Mets: Three trades with the Astros that led to a World Series appearance
By Tim Boyle
Stability Behind the Plate for a Decade
The first trade the Mets ever made with the Astros took place on October 19, 1965. Tom Parsons became the player to be named later in the deal which first brought longtime catcher Jerry Grote to New York.
Grote’s career in Houston got off to a rough start. In his first full season with the team in 1964, he batted only .181. Houston was clearly ready to move on.
Things weren’t much better in New York. Grote hit .237 in 1966 and .195 in 1967. He reached a new level in 1968. Grote found his big league swing and slashed .282/.357/.349. The surprisingly improved bat earned him the first of two All-Star selections.
Grote continued to hit well during his many years in New York. Even when he began sharing more time with John Stearns, Grote was a contributor both at and behind the plate. This is the guy who caught Tom Seaver plenty in the early years. He deserves at least a portion of the credit.
How Grote relates to a championship trip is quite obvious. He played for the 1969 Mets and gave them something every team needs: stability behind the plate.
Going one step further, Grote was also present with the 1973 Miracle Mets who made another run to the championship. Unfortunately, this one didn’t end with a parade in New York.
Grote may not have won any major award like Knight or put together any season that compares to what Hampton did in 2000. He gave this organization something different. He was the general behind the plate for more than a decade during a positive stretch for the franchise.
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If we’re lucky, the Mets get another name on this list when J.D. Davis leads the team to the Promised Land.