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Jim Hickman, Chico Fernandez and Bobby Gene Smith, former Mets players, pass away

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  • Jim Hickman, Chico Fernandez and Bobby Gene Smith, former Mets players, pass away

    Outfielder Jim Hickman played for the Mets from their inception in 1962 to 1966. He was one of their few sources of power, slugging double digit home runs each of his first four seasons. He led the club with 17 in 1963, with that mark also a career-high. In 1966, he was traded with Ron Hunt to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Tommy Davis and Derrell Griffith. He died June 25 at 79.

    Former Major League All-Star Jim HIckman, who was born and raised in Henning, Tenn., died Saturday. He was 79 and in hospice care.

    HIckman's son Joey is the longtime golf pro at Old Hickory Country Club.
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    Chico Fernandez was not an original Met, though he was close -- the shortstop played in 58 games games for the club in 1963, hitting .200 in 145 at-bats. He came to the Mets after being involved in two trades on the same day: On May 8, 1963, the Tigers traded him to Milwaukee, who then traded him to New York for pitcher Larry Foss. Less than a year later, in April 1964, the Mets sent him with minor leaguer Bobby Catton to the White Sox for third baseman Charley Smith. He never played for the Sox, with the Mets his last big league stop. He died June 11 at 84.

    Humberto (Chico) Fernandez, the first regular starting Latino player for the Detroit Tigers, died Saturday night in Florida due to complications from a stroke suffered on May 19. He was 84.

    The Cuban native was the starting shortstop for the Tigers from 1960 to the beginning of 1963 when he was traded to the New York Mets and replaced by Dick McAuliffe. McAuliffe died May 13.
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    Bobby Gene Smith, also known as Bobby Smith, was an original Met. He appeared in eight games for the club in 1962, having been taken from the Phillies as the 32nd pick in the expansion draft. He wasn't long for the Big Apple, however -- on April 26, 1962, he was traded to the Cubs for catcher Sammy Taylor. In his eight games with New York, he batted .136. He died November 24, 2015 at 84.

    Hood River native Bobby Gene Smith, 81, passed into the Kingdom of Heaven on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015, at home. Bob was born in Hood River on May 28, 1934, to Henry and Grace Smith. He is survived by his sisters Frances and Betty of Hood River; brother Frank of Vancouver, Wash.; his four children: Michael Smith, of The Dallas, Ore., David Smith, of Dallas, Texas, Vicki Kissler Smith, of Seattle, Wash., and Mark Owens, of Tacoma, Wash.; and his twin grandsons, Josh and Tony, of Tacoma.

    After graduation, Bob went into Major League Baseball and played for 17 years. From there he went to work for the city of Tacoma, Wash., until his retirement.
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