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.
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.
In 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).