Galen Cisco: Former Italian / American Met Pitcher & Sucessful Coach (1962-1965)

Galen Bernard Cisco was born on March 7, 1936, in St. Mary’s Ohio. 

Ohio State Buckeyes: Cisco attended Ohio State University and was the captain & full back for the 1957 Buckeye’s National Championship team. He was also a star pitcher going 12-2 at the school getting inducted into their Sports Hall of Fame in 1995.

The five-foot eleven right-hander chose a baseball career, signing with the Boston Red Sox in 1958. He was known for his masterful curveball.

Cisco won 17 games climbing through the ranks of the minors in 1959, gradually became a relief pitcher over the next two seasons. 

MLB Career: In 1961 Cisco made his MLB debut going 2-4 earning his first win at Fenway Park against the Washington Senators in his second career start. In September 1962 he was 4-7 with a 6.07 ERA when the Red Sox placed him on waivers. He was picked up by the New York Mets.

Mets Career- 1962: On September 9th, Cisco immediately went to work, relieving Craig Anderson in the 1st inning in Houston. He pitched four innings of a game that was suspended & ended in a tie. 

In his next appearance Cisco gave up an 8th inning RBI triple to Cincinnati's Vada Pinson tying the game. The Mets would win it on Choo Choo Coleman's exciting walk HR. 

On September 21st, he was given a start against the Cubs at the Polo Grounds. Cisco pitched a complete game four hit one run victory striking out eight. He had one more start losing 3-2 to Paul Toth & the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

1963: Cisco started the year, finished off the Mets Opening Day 7-0 loss to the Cardinals at The Polo Grounds. On April 13th he made a start in Milwaukee but gave up five runs to the Braves taking the loss. On April 21st, earned a win against the Braves at the Polo Ground, giving up two runs in six innings. 

Cisco remained in the rotation in May but lost three straight decisions before being used as a reliever. On May 12th, in the first game of a double header, he pitched six shutout innings against the Reds, but got no decisions as Bob Purkey shut out the Mets 3-0.

Over the next two months, Cisco made just two starts & lost both of them. In relief he made 19 appearances earning four wins, with two of them coming in extra innings. On June 26th, he earned the win when Tim Harkess hit a 12th inning walk off grand slam HR off Jim Brewer to beat the Cubs. It was the first Mets walk off grand slam in team history. 

On July 17th, Galen earned the win after pitching the 10th & 11th innings then having Joe Hicks hit a walk off HR off Don Larsen & the Giants.

On August 2nd he made a start & had his best outing of the year. He pitched ten innings allowing just one run to the Braves in Milwaukee, beating Bob Sadowski 3-1. Cisco walked just one & struck out one scattering ten hits.

On August 15th, Cisco drove in the only two runs of an 8-2 loss to the Pirates with a two-run single off future Met Don Cardwell.

He stayed in the starting rotation but took four straight losing decisions giving up four runs in three straight games as he fell to 7-13. He went back to the bullpen & blew two saves before the season ended.

The 1963 Mets were 51-111, finishing in tenth place. Cisco went 7-15 with the ninth most losses in the league, but it certainly wasn't worst on his own team. Three pitchers on the Mets staff lost more games than he did- Roger Craig 22 losses, then Al Jackson & Tracy Stallard both had 17 losses each. 

Cisco posted a 4.34 ERA with 81 strike outs 64 walks in 155 allowing 165 hits & 15 HRs in 51 appearances making 17 starts. He threw ten wild pitches & had seven hits' batsmen (both tenth most in the league). At bat he batted .132 with three RBIs.

1964: The season started out with two April relief appearances & then he was placed back in a starting role. He lost his first two starts, although on May 9th, he gave up just one run to the Cardinals but lost to Bob Gibson who pitched a complete game 5-1 win.

On May 14th, Cisco got his first win, coming again against the Braves at Shea. In that game he also had a two-run single off Jack Smith in the Mets six run 6th inning.

On May 18th in San Francisco, he allowed just one run to the Giants in seven innings & earned his second

23 Inning Epic Game: On a classic Memorial Day double header at Shea Stadium, Cisco pitched nine innings of relief in the second game, which was a 23-inning epic game. Cisco entered the game in the 15th inning & held the Giants to just two hits through the 22nd inning. Then in the top of the 23rd he gave up RBI hits to Del Crandall & Jesus Alou. Cisco ended up being the losing pitcher in the 8-6 Giants win. 

