The recent death of Duke Snider brings back memories of his days in New York, not as a Dodger, but as a Met. When the NY Mets were first formed in 1962, they were a joke of ballclub (insert joke here about the Mets of today). The National League expansion entry was formed to replace the departed Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants (which is why the Mets’ colors are blue and orange) and fend off the prospect of Branch Rickey creating an alternative to Major League Baseball, known as the Continental League.
For fear that they could not attract local attention against the powerhouse Yankees, the Mets went out of their way to import players from the Giants and the Dodgers from their days in New York. Unfortunately for those early Mets, the players took their talent with them to the West Coast and didn’t bring it back with them when they returned to New York.
By using Baseball-Reference.com, I was able to pull together the members of the Brooklyn Dodgers/NY Giants/NY Mets alumni club.
Nine players played for the Brooklyn Dodgers (1884-1957) and New York Mets (NL, 1962-present): Bob Aspromonte, P-Roger Craig, Chico Fernandez, Gil Hodges (later the Mets manager), P-Clem Labine, Charlie Neal, Joe Pignatano, Duke Snider, and Don Zimmer.
While no player ever played for the Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Giants, and New York Mets or the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Giants, and the New York Mets, Duke Snider and Joe Pignatano were the only players to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, and New York Mets. Snider will be remembered for his Hall of Fame play, and Piggy will be remembered as the only player in baseball history to hit into a triple play in his last at bat in the majors. Of course, it was for the 1962 Mets.
It was brought to my attention, by two of my observant readers, that I made a serious omission in compiling my list. It was not a player, but the Mets first manager, Casey Stengel. Casey managed three of the New York teams:
|Brooklyn Dodgers||3 years||463||208||251||.453||6.0|
|Boston Braves||6 years||870||373||491||.432||6.5|
|New York Yankees||12 years||1851||1149||696||.623||1.3||10 Pennants and 7 World Series Titles|
|New York Mets||4 years||582||175||404||.302||10.0|
|25 years||3766||1905||1842||.508||4.5||10 Pennants and 7 World Series Titles|
And Stengel played for two of them:
|BRO (6 yrs)||676||2702||2377||311||646||100||50||29||292||254||281||.272|
|NYG (3 yrs)||177||552||490||91||171||20||15||12||93||42||40||.349|
|PIT (2 yrs)||128||512||443||56||124||14||11||5||55||51||49||.280|
|BSN (2 yrs)||143||533||474||57||130||20||6||5||41||46||41||.274|
|PHI (2 yrs)||153||570||504||60||148||28||7||9||54||44||42||.294|
While we’re at it, Wes Westrum played 11 seasons for the NY Giants and managed the Mets for three seasons and the SF GIants for two. As previously mentioned, Gil Hodges played for the Brooklyn and LA Dodgers and the Mets and then managed the Mets for four seasons. Yogi Berra will be the inspiration for another column as he played for and managed both the Yankees and the Mets. Brooklyn-born Joe Torre played for the Mets and managed the Mets, Yankees and LA Dodgers. Frank Howard played for the LA Dodgers and managed the Mets. Jeff Torborg played for the LA Dodgers and managed the Mets. Bobby Valentine played for the Mets and the LA Dodgers and managed the Mets. Willie Randolph played for the Yankees, Mets, and LA Dodgers and managed the Mets.
Thanks to Chris and Stephen for the idea for the update.