Showing posts from January, 2023

Davey Johnson: 1986 World Champion Mets Manager- Part Two (1984-1990)

Davey Johnson began managing in 1979 with an Independent team in Florida. The next season he joined the New York Mets minor league organization, as manager of AA Jackson. In 1983 he became manager of the AAA Tidewater Tides & led the Tides to their second straight league championship. There he managed & observed many young players he would later manage in the major leagues with the Mets. Johnson had moved up quickly through the organization, and some felt he was passing other more experienced managerial candidates. But, this turned out not to be the case. Johnson had earned a mathematics degree and was one of the first baseball people to use computers for baseball data. He also pioneered computer-based sabermetrics while his time managing the Mets. He learned the art of batter-pitcher match ups for platooning and in-game switches from his old Orioles skipper, Earl Weaver. Johnson was not a fan of the bunt and preferred the long ball. He believed in solid pitching &

Davey Johnson: Part One- The Playing Years (1966-1978)

David Allen Johnson was born January 30, 1943 in Orlando, Florida. The six foot one, right hand hitting infielder went to high school in San Antonio Texas. He later attended John Hopkins University & then one year at Texas A & M.  In 1962 he was signed by the Baltimore Orioles as amateur free agent. Johnson hit over .300 at AA Elmira getting promoted to AAA Rochester later that year.  In 1965 he played two innings of the Season Opener for the Orioles, but after just twenty games he was sent back down to AAA Rochester, where he once again batted over .300. In 1966 the Orioles traded their second baseman Jerry Adair, to make room for the Davey Johnson era, as he would be the O’s regular second baseman for the next seven seasons. He would win three straight Gold Gloves at second base (1969-1971), make four All Star teams, play in four World Series (1966/1969/1970/1971) while winning a pair of Worlds Championships in that time. In 1966 he came in third in the Rookie of th

Nolan Ryan: The Mets Years (Part Two- 1970 thru the 1972 Trade)

After the Championship-1970:   Nolan Ryan's first start after being a World Series Champion, came on Saturday April 18th at Shea Stadium, in a match up against the Philadelphia Phillies.  It was one of his best regular season performances in a Met uniform. After allowing a leadoff single to infielder Denny Doyle, Ryan never gave up another hit. He did walk six batters, but threw a one hit shutout, striking out fifteen batters in a 7-0 win.  In his next start he was almost as good, but allowed one run, on just two hits in eight innings, but took a 1-0 loss at Dodger Stadium, to Claude Osteen. The only run came on Maury Wills 3rd inning RBI single. On April 30th in San Francisco, he pitched a three-hitter complete game, allowing just one run to beat the Giants & Mike McCormick in another 2-1 squeaker. Joe Foy's two run 1st inning single was the difference. In his first three games of 1970 he was 2-1, had only allowed two earned runs (0.69 ERA) & struck out twent

Nolan Ryan: The Mets Years (Part One:1966 thru the Amazing 1969 Championship Season)

Lynn Nolan Ryan was born on January 31st, 1947 in Refugio, Texas, a son to Robert Ryan & Martha Lee Hancock a descendant of John Hancock, signer of the Declaration of Independence . The Ryan family moved to Alvin, Texas when Nolan was just six weeks old. He began to pitch in Little League & tossed his first no hitter at nine years old. From the ages of 8-18 he learned a strong work ethic, working with his dad who besides working for a local oil company was also a Houston Post distributor. Young Nolan rolled up & tossed the news papers, strengthening that gifted arm. With the arrival of major league baseball in Houston, Ryan was able to go watch games & it was there he was first mesmerized by the pitching of Sandy Koufax.  In high school the Ryan stories are legendary, one tells of a game in the first inning where he cracked the lead off man's batting helmet, hit the number two man & broke his arm & had the third hitter refuse to enter the batter's