The 1972 Mets Opening Day roster

It is amazing what we can find out online, especially in regards to sports (particularly baseball), here in the 21st Century. It’s to the point where it’s more surprising what you cannot find in a quick Google search than what you can. So I was caught off guard when I recently was unable to find something quickly and easily.

I was looking for the Mets’ Opening Day roster in 1972 and did not find it in an easily accessible form. Perhaps it’s out there and I just didn’t see it. Regardless, I went through individual box scores in April and compiled this list. It’s certainly possible there is an error in here somewhere. But to the best of my knowledge, this was the Mets’ Opening Day roster in 1972:

Pitchers
Buzz Capra
Danny Frisella
Gary Gentry
Jerry Koosman
Jon Matlack
Jim McAndrew
Tug McGraw
Ray Sadecki
Tom Seaver
Chuck Taylor

Catchers
Duffy Dyer
Jerry Grote

Infielders
Jim Beauchamp
Ken Boswell
Jim Fregosi
Wayne Garrett
Bud Harrelson
Ed Kranepool
Teddy Martinez
John Milner

Outfielders
Tommie Agee
Don Hahn
Cleon Jones
Dave Marshall
Rusty Staub

Baseball-Reference tells us all the players who appeared in a game for the Mets this season – the now shocking total of just 34. The Mets used nearly that many pitchers (28) in 2012. The 1972 Mets used only 14 pitchers all season, including Hank Webb, who appeared in just six games, and Tommy Moore, who appeared in just three.

There’s a lesson in there somewhere. I’d like to point out that the team had three lefty relievers. McGraw appeared in 54 games and threw 106 innings. Sadecki made two starts but in his 32 relief appearances, he logged 66.2 IP. Even rookie Brent Strom, in six relief outings compiled 8.1 innings. The 1972 bullpen had a 3.04 ERA, compared to a 3.45 league ERA. A successful pen without a LOOGY – what a concept!

Perhaps no one but me will find this interesting or useful but as of right now, I feel good making this contribution to cyberspace. Now the next person looking for the 1972 Mets Opening Day roster will find something. If you have any corrections and can provide a cite, please list in the comments section below.

4 comments for “The 1972 Mets Opening Day roster

  1. stevejrogers
    December 29, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Psst Brian, the Met media guides of this era do list “Opening Day Rosters” of the previous year in the transaction chronology…

    Of course I don’t know how much, I assume you can get get one on ebay for a decent price, you can get the 1973 media guide for… =;)

  2. Doug Parker
    December 29, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Good stuff, Brian!

    A couple of other interesting things from baseball-reference:

    -Ed Kranepool led the ’72 team in games played with just 122.
    -The team’s Pythagorean W-L was 72-84, but they finished 83-73. (A strike wiped out the first 6-8 games of the season that year.)

    The Manager of the Year award was not introduced until 1983, but it looks like Yogi would’ve garnered some strong support if it had existed in 1972…

  3. December 30, 2012 at 8:40 am

    I was 10 years old and knew each player, number, and baseball card. In spite of the record, it felt like a magical year as I was able to see many of the games on TV, play Little League, and whiffle ball, without a care in the world. This line up brought me back. If memory serves me well, John “The Hammer” Milner was on Kiner’s Korner, when they were saying their ‘goodbyes’ when Milner said, “See you tomorrow, Ralph” and made us all laugh.

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