Baseball Characters | Led by Bill "The Spaceman" Lee
Most of us remember baseball players for their power, speed, pitching, or defensive prowess. However, throughout the sport’s history, some players are better remembered for other more unique reasons. For example, over the years there have been a handful of players who have stood out for their eccentric personalities and antics. Here are some of those players: Bill “The Spaceman” Lee – remembered for his on-field antics and for his personalized “Leephus” pitch, his version of the low-speed junk pitch known ordinarily known as an Eephus pitch. Al “The Mad Hungarian” Hrabosky – remembered for his Fu Manchu mustache, long hair, and for his tendency to stomp to the back of the mound to psych himself up. Turk Wendell – best known for his plethora of superstitions, including brushing his teeth in the dugout between each inning. Mark “The Bird” Fidrych – Became an instant fan favorite as a rookie in 1976 due to his on-field success and strange behavior. For example, Fidrych often talked to himself and to the baseball while on the mound and would also strut around the mound after each out. He was nicknamed “The Bird” due to his unusual resemblance to Sesame Street character Big Bird.
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In 1962 Casey Stengel led the hapless New York Mets to a 40 - 120 record in their first season as a franchise
1962 NEW YORK METS - In 1962, National League baseball returned to New York with the expansion Mets, whose orange and blue colors were chosen to represent the departed New York franchises of the Giants and Dodgers, respectively. However, uniform color was the only way in which these Mets mimicked the successful franchises of New York’s past. The expansion Mets finished last in the 10-team National League, losing 120 games, the most losses by a major league team since 1899. The Mets finished 60 ½ games behind the pennant winning San Francisco Giants, and even finished 18 games behind the 9th place Chicago Cubs. The Mets lost their first 9 games of the season, and also had separate losing streaks of 17, 13, and 11 games during the season. Only one player on the team hit over 16 home runs (Frank Thomas – 34 home runs) and only one regular player hit over .300 (Richie Ashburn - .306). Pitcher Roger Craig lost 24 games and Al Jackson lost 20 games. Other pitchers posted records such as 8-19, 3-17, and 1-12. Such futility led Manager Casey Stengel to ask “Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game?” The Mets would go on to lose at least 109 games in each of the next three seasons, but a turnaround was not far off for Met fans as the 1969 Miracle Mets won the World Series in the franchise’s 8th season.
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