Remembering Mets History (1979) "Steady Eddie" Kranepool Ends His Career with His 90th Pinch Hit

 

Sunday September 30th, 1979: On this the last day of the regular season Joe Torre's Mets were in last place once again (66-91). The last game of the 1970's would also be the last game for original Met, Ed Kranepool.

Ed Kranepool played 18 seasons for the Mets & is the all-time team leader with 1853 career Mets games played. Kranepool was signed out of James Monroe high school in the Soundview section of the Bronx in 1962 at just 18 years old. 

He debuted for three games in the Mets inaugural season. He had been with the Mets through Casey Stengle & the losing years, to Gil Hodges & the Miracle Championship of the 1969 Amazing Mets. He was there for the pennant team of 1973 & the losing years of the late seventies. Kranpool had been the team's first baseman (1304 games) & outfielder (250 games).

He had always been a reliable pinch hitter off the bench, earning the nickname "Steady Eddie". By the latter part of his career, he became one of the league's best pinch hitters. Today would be his last career game.

The Mets were in St. Louis playing Ken Boyer's third place Cardinals (82-76) in front of 13,618 fans at Busch Stadium. The Mets John Pacella (0-2) a September call up making his fourth appearance, went up against Silvio Martinez (15-8) by far the best year of his five year career.


In the 1st inning, the Mets Frank Taveras led off with a single, he advanced to second then scored
on Richie Hebner's ground out. Hebner would just spend one season in New York & couldn't wait to get out. 

In the 2nd, the Cardinals Keith Hernandez led off with a walk. Hernandez would co win the 1979 NL MVP Award that season with the Pirates Willie Stargell. Here he stole second & scored on Dane Iorg's single to left field, tying up the game.

The score remained tied until the 7th, with Bob Forsch on the mound Ed Kranepool came in to pinch hit. Steady Eddie collected his 90th pinch hit with a double to right field. 

Trivia: In his career Ed Kranepool would bat .396 as a pinch hitter with 90 pinch hits, 16 doubles a triple 6 HRs & 55 RBIs. He also walked 36 times & was hit by a pitch.

After Eliott Maddox singled, Kranepool scored the go ahead run when Lee Mazzilli grounded out.

In the 7tn, the Cards tied the game off Roy Lee Jackson, as Terry Kennedy singled & Ken Rietz walked to reach base. Then pinch hitter Tony Scott singled to bring in the tying run.

But in the top of the 9th, with the Cards Mark Littell on the mound, Alex Trevino who had replaced Gil Flores at third base, singled & stole second. With two outs, Elliott Maddox singled to right field, Trevino scored. The Cardinal defense made two throwing errors that allowed Maddox to score. 

Rookie Jeff Reardon closed out the game with his second save. It was just
the 18th appearance of his career that would last 16 years & earn 367 saves.

Sadly, the Mets never honored Ed Kranepool or gave him a day of recognition, although he is a member of the team's Hall of Fame in 1990.


Comments

Stedward played 17 years, all with the Mets.

That kind of 1-team longevity is usually only found with Hall of Famers.

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