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Player memories added since September 27, 2017
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ANTONIO BASTARDO Share your memories of Antonio Bastardo
Antonio Bastardo's complete Mets profile
October 9, 2017
Can you imagine having to go through life with a surname like "Bastardo"? This pitcher was terrible on the Mets as a relief pitcher. Thankfully, Sanday Alderson was able to unload him back onto the Pirates for former Met Jon Niese.

RICO BROGNA Share your memories of Rico Brogna
Rico Brogna's complete Mets profile
NYB Buff
October 9, 2017
Rico led the Mets with 22 homers, 76 RBIs and a .289 batting average in 1995. In other words, he won the team triple crown that year. Only three other Mets (Tommy Davis ’67, Cleon Jones ’71 and Howard Johnson ’89) had accomplished this feat previously. Since then, just Mike Piazza (in both 2000 and 2001) has done so.

BUZZ CAPRA Share your memories of Buzz Capra
Buzz Capra's complete Mets profile
Old Fashioned Met
October 9, 2017
When Buzz was traded to Atlanta just before the start of the 1974 season, it initially looked like a sequel to the disastrous Nolan Ryan deal a few years earlier. In ’74, Capra challenged Phil Niekro as the Braves’ ace pitcher with a 16 ace pitcher with a 16-8 record, a league-leading 2.28 ERA and a spot on the National League All-Star team. He showed signs of stardom that could have plagued the Mets once again. However, his success turned out to be temporary and he was gone after only three more seasons in obscurity.

YOENIS CESPEDES Share your memories of Yoenis Cespedes
Yoenis Cespedes's complete Mets profile
October 9, 2017
I just hope that Cespedes can avoid those nagging leg injuries in 2018. Maybe fewer squat exercises with heavy weights will lessen his chances of leg problems in the future?

Try some Pilates exercises instead, will you, Yoenis!

JERRY GROTE Share your memories of Jerry Grote
Jerry Grote's complete Mets profile
October 9, 2017
Grote can be classified as a typical Met - all defense and no offense. He fielded his position as well as any catcher during his career, but didn’t do very much at ba bat. Jerry had career highs of six homers and 40 RBIs in in the 1969 championship season while his batting av averages through the years were no more than ac acceptable by Mets standards, which were always low. Te Teams have considered a productive hitting catcher to be be an essential thing for many years, but Grote was no not one of them.

Jerry also had a nasty attitude towards people. He often mentioned through his adversaries in the media that he came to the ballpark to win games and not to make any friends. If that excuse had any validity to it, then the Mets would’ve had higher winning percentages each year and appeared in more post-season series than they actually did. Even with all of this, he is still one of the more popular figures among Met fans. I don’t understand it.

STEVE HENDERSON Share your memories of Steve Henderson
Steve Henderson's complete Mets profile
O. B. White
October 9, 2017
Steve was among a group of players who joined the Mets in the infamous Tom Seaver trade of 1977. People say the Mets got nothing in return on the deal because it was for Seaver, but that’s not totally true. Henderson, along with Pat Zachry and Doug Flynn, actually gave the team some production. Steve finished second in the ’77 Rookie of the Year voting and compiled a career .287 batting average (a Met record back then) over the next three years. Meanwhile, Zachry was the Mets’ All-Star rep in ’78 and named Pitcher of the Month in July of ’80, the same season Flynn became a Gold Glove winner. Henderson and his two mates provided a bit of life at Shea Stadium during a decline stage for the team – a period that had begun by the time they arrived (the Mets were in last place already on June 15) and was bound to continue, even if Seaver had stayed.

ERIC HILLMAN Share your memories of Eric Hillman
Eric Hillman's complete Mets profile
Eric M
October 9, 2017
Actually he lived in Citrus Heights where I grew up. I collected his cards and sadly, never had any signed. If you read this, Eric, my address is eric.marks@mail.com

TODD HUNDLEY Share your memories of Todd Hundley
Todd Hundley's complete Mets profile
October 9, 2017
Hundley set a record for home runs in a season by a catcher in 1996. People like to relate players' offensive feats to where they play in the field, but what meaning does that really have? Todd hit those homers as a batter, not as a catcher. A player's hitting statistics have nothing to do with his defensive position. They are two completely different things.

