May 16, 2021

Remembering Mets History (1972): Rookie John Milner Drives in Five Runs

Wednesday May 17th, 1972: Yogi Berra's first place Mets (20-7) had gotten off to a good start of the '72 season which began with a Players Strike & the death of beloved Mets Manager; Gil Hodges. 16,905 fans came out to Shea, to see the Mets host Gene Mauch's Montreal Expos (13-14).

The Mets were certainly hoping for big things from Rookie slugger John Milner. Milner was hopeful to being the Mets next outfield star, the youngster from Atlanta, Georgia was even nicknamed after his hero Hank Aaron, calling himself "the baby hammer". Mets fans would know him as the "hammer" when he arrived in the big leagues as well.

After making a brief appearance in 1971, he made the roster in 1972. He began making pinch hit appearances & got his first start on April 26th. That day he went 2-4, he got a hit in his next start & then got two more hits in his third start. On n May 17th he had one of his biggest days of his Rookie campaign &  one of his biggest run production days ever.

Starting Lineups

In the home 1st, Montreal's Ernie McNally walked the first three Mets to come to bat. A Rusty Staub sac fly made it 1-0. John Milner then cracked a double to left field bringing in two more runs & it was quickly 3-0 Mets.

In the 3rd, Tommie Agee walked & Rusty Staub reached on an error. John Milner then hit his first career HR, as the Hammer collected three more RBI's topping off a big five RBI day. It was now  6-0 Mets. New comer, Jim Fregosi & Duffy Dyer both singled, then Bud Harrelson added an RBI base hit & Ken Boswell drove in Dyer & Harrelson making it 9-0 Mets.

Later, Ted Martinez walked with the bases loaded making it 10-2. In the 7th, Agee walked & Jim Fregosi tripled bringing him in. Fregosi had four triples that year for the Mets, in 1968 he led the league with 13 triples for the California Angels. Duffy Dyer later singled topping off the Mets twelve run, seventeen hit day in a 12-2 victory.

Milner led the run scoring with five RBIs, Dyer had four hits, Fregosi collected three hits & Harrelson, Agee, Staub & Milner two hits each.

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