Trades that shaped the Mets: The 1960s

We’ve encountered a lot of speculation lately about which players the Mets should obtain this off-season.  The team must assess their areas of strength and weakness (both at the major and minor league levels) and decide how to address those areas.

This is, of course, nothing new.  The Mets actually dealt the first player they ever drafted after only 23 games. In 1962, the Mets dealt catcher Hobie Landrith for first baseman, Marv Throneberry.

Jerry Grote was obtained in a trade with the Houston Astros in exchange for pitcher, Tom Parsons.  In 1966, Grote’s display of outstanding defensive skills during spring training earned him the starting catcher’s job.  He edged out Greg Goossen and the team never looked back.

Tommy DavisIn 1967, newly appointed GM, Bing Devine traded Ron Hunt and Jim Hickman to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Tommy Davis and Derrel Griffith.  Then the Mets traded Dennis Ribant to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Don Bosch and Don Cardwell.  Bosch flopped in center field but Cardwell became a steady, dependable presence on the team’s pitching staff throwing 475.2 innings with a 3.31 ERA over the course of four years.

In 1968, Tommy Davis became part of the package sent to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for the 1966 American League Rookie-of-the-Year, Tommie Agee.  New manager, Gil Hodges (who himself was obtained in a trade with the Washington Senators in exchange for pitcher Bill Denehy) urged the team to make the deal that sent Davis and pitcher Jack Fisher to the White Sox in exchange for Agee.  Another important acquisition before the start of the ‘68 season was the trade which sent infielder Bob Johnson to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for outfielder, Art Shamsky.

In 1969, as a result of a series of actions and reactions, slugger Donn Clendenon became a Met on June 15, 1969.  The Mets acquired him from the Montreal Expos (the Expos had resigned him after he had refused a deal which would have sent him from Montreal to Houston).  The trade between the Expos and the Mets sent the slugger to Shea Stadium in exchange for Kevin Collins, Steve Renko, Jay Carden, and Dave Colon.

Some other notable members of the 1969 World Series team acquired via trade are:

1. Al Weis – also acquired in the Tommy Davis for Tommie Agee deal in 1968.
2. J. C. Martin – acquired as “the player to be named later” in the deal which sent Ken Boyer to the Chicago White Sox in 1967.
3. Ed Charles – acquired by the Mets from the Kansas City Athletics in exchange for Larry Elliot in 1967.
4. Al Jackson – reacquired by the Mets from St. Louis as the “player to be named later” in the deal which sent Jack Lamabe to the Cardinals.

Up Next: The Seventies (Yeah, maybe not as good as the Sixties).

9 comments for “Trades that shaped the Mets: The 1960s

  1. NormE
    November 2, 2013 at 10:03 am

    Jim, I love this stroll down memory lane. These names bring back memories of a time that the Mets helped heal the loss of the Brooks to LA.

  2. NormE
    November 2, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    On further recall, I think you overlooked Frank Thomas (no, the other one) who led the Mets in homeruns during his short tenure.
    And then there was Chuck (“clang”) Hiller.

  3. Jerseymet
    November 4, 2013 at 11:18 am

    The Clendenon trade was vital in bringing about the ’69 miracle. Donn was a solid right handed bat with power. His veteran leadership solidified the team. That trade should be included in the all time great Met trades. Clearly Donn was not a Piazza, Hernandez or Carter; but he was the right man at the right moment.

  4. Jim OMalley
    November 4, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    In total agreement on Don C!

  5. November 5, 2013 at 10:22 am

    I remember when the Mets got Clendenon I was “who?” But it turned out to be one of the better trades in Mets history.

  6. November 5, 2013 at 11:03 am

    I always think of some alternate universe where the Mets keep Tommy Davis and use him as a CF until Amos Otis is ready to take his place.

    FWIW – the Mets traded Al Jackson to the Reds during the ’69 season so he was not on the team when they won the World Series.

    • November 5, 2013 at 1:22 pm

      Davis had historically bad legs by the time he got to the Mets. I don’t see that he would have been able to handle CF until 1969.

  7. Jerseymet
    November 5, 2013 at 11:12 am

    Donn, at almost 34 years old seemed ancient when he came to the Mets- that team was so young. At first base, he had an amazing stretch, not seen often in today’s game. I recall his personal dignity. One which may have been forged in his time in the Negro Leagues or with the help of his “Big Brother” at Morehouse College,none other than Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

  8. Jim OMalley
    November 5, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    I think the Mets sold Jackson to the Reds. I don’t think they got any player back in exchange.

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