters in the league at .352, then doubled down the left field line scoring both runners tying the game. The Shea crowd went wild. 

Jenkins remained in the game & Art Shamsky was intentionally walked. Wayne Garrett then grounded out to second, advancing the runners with two outs.

Ed Kranepool came up and delivered a single to shallow left center field, Cleon Jones raced home with the game winning walk off run.

The Mets had a thrilling 4-3 afternoon win, delighting the big Shea crowd who were absolutley going nuts. The Mets were now just 4.5 games behind the Cubs.

Quotes: Mets Broadcaster Lindsey Nelson- "It's absolute bedlam here at Shea Stadium"!

After the game, the Cubs Ron Santo lectured his team mate Don Young about his two outfield plays that were miscued although no errors were charged to him.

Santo then criticized the rookie Young to the press  "He was thinking about himself. He had a bad day at the plate so he's got his head down. He's worrying about his batting average, not the team." The next day Santo who was totally out of line, apologized.

Salty Parker: The Third Manager In New York Mets History (1967)

Francis James “Salty” Parker was born July 8, 1912 in East St. Louis, located on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River.

MLB Playing Career: Parker only played eleven games in the big leagues, seven of them at shortstop with the Detroit Tigers in 1936. He batted .280 with seven hits, two doubles & four RBIs posting a .333 on base %.

Parker spent 23 years in the minor leagues, playing a dozen years in the Texas League & playing seven years at AA Shreveport. He played 2108 minor league games, batting .278 with 2031 hits 36 HRs 406 doubles & 128 RBIs.

He spent 1944 in the military serving in World War II. He returned to AA Montreal the next year. 

Managing Career: After his playing days he had a successful minor league managing career, taking Lubbock to the Championship in 1939. 

In 1941 he was back at the Texas League taking his Shrevport team to a Championship. He then coached for the Giants their first few years in San Francisco. 

Mets Career: In 1967 he was called over to the New York Mets and coached under then manager Wes Westrum. The two had known each other from their Giants days. 

Westrum had enough by the end of the 1967 season, when he heard rumors that Gil Hodges was going to replace him as Mets manager the next year. Westrum resigned with just 21 game to go. 

Salty Parker was named the third Manager in Mets history, on September 21st, 1967 inheriting a record of 57-95.

It was understood he was just an interim manager as he took over in a double header at Shea Stadium. He was greeted with an 8-0 Houston Astros shutout in the first game, but his Mets won the night cap game 8-5. 

They won the next day as well before the Mets went on a five game losing streak. He closed out the year winning two of three games from the Dodgers in Los Angeles. His legacy as Met manager ended with a 14-7 record (.367%).

The next year Gil Hodges was brought in as the Mets manager and Parker was off to coach in Houston with the Astros. He remained in their organization into the early seventies as a coach.

In one famous incident as an Astros third base coach, he sent a runner from third base to home thinking the ball had gotten by Braves catcher Bob Dider. It turned out it wasn’t a ball but a small cast Dider had on his finger. The runner was out by a mile. 

In 1972 he managed one game for the Astros when manager Harry Walker was fired & Leo Durocher was on his way to take the job over.

Retirement: Parker went on to become a scout with Houston & the California Angels for many years after leaving the field’s coaching box. 

He was also very involved in coaching youth baseball in the Houston area becoming a local favorite. Personally, Parker had an interest in art work. He passed away in 1992 at Houston, Texas at the age of 80.

Trivia: Baseball reference lists a funny cast of “the all time condiments team” where Salty Parker stars along Pepper Martin, Mayo Smith, Chili Davis, & Pickles Dillhoefer.

Jul 6, 2020

Tim Teufel: 1986 World Champion Mets Infielder (1986-1991) 2015 NL Champion Mets Coach (2012-2016)

Timothy Shawn Teufel was born on July 7, 1958 in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Teufel attended St. Mary’s High School in Greenwich, then moved on to Clemson University. The six foot right handed hitting infielder, was a star baseball player there getting drafted by both the Milwaukee Brewers (1978) & the Chicago White Sox (1979).

