Every year for the last 3 years as Spring gives way to Fall, Mets season merges into NY Rangers season, I have been able to keep the baseball side of my brain occupied with thoughts of Mets Fantasy Camp. This year more so then ever, in the past I have simply gone down to cover the week long camp as a reporter, this season I am headed down to actually participate as a player. Each year I have tried to find unique ways of counting down the days until camp and sharing them with Mets fans, So this year I will do the countdown by Jersey numbers, When possible I will post my 3 favorite Mets who have worn that number, some numbers are harder then others.
#1 George Stone
One of the very few trades the Mets came out on the right end of the ledger, Danny Frisella and Gary Gentry for Felix Millan and George Stone, Stone would go 12-3 and was a huge part of the 1973 NL championship team.I am still convinced that if Yogi Berra pitched Stone in game 6 and then had a rested Tom Seaver for Game 7 , the Mets would have been champs in 73.
Despite having to deal with pressure because he was part of the Tom Seaver Trade Pat's first three seasons with the Mets were pretty good as we went 22-13 in his first 3 seasons with the Mets,plus loved the way Murph used to refer to him as the lanky righty rom Waco, Texas.Lastly loved the guys intensity which at times derailed him, never more so then in 1978 when Pat was off to a great , he gave up a hit to Pete Rose, which extended Rose's hitting streak to a then-record tying 38 straight games. Pat was taken out of the game and In frustration, as he entered the dugout, he tried to kick a helmet on the concrete steps, missed and broke his foot, ending his season.
The Mets record when Jeff started a game was perfect to bad he only started one game for the Mets, he was however an innings eater, and had he been on good teams his place in Met history might be different. For three straight seasons he lead the Mets in appearances in 288 games he pitched to a 3.05 era, that would be worth millions today,he also holds 2 unique distinctions 1) in 1991, Jeff became the first pitcher in baseball history to appear in at least 60 games without recording a win or a save. 2) Gave up the first spring training hit to White Sox OF Michael Jordan.
C. J. Nitkowski
By: Mark Rosenman
WLIE 540 AM SPORTSTALKNY Host and Producer
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