Tuesday, April 21, 2009

40 Years Later: The 1969 NY Mets

This season we will celebrate and chronicle the players of the 1969 NY Mets.

Ed Charles was born Edward Thurston Charles on April 29, 1933 -was born in Daytona Beach, Florida. Charles is 5'10", and his playing weight was 170 lbs. He batted and threw right handed. Charles, who was well respected by his teammates, was affectionately known as 'The Glider' and 'The Poet Laureate Of Baseball."

Charles was originally drafted by the Boston Braves in 1952. Charles didn't advance to the pro club due to Hall of Famer Eddie Matthews occypying 3B. While in the Braves Minor League system, Charles was introduced to racism in the deep south. The poetry Charles would later pen would reflect the frustration and racism he encountered in the deep south.

In 1962 The Glider was traded to the Kansas City Athletics Again, he didn't get much notice, and was traded by the A's to the Mets for Larry Elliot on May 10, 1967.

After the 1967 season, in November, the Mets waived Ed Charles. He tried out, and made the Mets in 1968.

In 1968, Charles led the Mets with 15 HR's for a poor Mets team that only scored a total of 478 runs. He knocked in 53 runs, and hit a respectable .276 AVG. His 15 HR's led the Mets.

In 1969, the Mets 'Magical Season', Charles split his 3b duties with rookie Wayne Garrett. As is common today, but not in 1969, Charles played against lefties while Garrett played against righties.

In the 1969 World Series against the Baltimore Orioles, Charles scored the winning run in game 2 on a single by Al Weis. Of the five games played in 1969, Charles participated in four.

The Mets won the World Championship in five games, sweeping four after losing game 1. After the series Charles announced his retirement, deciding to retire on a high note.

Charles will never be considered for the Hall Of Fame, but the leadership he provided to a young Mets team in 1969 is invaluable. Charles always handled himself with class, and, along with 1B Donn Clendenon, taught the Mets how to win.

Althought his career was interrupted by racism, Eddie Matthews, and military service (1/2 of 1953 and 1954 seasons), that didn't prevent Charles from being a memeber of the 1962 Topps All Star Rookie Team, and a leader of the World Champion New York Mets.

We here at 24 Hours From Suicide...A Day In The Life Of A Met Fan salute the Glider for his hardwork, loyalty, and tutalidge to help a young team learn and accomplish baseball's Holy Grail.

Sources: Scout.com, Ultimeate Mets Database, Baseball Library


Long Island Met Fan said...

never saw him play but remember him always being mentioned when it comes to the 69 team... Great post!

Free Sports Betting said...

The Glider was an amazing asset to the Mets. It worked out perfectly with all the trades for him to actually land with the '69 team.

Leaving on a high note is what some athletes should do these days.

Maddy said...

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barbedwiirefences@hotmail.com said...

I had the distinct pleasure of working and seeing the ball player Ed Charles play and devote time to under privilage children.He is a man of strong character and high standards.Ed was a good mentor and postive co worker I really enjoyed our conversations when we talked baseball.It saddens me that most of the juveniles did'nt gravitate to his story of growing up in poverty and becoming a professional ball player.barbedwirefences@hotmail.com

Kwame Coston said...

I was a precociously knowledgeable 10 year-old Met fan when Ed Charles and his teammates won the 1969 World Series. As I've grown older I have a deeper appreciation of the Character of Ed Charles' work with "at-risk" children. This is Class!