JEFF INNIS Share your memories of Jeff Innis
Jeff Innis's complete Mets profile
NYB Buff
October 9, 2017
Jeff became the first Met in history with a last name to start with the letter I when he joined the team in 1987. At the end of his major league career six years later, he was the all-time leader among I-named pitchers in strikeouts with 192. Four hurlers have passed him on that list since then (two of which were Jason Isringhausen and Kaz Ishii, who also pitched for the Mets), but Jeff can still claim he once had possession of a career strikeout record. I wonder if he’s ever been aware of this.

ED KRANEPOOL Share your memories of Ed Kranepool
Ed Kranepool's complete Mets profile
October 9, 2017
Ed was a Met from the beginning, but he was not brought through the farm system correctly. The team impeded on his minor league progress by trying to use him as an early drawing card. Being a local high school standout, Kranepool was placed on the major league roster periodically as a means of generating income. Constant promotions and demotions were bound to slow down his development as a player and really did. If Ed had been given at least three or four continuous seasons of minor league experience, he would have been a lot more productive in the majors later on. The Mets did him an injustice.

DAVE LIDDELL Share your memories of Dave Liddell
Dave Liddell's complete Mets profile
October 9, 2017
Had one at bat, faced one pitch, had one hit (a single), caught one inning, had one putout. And gave up a wild pitch.

DAVE MAGADAN Share your memories of Dave Magadan
Dave Magadan's complete Mets profile
October 9, 2017
Dave was a college standout at the University of Alabama. He batted over .500 and was the toughest out of all batters at the College World Series in his senior year. When he got to the major leagues, the Mets tried to change his style of hitting and it didn’t work out too well. They probably wanted him to be more of a slugger, but he just wasn’t that type. If Magadan had been allowed to hit in his natural way, he would’ve had a much more successful career.

MIKE MARSHALL Share your memories of Mike Marshall
Mike Marshall's complete Mets profile
October 9, 2017
Los Angeles, 1974: Mike is on the mound with the tying run on first base in the ninth inning of the second game of the World Series. The Oakland runner is Herb Washington, who served as a pinch-runner only and neither came to bat nor played a defensive position during the season. At the time, Charlie Finley was trying to create a “designated runner” rule and depended on Washington to sell his new idea to baseball. Marshall made a great pickoff throw and the running specialist was tagged out by Steve Garvey to help preserve a Dodger win. After this moment, Finley’s thoughts crashed to the ground and poor Herb saw his career come to an end.

Thank you, Mike, for killing the possibility of a “DR” and preventing further demoralization of the national pastime. The designated hitter is bad enough!

JOSE OQUENDO Share your memories of Jose Oquendo
Jose Oquendo's complete Mets profile
Raymond Malcuit Jr.
October 11, 2017
Jose Oquendo was the first to play for the Mets that was born after the Mets started playing.

JUAN SAMUEL Share your memories of Juan Samuel
Juan Samuel's complete Mets profile
Phil A. Buster
October 9, 2017
In 1984, Juan was Dwight Gooden’s biggest competitor for National League Rookie of the Year. His league-leading 19 triples and rookie leading 19 triples and rookie-record 72 stolen bases made him a candidate for the award. However, Samuel also led all N. L. players by making 33 errors and striking out 168 times. He came up more than a bit short in comparison to Gooden that year.

RAFAEL SANTANA Share your memories of Rafael Santana
Rafael Santana's complete Mets profile
Quality Met
October 9, 2017
Rafael may be the least-known member of the ’86 Mets everyday players. He was an old-fashioned shortstop who was an excellent fielder, but had a low batting average with very few home runs. Raffy wasn’t flashy or the type who made a lot of diving catches. He was simply a fine defensive player who always did his job well. Santana’s contribution to the World Championship was just as important as anything provided by the guys in the upper half of the batting order. Glovework must ne never be overlooked.

