This Day in Mets History: Ed Kranepool signs with the team at 17

Los Angeles Dodgers v New York Mets
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Ed Kranepool was past the edge of seventeen when he signed with the New York Mets on June 27, 1962. Unlike the white winged dove who sings a song, sounds like she’s singing, he was about to embark on a professional sports career earlier than most.  A graduate of James Monroe High School in New York, he was the ideal person to create the legacy he did with the team.

Kranepool fast-tracked himself through the minors and made his MLB debut on September 22. He’d go back to the minors for a good portion of the 1963 season but in his age 20 season in 1965, Kranepool landed his first and only All-Star appearance.

The Mets record Ed Kranepool still owns and the legacy he left

It wasn’t until David Wright came along when Kranepool began to see his records fall. Along with Ed Hearn, these remain the only three to play ten or more seasons with the Mets and no other club. 

Naturally, Kranepool was able to amass multiple Mets records. His 1418 hits stood as the most in franchise history but has since been passed by Wright with 1777 and Jose Reyes with 1534.

Wright now owns many of those accumulative franchise records. The superior of the two players, the one record he couldn’t reach was Kranepool’s game played. Wright played all 1585 of his MLB games with the Mets. Kranepool blew the total away with 1853 games.

From his three games in 1962 through the 82 in 1979, Kranepool worked as a first baseman and corner outfielder for the team. Many of those seasons were in a platoon or part-time situation. After appearing in 127 games in 1968 as a 23-year-old, Kranepool never topped 125 again in any one season.

This didn’t prevent him from contributing. He had a bit of a resurgence in 1971 following a terrible 1970 campaign. Kranepool slashed .280/.340/.447 for the Mets. All set new personal highs. So did his 58 RBI.

 A few years later in 1974, Kranepool slashed .300/.350/.415. It was actually part of a strong stretch from 1974-1977 when he combined to bat .299/.349/.419. Unfortunately, none of those years included a Mets postseason run.

Kranepool was, of course, a member of those 1969 and 1973 Mets but in a limited capacity both times. He played only one game in the 1969 World Series and in the eighth inning he did something Wright would do in 2015, hit a home run.

Forever a fan-favorite and an all-around superstar person, it all began with the amateur free agent signing on June 27, 1962.

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