Remembering Mets History (1968): The Glider Has Two Big Days Against the Chicago Cubs

Saturday May 4th, 1968: A She Stadium crowd of 14,214 came out for a matinee as Gil Hodges Mets (9-10) hosted Leo Durocher's Chicago Cubs (9-12).

The Mets Dick Selma would go up against the Cubs Ken Holtzman. It would be the biggest day for Ed Charles in his Mets career as he drove in five runs, with a HR helping the Mets to a 7-3 victory.

The popular Ed Charles played three seasons with the Mets after coming over from the Kansas City A's. He was already 34 years old. He would hit .249 with 21 HRs 32 doubles 4 triples & 102 RBIs in 279 games with the Mets. In 1969 he platooned at third base & brought a great veteran presence to the Young Amazing's as they went on to win the World Series. He went out on top retiring after the season.

In the Mets 2nd, Tommie Agee walked but was caught stealing, next Phil Linz drew a walk. Cleon Jones doubled to center giving New York a 1-0 lead.

The Cubs went ahead with Randy Hundley's two run HR off Dick Selma in the 2nd inning. In the home 3rd, Kenny Holtzman got wild, he walked Phil Linz, Greg Goossen & then hit hitting Jerry Grote with a pitch. 

Holtzman was removed from the game & Jack Lamabe came into pitch. He walked Ed Charles with the bases loaded bringing in Linz to tie up the game.

In the 5th inning, with one out Ron Swoboda reached on an error. Greg Goossen walked & Jerry Grote singled. 

"The Glider" Ed Charles came to bat with the bases loaded once again. This time he drove a single up the middle, scoring Ron Swoboda & Greg Goossen putting the Mets up 4-2.

In the 7th, Charles connected for a two run HR, with Jerry Grote on base, making it 6-2 Mets. 

It was his third HR in the young season. Charles had homered the day before as well, a two-run shot helping Nolan Ryan (seven innings) & Ron Taylor (two innings) to a 3-0 shut out over the Phillies.

Ed Charles finished the day with a HR, two hits, a walk, five RBIs & a run scored. 


Thursday June 6th, 1968: Gil Hodges Mets (23-27) were playing good base ball showing early signs of what was to come in 1969. On this day they were at Wrigley Field in Chicago in front of 5,858 fans to take on the Chicago Cubs (25-26). Once again on the mound it was Dick Selma for the Mets & Ken Holtzman for the Cubs. And once again it was another big Ed Charles day.

Dick Selma was born in Fresno, California. He would grow up friends & little league rival to Tom Seaver. Selma was signed by the Mets in 1963, debuting in September 1965. He & Seaver would be teammates for two seasons in New York 1967 & 1968. He was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 1968 expansion draft.

In the top of the 3rd, Jerry Grote got on with a two out single. Ed Charles then lifted a two run HR over the Wrigley Field Ivy putting the Mets up 2-0. It was his ninth HR of the season. Ron Swoboda singled & Greg Goossen added an RBI double making it 3-0 Mets.

The Cubs got a run-on slugger Ron Santo's 9th HR of the year.

In the 5th inning, "The Glider" led off with another HR, off Holtzman. It was his tenth of the year & his third off Holtzman. Mets were up 4-1.

With one out Greg Goosen walked, then Tommie Agee tripled, with the Mets fifth run. Jack Lamabe relieved Holtzman. 

The Cubs came close to a comeback, with pinch hitter Dick
Nen hitting an RBI single & Glen Beckert an RBI double. Ron Taylor held on for the save as Selma got the win.

Ed Charles would lead the 1968 Mets in HRs with 15. He was third on the clubs in RBIs (53) batting average (.276) & second in slugging (.434%)He would have just one other game (May 20th 1968) in his three year Mets career, where he would hit multiple HRs in a game. 


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