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Living Inaugural New York Mets who played for the 1962 First NY Mets team.

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  • Living Inaugural New York Mets who played for the 1962 First NY Mets team.

    Which players who played at least one regular season game for the New York Mets are still living? Please indicate if the player was on the 1962 Opening Day roster or if they joined the team at some later date in the '62 season.

  • #2
    Originally posted by 1954 Phils View Post
    Which players who played at least one regular season game for the New York Mets are still living? Please indicate if the player was on the 1962 Opening Day roster or if they joined the team at some later date in the '62 season.
    The ones I know for sure are Frank Thomas and Ed Kranepool.

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    • #3
      This is a good starting point for reference as to who was on the team when and includes the opening day line up:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1962_New_York_Mets_season

      From opening day, Felix Mantilla, Frank Thomas and Hobie Landrith are still alive. Roger Craig, the opening day pitcher is also still alive.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by jjpm74 View Post
        This is a good starting point for reference as to who was on the team when and includes the opening day line up:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1962_New_York_Mets_season

        From opening day, Felix Mantilla, Frank Thomas and Hobie Landrith are still alive. Roger Craig, the opening day pitcher is also still alive.
        Frank Thomas is 90 and Roger Craig is due to turn 90 a few months from now in February 2020.with Landrith due to turn 90 a month after that (March 2020). Felix Mantilla is the "Youngster" among the players you mentioned. He turned just 85 on July 29.
        An interesting point about Thomas is that I met him at a baseball card and autograph signing show in Roselle Park, New Jersey almost a quarter of a century ago in March 1995. He was an avid baseball card collector, particularly from the 16 years that he played in the big leagues (1951 to 1966). a house fire had destroyed part or all o his collection and he was trying to reconstruct all of those sets, so he was not only signing autographs for fans, but he was on the lookout to buy cards to fill in the gaps of his collection. I previously had a negative opinion of him, because he had gotten into a fist fight with Richie 'Dick' Allen in 1965, which resulted in the Phillies showing him the door. Allen, however, was no saint and had an aggressive personality so he was at least partially responsible for the fight and after the fight probably used a lot of his influence with the front office to get Thomas booted out of Philadelphia. Actually at the point that I met the old Pirates and Mets slugger, Frank Thomas, when he was about 66 years old Thomas was a pretty mellow older guy. Besides, anybody who has a big baseball card collection can't be all bad..! One part of Phillies history few remember is that Thomas was traded to the Phillies in early August 1964. Among the players he was traded for was 3B/OF Wayne Graham, who had only two partial seasons in the big leagues, but when he retired he went back to college and earned a masters Degree in Physical Education and Coaching and he became a first a high school coach, then a junior college Coach and then head coach of a major college (Rice University). He would easily make the College Baseball Hall Of Fame coach at San Jacinto junior college and Rice University (both are located in Houston, TX). after 11 years at San Jacinto Junior college(1981-1991). He coached Rice for 27 seasons 1992-2018). and is one of the all-time winningest college coaches. Graham in all his years of baseball coaching at the high school, junior college and major college levels had only one losing season. He guided Rice Univ. to several appearance in The College World Series, winning all the marbles once (2002).
        Getting back to Frank Thomas and the 1964 Phillies: When Thomas came to the Phillies he started off like a house on fire. He was murdering all types of pitching and the Phillies were increasing their lead in the National League pennant race. Then in late August or in the first week of September, Thomas sustained a season-ending injury. That was the beginning of the end for the Phillies. They were said to be an ill-fated team, but it wasn't the fates that laid them low. It was their lack of offense during the stretch drive. In the last five weeks of the season, the Phillies lost an inordinate amount of one-run games, something that would never have happened if Thomas had been healthy and in the lineup every day. With Thomas leading the charge, the other offensive stalwarts of the Phils just would not have collapsed the way they did. Specifically, you'd have had better batting performances by Richie Allen, Johnny Callison, Tony Taylor, Tony Gonzalez, Clay Dalrymple, Cookie Rojas, Wes Covington, Bobby Wine, Johnny Herrnstein, Ruben Amaro Sr. and the others, largely because as the saying goes "Hot Hitting is contagious". The Phillies would never have gone into a swoon and they would have taken the NATIONAL LEAGUE PENNANT BY A COMFORTABLE MARGIN and they would have been rested as they awaited to see who would win the three-way American League pennant race between the eventual pennant-winning, New York Yankees, and the Chicago White Sox who finished 1 game back and the Baltimore Orioles, who finished as a strong third-place team ending up just two games off the Yankees pace. In a situation that was quite parallel to the Phillies loss of Frank Thomas, the league-leading Orioles lost their league lead after an early September injury to their slugging first baseman, Boog Powell.
        Last edited by 1954 Phils; 11-25-2019, 05:07 PM.

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        • #5
          Frank Thomas was at Citi Field signing autographs in June as part of the alumni weekends during every weekend home game all season. He is sharp as a tack. Rico Brogna also there that weekend. Players from every decade were there on weekends in honor of the 50th anniversary of 69. Jay Horwitz did a good job.

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