He did not sign either time. In 1980 he did sign as a second round pick of the Minnesota Twins. In his third minor league season he hit 27 HRs & batted .323 for the AAA Toledo Mud hens, getting a September call up to the Twins big league team.

He debuted on September 3rd going 1-4 in a game playing second base against the Baltimore Orioles. He hit well during the month, batting .308 (24-78) with three HRs, seven doubles & six RBIs. On September 16th he had a 5 -5 day with two HRs against the Toronto Blue Jays at the Metro dome.

He was an official rookie in 1984 and became the Twins regular second baseman, replacing John Castino. He put up career highs with 14 HRs & 61 RBIs (which were matched again in 1987) as well as hitting thirty doubles, batting .262, while playing in 157 games.

He came in fourth place in the Rookie of the Year voting, behind Alvin Davis, Mark Langston & team mate Kirby Puckett.

On the field he posted a .984 fielding % (fourth in the league) leading all A.L. second baseman in games (157) & assists (485). The following season he put up similar numbers batting .260 with 10 HRs 24 doubles a .335 on base % & 50 RBIs. He made 12 errors at second base in 813 chances with a .980 fielding %. 

On January 16, 1986, he was traded to the New York Mets for Billy Beane, Bill Latham and Joe Klink.

Mets Career: Teufel shared time with Wally Backman at second base in Davey Johnsons platoon style system. He was used mainly against left-handed pitchers although he actually hit right hander’s better. He had a classic stance while at bat, as he shook his hips while waiting on a pitcher to throw. The batting stance became known as “the Teufel Shuffle”.

In his first Mets game on April 12th 1986, he got three hits, in seven at bats in a 14 inning Mets 9-8 loss in Philadelphia. Teufel had three RBIs, even scoring the go ahead run earlier in the game. 

On April 21st, he doubled home Lenny Dykstra in the bottom of the 9th inning, tying a game up against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He scored the winning run when Gary Carter singled him home for a walk off win.

On May 12th he singled in the bottom of the 9th inning off Atlanta's Paul Assenmacher, scoring Ray Knight with the only run of the game, in another walk off win. 

On June 10th he had one of his biggest thrills, as he came to bat as a pinch hitter, with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 11th inning in a 4-4 tie with the Phillies at Shea Stadium. Teufel blasted a walk off grand slam HR off Philadelphia's Tom Hume for the 8-4 dramatic victory.

Drama: That July he was involved in the famous bar fight at a Houston night club, with team mates Ron Darling, Bobby Ojeda & Rick Aguilera. 

The players got into a scuffle with off duty police men working as bouncers. After a lot of media attention, the end results wound up being a $200 fine for each player.

Back on the field Teufel struggled at the plate batting only .230 by the middle of August. On August 26th he had a four hit day in San Diego, driving in three runs & hitting a HR in the Mets 11-6 win. 

He finished off the season batting .247 with 4 HRs 20 doubles a .324 on base % & 31 RBIs. It was his third of five straight seasons hitting 20 or more doubles.

On the field at second base in 84 games he posted a .971 fielding %, five points higher than Wally Backman. He made seven errors in 315 chances, turning 28 double plays.

1986 Post Season- NLCS: Teufel played in two games of the 1986 NLCS against the Houston Astros, getting only one hit in six at bats. 

That hit came in the final classic Game #6, sixteen inning marathon at the Houston Astrodome. Teufel was removed in the extra innings, getting replaced at second by Wally Backman. 

1986 World Series: He played in three games of the 1986 World Series, getting the start in the opener Game #1. In that game, after Billy Joel had sung the National Anthem, Ron Darling & Bruce Hurst matched zeros through the evening.

In the 7th inning, a ground ball went under Teufel’s glove allowing the lone run of the game to score. The error & lack of run support ruined Ron Darlings strong performance, putting the Mets down one game to none.

