He had one AB in the 1968 season but earned more playing time in 1969. He had one at bat in the 1969 World Series. He hit an Opening Day three-run pinch-hit HR at Shea Stadium in 1969. He kept earning additional playing time each year through 1972 when he achieved his career high of 363 total PAs.
Beginning in June of 1972, Dyer started more and more games behind the plate. He responded by hitting 8 HRs and knocking in 36 RBIs. In September, it was revealed that Grote had been dealing with bone chips in his right elbow. He earned NL player-of -the-Week from June 12-18 with a .364 BA, 2 HRs, and 7 RBIs. In 1972, he led NL catchers in baserunners caught stealing and double plays turned by a catcher. He finished second in assists and third in fielding percentage. He even managed to get in a game in rightfield for the team in 1972.
Although his playing time diminished in 1973 (he only amassed 204 PAs), he still contributed to the Mets drive for the pennant when, in September, he hit a dramatic two out, run-scoring, pinch-hit double against the Pirates to help win the game.
Following the 1974 season, he was dealt to the Pirates for Gene Clines. He went on to play for seven more years and retired from the game in 1981.
While writing this, I came across an article that his World Series ring had been stolen back in 2009. I couldn’t locate any closure on that story. So if you know where his ring is, its time to come forward with the details.
NOTE: I distinctly remember him batting clean-up during his 1972 hot-streak. Does anyone else?