Remembering Bud Harrelson

Remembering Bud Harrelson upon his passing at age 79. Bud was one of the most important & popular players in team history. The anchor of the infield on the 1969 Amazing Mets & the 1973 NL Pennant winners. Tom Seaver once said he wouldn't be in the Hall of Fame if Bud Harrelson wasn't behind him stopping base hits. 

In an era when short stops weren't known for their hitting, Harrelson was a two time All Star. His scrappy play also made him a good singles hitter, he drew walks, stole bases & had many career sacrifice hits, second on the Mets all-time list in that category.

In the 1973 NLCS he got into a famous fight with Pete Rose that made him even more popular. Everyone loved rooting for the little under dog who stood his ground. In the 1969 & 1973 World Series' his outstanding play at short stop put him in the national spotlight. 

He later had a successful Mets coaching career & brief managerial stint.

I had the pleasure of talking with Bud Harrelson at a baseball card shop in New Jersey in the mid 2000's. Since I was a good customer at the time, the owner let me & my friend Freddie stay when the shop closed & Harrelson signed memorabilia. 

We talked for about two hours on one the best Mets / baseball events of my life. Bud was friendly, joking around & answered all my baseball questions. We talked about the 1969 Amazings, his 1971 All Star Game, the 1973 post season & of course "the Fight" with Pete Rose. 

He told me a great story of how when he returned to Cincinnati in 1974 the fans booed him as the Mets fand did to Rose. That night he hit a HR over Pete Rose's head in left field for a guy who didnt hit many HRs it was a big deal. 

As he rounded the bases smiling Rose shouted to him 'You've got to be f'in kidding me"- How Great is that! 

Bud also told me that he was safe in the controversial play at home in Game #2 of the 1972 World Series saying A's catcher Ray Fosse "missed me". It was an Amazing night with a guy since then I call my friend, because that's the way he made me feel! 

Rest in Peace Buddy, one of the real good guys.


Comments

JOSEPH VELLA said…
I'm so happy you posted Bud; he was one of my favorite players. My he rests in peace.

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