It was a strange flashback to Game #1 of the 1973 World Series when a Felix Millan error helped the Oakland A’ s to a 2-1 win, spoiling Jon Matlack’s fine pitching performance.

Teufel got another start in the Game #5 at Fenway Park in Boston. In that 4-2 Mets loss, Teufel hit a HR in the 8th inning off pitcher Bruce Hurst.

He got the start in Game #7 at Shea, going 0-2 getting removed for a pinch runner in the 6th inning. Overall in the Series he batted .444 (4-9) with a HR, a double an RBI & a walk.

After the Championship: In 1987 he had a great start to the season, batting .400 until mid May. On May 1st he hit a walk off HR against Bob McLure to beat the Montreal Expos breaking a 6-6 tie. 

On a wild June road trip he hit HRs in three straight games while driving in nine runs in those games. The first two games were at Wrigley Field in Chicago. The last was a grand slam HR in Pittsburgh off the Pirates Bob Walk in a 10-2 Mets win.

He began July driving in runs in three straight games, including a night in Cincinnati where he hit a pair of solo HRs. Teufel hit steadily through the summer, finishing up the month of August batting .340. On July 24th he hit a three run HR off the Astros Bob Knepper, driving in four runs on the night leading the Mets to a 7-4 win.

On July 28th he came up with the Mets down 4-3 in the 9th inning, then singled up the middle off the Cardinals Todd Worrell scoring two runs putting the Mets in front for good. He saw more playing time through September but after entering the month batting .340 he tailed off to finish the season with a career best .308 average.

From September 18th through the 21st he hit HRs in three of four games, driving in eight runs. During a ten game stretch from September 18th-September 27th he drove in ten runs with 14 hits, keeping the Mets in the pennant race.

For the year he matched his career highs in HRs (14) & RBIs (61) as well as posting a personal best .398 on base %, as he played in 97 games on the season.

He was suppose to be the Mets main second baseman for the 1988 season but he struggled in April batting just .190. Then an injury followed & he missed a month of action from mid May to mid June.

He was batting .250 at the All Star break but began to struggle again, as Wally Backman was batting .303. Teufel still saw action in 90 games, batting.234 with four HRs, 20 doubles a .306 on base % & 31 RBIs. He never matched the previous year’s numbers again.

1988 Post Season- NLCS: In the 1988 NLCS he played in just one game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, going 0-3.

In 1989, a hot prospect named Gregg Jefferies took over at second base and Teufel split time with him there (40 games) as well as playing some first base (33 games). In 83 games (219 at bats) his numbers dropped off to .256 average, with only two HRs, seven doubles & 15 RBIs. His chances of being an everyday player were now reduced to being a utility player once again.

In 1990 he played 80 games all around the infield batting .246 but found his power stroke again hitting 10 HRs with 11 doubles. On May 6th he hit a three run HR off Houston's Jim Deshaies, driving in four runs leading the Mets to a 7-4 win over the Astros.

In August he hit HRs in three of the first four games of the month. He hit a total of six that month driving in ten runs, enjoying two four game hit streaks. He closed out the season hitting HRs in the last two games against the NL Eastern Champion Pirates. After twenty games in 1991 he was batting only .118, and got traded to the San Diego Padres for Garry Templeton, who retired after one season in New York.

Mets Career: Teufel played 325 games at second base for the Mets (11th most All Time) playing in 463 career Mets games overall. In those six years he hit .254 with 35 HRs 87 doubles 164 RBIs & a 336 on base %.

Teufel played three seasons in San Diego, as a utility infielder getting into 95 games or more each season. In 1991 he hit 11 HRs with 42 RBIs &a .334 on base % for the Padres. He retired after the 1993 season after an eleven year playing career.

He batted.254 with 789 hits 86 HRs 185 doubles 12 triples 387 walks a .336 on base % & 379 RBIs in 1073 games played. At second base his .980 fielding % is 95th best all time.