During this classic day the Mets & Giants played a record (at that time 23 innings) of baseball. The Shea Stadium concessions actually ran out of hot dogs tat day. In that classic game, Mets Short Stop Roy McMillan turned a triple play while Giants pitcher, Gaylord Perry later admitted he began toying with a spit ball for the first time that day. 

Shut Out: On June 5th, Galen threw a complete game four hit shutout over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Shea Stadium, in a rare 8-0 Mets win. After the game he was posting a fine 2.09 ERA after 11 appearances. But the weak Mets offense wasn't scoring any runs & Cisco only had a 3-5 record. 

From there the woes continued, as he lost six straight starting decisions to fall to 3-11.

Shut Out: On July 12th, Cisco pitched a six hit 1-0 shut out over Joey Jay the Reds at Shea Stadium. In the bottom of the 9th, Joe Christoper doubled in George Altman with the game's only run in the walk off win.

On August 16th, Cisco pitched a complete game 12-4 win over the Phillies snapping a two-game losing streak. He lost six of his last seven decisions with a September 23rd 2-1 win over former Met Roger Craig & the eventual World Champion St. Louis Cardinals. In that game he struck out five batters for the fourth time, not a big strike pitcher, he would have a season high six K's in a loss to the Reds in late September.

Cisco ended up with 19 losses that year, second most losses in the league behind teammate Tracy Stallard who lost 20. 

Overall, he was 6-19 with a 3.62 ERA, throwing two shut outs & five complete games with 78 strikeouts & 54 walks in 191 innings pitched in 36 appearances with 25 starts. At bat he hit .111 with a career high four RBIs. The Mets finished in last place again at 53-109. 

1965: In the first two months, Cisco pitched mostly in relief but was 0-2 in both games he started. On May 23rd, he came into the game in the 2nd inning & struck out a season high, seven batters in just three innings of work. 

On June 3rd, he beat the Pirates in Pittsburgh allowing just two runs over seven innings. He also had two RBI singles off Joe Gibbon in the game, to help his team in the 8-6 win.

Shut Out: On July 29th in his next start, he pitched a four-hit shutout at Wrigley field beating the Cubs 14-0. He would collect one more win shutting out the Giants for 5.2 innings at the end of August.

At the start of September Cisco missed two weeks of action & would appear in just two more games that season. He finished out the year going 4-8 with a 4.49 ERA appearing in 35 games with 17 starts. He struck out 58 batters & walked 51 in 112 innings giving up 12 HRs. 

At the plate he hit well, batting a career high .259 (7-27) driving in four runs for the second straight year. 

1966: Cisco began the year at AAA Jacksonville going 11-6 but was released by the Mets in June. In four seasons in New York, he was 18-43 with a 4.04 ERA in 126 games. 

Post Mets Career: He was picked up by the Boston Red Sox, where he made 11 relief appearances the following season. After another full season at AAA, he finished his seven-year pitching career at Kansas City in 1969 with the Royals in their inaugural season. 

In 1970 he played in the minor leagues ending his playing career at AA Omaha. 

Career Stats: In his seven-season career, Cisco was 25-56 with a 4.56 ERA. He struck out 325 walked 281 allowing 68 HRs. He threw nine complete games with three shutouts & collected two saves in 192 appearances, making 78 starts. 

Retirement- Pitching Coach: Following his playing career, Cisco became a respected pitching coach for the five different teams over the next two decades. He began with the Kansas City Royals (1971-1979) where his staff won three AL West titles.

He then went to the Montreal Expos under manager Dick Williams (1980-1984) getting the Expos to a 1981 post season appearance, the only one in team history. Cisco then went with Dick Williams to the San Diego Padres (1985-1987). 

He moved on to the Philadelphia Phillies (1997-2000) & most successfully with the Toronto Blue Jays (1990-1995). In six seasons with the Blue Jays his staff won three consecutive AL East titles and two World Series Championships (1992-93). 

Cisco retired & lives in St. Mary’s Ohio. There a Rotary Club Award was named after him, honoring hometown youths in baseball.

Family: Galen was married to his wife Martha from 1957 - 2019 when she passed away from cancer. They were married for 62 years & together they had two sons.


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