Mets best trades made in November throughout the franchise’s history
By Tim Boyle
4) Mets trade Bob Johnson for Art Shamsky
The day was November 8, 1967, when Art Shamsky joined the Mets. After several seasons with the Cincinnati Reds, he was changing big league uniforms for the first time in his career.
The deal sent Bob Johnson to the Reds. A somewhat innocuous deal turned into a bigger one for the team at Shea. They were picking up a guy that could play some solid defense for them. What they didn’t realize was his bat was about to improve shortly after coming to the Big Apple.
Shamsky didn’t have a great year in 1968. He hit .238 in 381 plate appearances. It was typical of what he did during his time with the Reds. Something turned around the following year. Shamsky, playing mostly in a platoon with Ron Swoboda, slashed .300/.375/.488 for the 1969 Mets squad. He was one of the club’s main sources of power, knocking 14 home runs in 349 trips to the plate.
Shamsky continued to play well into 1970. This time, he hit .293/.371/.432 in 458 plate appearances.
In the postseason, Shamsky watched mostly from the bench. He did get 13 plate appearances versus the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS, logging 7 singles and driving in a run. His action was limited in the World Series to six opportunities to hit across three games.
Although short-lived, Shamsky became one of those legendary players that remains an icon in franchise lore. Right there with Ed Kranepool and some other notable early members of the franchise, he’s a guy many immediately think of when they look back fondly at the miraculous 1969 season.