He helped turn 364 double plays making 68 errors in 3435 chances. He also played 99 games at third base, 83 games at first & one game at short.

Retirement: Since his playing days Teufel has been a long time manager in the Mets organization.

In 2003 he was manager of the A ball Brooklyn Cyclones, where he finished in second place with a 47-28 record. He moved to the advanced A ball, St. Lucie Mets from 2004-2005, stopping one season with the Savanna Sand Gnats (2007). He was back to St. Lucie in 2008 & 2009, going 66-68 in the latter year. 

In 2010 he was manager of the AA Binghamton Mets going 66-76. In 2011 he was promoted to the AAA Buffalo Bison’s where he was 61-82 coaching many of the Mets 2012 players.

In 2012 he was promoted to the big league club as the Mets third base coach under manager Terry Collins. He was an aggressive third base coach who loved to wave runners home. He did a fine job in four seasons in that role. He did not return in 2017.

Spring Training 2013: photo-centerfieldmaz
He is still popular with the fans as well as respected by players. The Mets were thinking of giving him the batting coach job in the 2015 off season but instead chose Kevin Long.

Honors: Tim was on hand for the 20th anniversary of the 1986 Championship team & the 30th anniversary  celebration at Citi Field in 2016.

He also attended the closing ceremonies of Shea Stadium in 2008. In February 2011 although he wasn’t accused of any wrong doings, Teufel was sued by investors for profits he made through Bernard Madoff investments.

Tim Teufel Celebrity Golf Tournament: The event celebrated its 25th year in 2015, played at Tamarack Country Club in Teufel's home town of Greenwich Connecticut. 

"It's rewarding to see a tournament like this go on for a long period of time, especially through the economic turmoil a few years ago," said Teufel.

"What a venue we have here at Tamarack, which has been so nice for letting us hold the event here every year."

Jul 5, 2020

Remembering Mets History: (1973) The Brutal George "Stork" Theodore / Don Hahn Outfield Collision

Saturday July 7th, 1973: A crowd of 30,468 filled up Shea Stadium to watch the last place Mets (34-45) take on Eddie Mathews fifth place Atlanta Braves (38-49). 

Braves slugger; Hank
Aaron was chasing the All Time HR record at this point & was the most famous face in baseball.  Aaron was #2 on the all time HR list & the Mets' own Willie Mays was #3.

The Mets were bottomed out in last place at 34-45 on this date, 12.5 games out of first place, their lowest point of the season. It was still a long way to their '73 pennant winning performance.

 The game began with the Mets; Ray Sadecki going up against the 1970 Rookie of the Year; Craig Morton. Both pitchers would be long gone before this one was decided.

Starting Lineups

The Braves helped the Mets with sloppy play in the 1st inning. Dohn Hahn got to second base on a two base error from left fielder; Mike Lum. Felix Millan attempted to sacrifice, but Brave third baseman Darrell Evans made a throwing error allowing Hahn to score.

The Braves tied it on catcher; Dick Dietz's sac fly in the second. In the 3rd, three Mets singles by Millan, Rusty Staub & Ken Boswell put New York ahead tied it up. The Braves came back when future Mets manager; Davey Johnson hit a his 21st HR of the year. (Johnson would hit 43 HRs that season).

The Stork & Don Hahn Collide in the Outfield
In the Mets 6th, George Theodore was playing left field for an ailing Cleon Jones, he drew a leadoff walk. 

Theodore "the Stork" scored on Don Hahn's double as the Mets tied it once again. 

The two would players would make headlines of the day, but not because of their hitting. In the 7th the Braves got to Mets reliever Phil Hennigan & a famous play that is vividly remembered today took place.

Atlanta's Mike Lum led off with a base hit & was sacrificed over. Pinch hitter, Long Island's own Frank Tepedino, got a pinch hit single. The ball was misplayed in leftfield by Stork Theodore & Lum scored as Tepedino advanced to second.

