Who made the most errors in a single season for the New York Mets? I don’t think it’s a common knowledge answer. In my research into the club’s past, I found the answer very quickly out of sheer dumb luck.
Way back in 1962, the Mets were lovable losers. National League baseball returned to New York after a brief hiatus. With it came the worst team in modern day baseball, the inaugural Mets.
While it was Marv Throneberry who would have the reputation as the club’s worst defender, he did not end up with the most errors on the roster. His 17 was topped by four teammates including the man who would set an unbreakable Mets record with 32 errors in a single year.
In 1962, Rod Kanehl set an unbreakable Mets record when he made 32 errors
Rod Kanehl was the guy to do it. Even though Charlie Neal (28 errors), Elio Chacon (22 errors), and Felix Mantilla (20 errors) had some perverted seasons on defense, nobody saw his name associated with an official error more than Kanehl.
And nobody, at least not in a single season, would make more for the Mets in all of the years since.
Kanehl was a unique player on this squad. His rookie year as well as the Mets’, he played all over the field. His primary position was second base where he would make 22 errors in 392 chances. But the miscues didn’t stop there. He made 8 more at third base in 63 chances, 1 in center field in 16 chances, and another at first base in 19 chances.
Every position other than pitcher and catcher was occupied by Kanehl at some point in 1962. This was a theme throughout his three big league seasons with the Mets.
As legendarily poor as his 1962 season was on defense, he didn’t even lead the league in errors. Two more recognizable names for the average baseball fan made more. Dick Groat committed a league-leading 38 errors with Maury Willis making 36. Ironically, Willis won a Gold Glove in 1962.
No Mets player will ever get the chance to make as many errors as Kanehl did. The added DH to the National League ensures it. And even without it, players just don’t commit nearly as many in today’s game.
A record no one wants to have but someone must, multiple decades later, it’s in no danger of ever being broken.