When it comes to memorable defensive plays, these three New York Mets players from the past are most remembered for one moment of glory with the glove.
Defense is a big part of winning in baseball. Unfortunately, it sometimes goes overlooked. New York Mets fans appreciate good glove work because of how few men have worn the team’s uniform and excelled on this side of the baseball.
Throughout the franchise’s history, however, three men stand out for one particular play on defense. They weren’t the best players by any stretch. In fact, they may have been forgotten if not for one fantastic catch.
I’m not sure there’s any other franchise in MLB history with this many memorable catches from otherwise innocuous players. These franchise-defining plays remain a big part of Mets history many years later. I don’t expect anything to change either.
Ron Swoboda in the 1969 World Series
The 1969 World Series will have its place in the hearts of Mets fans everywhere. It was the first victory for the franchise. The accomplishment was achieved by a likable group of men who may not have had the most talent, but certainly had plenty of heart.
One member of the team was Ron Swoboda. The outfielder had been with the team since 1965. In this year, he was more of a part-time player. As some may even recall, he didn’t play a single inning in the NLCS sweep versus the Atlanta Braves.
Things were a little different for Swoboda in the World Series. He participated in four of the team’s games, batting .400 in his 16 trips to the plate. His most memorable moment came in the ninth inning of Game Four.
Something not always mentioned with this catch is that it did allow the Baltimore Orioles to score the tying run. Fellow future Hall of Famer Frank Robinson scored from third base on the sacrifice fly. However, with Swoboda making such an amazing grab, the Orioles may have scored more. Instead, the game was tied after nine. The Mets would later win in 10 innings, making Swoboda’s catch even more important.