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Three Mets players best known for one fantastic defensive catch

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Mike Baxter #23 of the New York Mets wears an American flag on his uniform and cap during the game against the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field on September 11, 2011 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Mike Baxter #23 of the New York Mets wears an American flag on his uniform and cap during the game against the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field on September 11, 2011 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK – AUGUST 22: Ron Swoboda speaks at a press conference commemorating the New York Mets 40th anniversary of the 1969 World Championship team on August 22, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

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.

In the ninth inning, Swoboda made a spectacular catch in right field to steal a hit away from future Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson.

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.

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