A native of the Dominican Republic, Rafael was the only non-American that played for the Mets in their title season. This is an amazing fact when compared to today’s major league rosters, all of which have their share of players from countries around the world.

TOM SEAVER Share your memories of Tom Seaver
Tom Seaver's complete Mets profile
The Intellectual
October 9, 2017
In a recent article, Tom stated that he had quit following what was happening in the baseball world. He claimed that he was tired of looking at box scores, mostly from Mets games, that showed the number 6 in the IP column for the starting pitcher. Seaver was from a generation (and there were several before his own) in which a pitcher expected himself to be on the mound for an entire game, win or lose. A total number of pitches was not calculated and there was no concern for arms getting worn out. He and his peers knew how to take care of themselves and enhance their durability. That’s why they were able to reach more th than 300 career wins.

No one can blame Seaver for not keeping track of the game anymore. The emphasis on the starting rotation has been reduced greatly, which hurts a team’s chances for success with so many relievers being used from game to game. Just continue growing grapes and producing that great wine at your California vineyard, Tom. You’re an all-star in that field now!

CHARLEY SMITH Share your memories of Charley Smith
Charley Smith's complete Mets profile
Lee Dixon
October 9, 2017
Charley was my cousin. He and his brothers Arnie, Tommy, and Russell all loved baseball from childhood. Arnie also played professional baseball for a while. They were all local baseball stars in high school. After retiring Charlie worked for the town of Sparks, Nevada as the athletic director until his passing in 1994 from a blood clot following knee surgery. Today I had the sad duty of attending a memorial service for his brother Tommy, who passed away July 5, 2017. Charley was not the best baseball player, but he was one of the best men who ever played baseball.

JOHN STEARNS Share your memories of John Stearns
John Stearns's complete Mets profile
Quality Met
October 9, 2017
John was on the National League team at four All-Star Games, three of which he got to play. These honors came his way only because of a rule that all major league teams had to have at least one member at the Mid-Summer Classic. Stearns was considered the most respectable player of a continuously weak Mets team during his time in New York, which is what got him named to each of those N. L. rosters. His status as a multiple All-Star does not mean he was a highly-successful player. It was a case of being a big fish in a small pond.

JACKSON TODD Share your memories of Jackson Todd
Jackson Todd's complete Mets profile
October 9, 2017
I met Jackson in 1974. He was the roommate of my soon to be step dad in Victoria TX where he pitched for the AAA Victoria Toros. My soon to be step dad was the JV baseball coach at the high school He was very kind to my brother and I.He would come over and play catch or wiffle ball in the back yard sometimes. I was just a kid about 11 and I cried when we were told he had cancer.

We moved to Houston later that year and I collected baseball cards... There he was! Jackson beat the cancer and made the bigs for the Mets!

Not sure what compelled me to google his name after all this time, I hope he is doing well.

Thanks for the information about him.

ROBIN VENTURA Share your memories of Robin Ventura
Robin Ventura's complete Mets profile
October 9, 2017
Robin was an outstanding college player before his career in the major leagues. In 1987, he set an NCAA record with a hitting streak that lasted 58 games – two more than a guy named DiMaggio – during his sophomore season at Oklahoma State. The streak was snapped in the College World Series, which was televised on cable nationally. The next year, Ventura was named the Golden Spikes Award winner (best amateur player in the nation) and given the Dick Howser Trophy (top college player) as a junior. He became a member of the inaugural class of the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006. Met fans remember Robin mainly for 1999, when he hit grand slams in each game of a doubleheader and got mobbed by his teammates on what became a “Grand Slam Single” in the post-season. But he is a college baseball legend.

PAUL WILSON Share your memories of Paul Wilson
Paul Wilson's complete Mets profile
October 9, 2017
I saw him strike out ten batters in a game at Binghamton in 1995. He looked like the real deal – and he probably was – but injuries got in the way of progress. Why do the Mets always have problems with the health of their players?

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