Leave it to Howie Rose to remember every little bit of New York Mets history. Less than 24 hours after the Mets hired John Gibbons to become their new bench coach, Rose reminded us of how Gibbons had already had an important indirect role with the organization.
A first round pick of the Mets in 1980, Gibbons was supposed to be the starting catcher in 1984. A knee injury got in the way. And then, well, let’s go to Howie.
John Gibbons earned his 1986 World Series ring
Who knew hurting your knee could help your team so much? The Mets picked up Gary Carter for the 1985 season and what many consider the missing was added to the equation.
Gibbons only played in 10 games for the club in 1984, going just 2 for 31. The entire 1985 season was spent in Triple-A and in 1986 Gibbons was summoned to the majors where he’d slash .474/.545/.842 in 22 plate appearances. He even added his first and only major league home run.
With Carter, the Mets had much less of a need for Gibbons. He was traded on April 1, 1988, to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Craig Shipley. Gibbons had another productive year in Triple-A, but struggled for the remainder of his professional career.
He never did actually get back to the majors again either. The 1989 season was spent with the Texas Rangers in Triple-A. He finished off with the Philadelphia Phillies and their Triple-A team in 1990.
Gibbons' one home run came in a 4 for 4 performance against those same Phillies on September 20, 1986. Carter, not one to sit out, played this game at first base. He’d receive only one more MLB at-bat when he pinch hit for Carter in Game 161.
How will he do as the Mets bench coach? Perhaps as indirectly as he helped the team win it all in 1986, Gibbons has the magic in him somewhere to do it again.