Thursday, June 30, 2016

Happy # 72 to Ron Swobada

Ron Swoboda broke in with the Mets in 1965 and hit 18 HR as a rookie.   

His manager Casey Stengel referred to him as "the youth of America", or part of the new generation of Mets who would make a winner out of the team:   
"Cleon Jones, Bud Harrelson, Tug McGraw and Swoboda, who all made their debut in 1965, Nolan Ryan, who came aboard in 1966, Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman and Ken Boswell in 1967, Jim McAndrew and Duffy Dyer in 1968, and Gary Gentry and Wayne Garrett in 1969."
The Mets did make it to the World Series in 1969.   Seaver, Koosman, Ryan and others turned into a wonderful pitching staff.   Jones and Harrelson became good major leaguers.

Unfortunately for Mets' fans, Swoboda never really developed into a consistent power hitter:  .242 batting average, 73 HR & 344 RBI over 8 years.

Nevertheless, he will live in the hearts of Mets fans for one catch in the 1969 World Series.     It killed an Oriole rally and lives as one of the greatest catches in baseball history.



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