Next up "the roadrunner" Ralph Garr, who would steal 35 bases on the season, & win a batting title in 1974 (hitting .353) hit a screaming shot in the gap to left center field. Theodore who was upset that he had misplayed the last hit, allowing a run to score, was determined to make this catch.

He ran full speed ahead staring down the shot hit by Garr, at the same time center fielder Don Hahn was chasing the liner as well. The two crashed in to each other head on, in one of the worst collisions in Mets history. 

At first the two players lay motionless in the Shea outfield. The ball rolled all the way to the wall. Frank Tepedino scored & the speedy Garr, had himself an inside the park HR, before Rusty Staub could get the ball in.

The Shea crowd held it's breath as did the players. The Mets trainer; Tom McKenna came running out to the outfield.

Hahn was able to get up holding his stomach, as it seemed he had the wind knocked out of him. He was replaced in center field by veteran Willie Mays, but returned to the line up three days later. 
Stork Theodore Removed From The Field on Stretcher
Theodore was unable to get up, as everyone feared the worst. The Stork, had a thin six foot four, 190 pound frame & took the worst of the hit. He fractured his hip, and had to be taken off the field on a stretcher. 

He would be out for most of the rest of the regular season, making just one pinch hit appearance on September 20th, striking out. He did get into the post season, making two World Series pinch hit appearances, against the Oakland A's, but was hitless.

Back on June 3rd 1973, Theodore had been hit in the eye by a pitch from the San Diego Padres; Gary Ross. At the time it was feared he would lose his eye sight, but the Stork was back in the line up five days later.

Theodore in the Hospital with his guitar
After this outfield collision, at a New York hospital, Theodore told reporters he had a dream two weeks earlier that he was being removed from the field on a stretcher carried by Jerry Koosman & Tug McGraw.

He would spend a few days in the hospital, getting photographed playing his guitar, adding to his legacy of a Mets folk hero. In just two brief seasons, Theodore made himself a most popular Mets player. He is always remembered with affection, even though he wasn't the best of players on the field.

In May of 2011 he told the Daily News: "I did play two more years, but I was never the same. It changed my life, put me in a new direction, but it's all been good. That's the way it is." 

Hahn would be back in the line up three days later, finishing up the year as the Mets main center fielder. He played in 93 games batting .229 with 2 HRs 10 doubles 21 RBIs & a .989 fielding %.

Back to the game on July 7th 1973- Cleon Jones who was not at 100% himself after an injury plagued season so far, had to fill in at left field for the Stork. 

In the bottom of the 8th the Mets were now down 6-3. Cleon Jones led off with a walk. Then Duffy Dyer & Jim Fregosi, both coming in as pinch hitters, both walked. Hall of Fame legend, Willie Mays' singled to left field bringing in two runs cutting the Braves lead to a run (6-5).

Braves Manager Eddie Mathews brought in veteran reliever Joe Hoerner. Felix Millan reached on a force play &Wayne Garrett greeted new pitcher; Joe Hoerner, with a double scoring Millan & Mays. The Mets were ahead 7-6.

But the struggling Tug McGraw couldn't hold them down, McGraw was having problems all season up to this point admitting he had forgotten everything he knew about pitching, saying he didn't know what to do with the ball. He served up three singles & a walk which tied up the game.

Harry Parker came in but a force play & two more walks made it 9-7 Braves. The Mets got one back in the 9th but fell short 9-8 in a wild close heart breaking loss.

With Stork out indefinitely & Hahn possibly out as well, adding to the other injuries the '73 Mets reached rock bottom.

Turning Points of 1973: Today's game was the last for relief pitcher Phil Hennigan, after coming over from Cleveland in November in exchange for Brent Strom & Bob Rauch, he had gone 0-4. 

After today's game his ERA was over six, at 6.43 & he was sent to AAA Tidewater, never returning to the majors again.

This would also be the last Mets game for Jim Fregosi, who would have his contact sold to the Texas Rangers.