By writer to metsmerizedonline.com
On this date in 1962, the Mets signed 17-year-old Ed Kranepool. He would make his Main League debut later that 12 months at 17 years and 318 days outdated.
Kranepool, 75, just lately battled renal illness and had a profitable life-saving kidney transplant.
Eddie was on a ready record for 2 years earlier than he lastly discovered a donor who was an ideal match, Deborah Barbieri, a 56 12 months outdated Mets fan from Nassau County.
Barbieri’s husband had additionally undergone a profitable kidney transplant and so they each needed to “pay it ahead.” Eddie’s spouse Monica, who had been hoping and praying for a donor for 2 years, known as the transplant “a miracle.”
Kranepool was signed by the Mets in 1962 as a wide-eyed 17 year-old from the Bronx, and over a 18 12 months span, he would play a franchise file 1,853 video games for the Mets. He turned very shut with then supervisor Casey Stengel who turned type of a father determine for Eddie.
Casey, who may rival Yogi Berra together with his fast wit and oftentimes amusing quips, as soon as had this to say about his teenager Eddie Kranepool…
“We’ve acquired a few youngsters right here named Kranepool and Goossen, and so they’re each 20 years outdated. In 10 years Kranepool has an opportunity to be a star. In 10 years Goossen has an opportunity to be 30.”
I turned an enormous Eddie Kranepool fan in the direction of the top of his profession within the mid-seventies. By then, Eddie was restricted to a bench function and was the crew’s high pinch-hitter – and what a pinch-hitter he was.
I recall one explicit recreation I attended in the course of the summer season of 1974, when the Mets have been internet hosting our newest arch-rival, the Cincinnati Reds. I bear in mind it prefer it was yesterday. Tom Seaver was on the mound for the Mets however he wasn’t his typical dominant self and the crew was down 3-1 heading into the underside of the seventh.
With a considerably packed home, the followers have been clamoring for some offense because the Mets have been working out of outs. Supervisor Yogi Berra could possibly be seen patting Seaver on the again as Ed Kranepool grabbed a bat and stepped to the plate because the chants of “Eddie! Eddie! Eddie!” rained down from a boisterous crowd hoping for a giant hit. I nonetheless get goosebumps each time I give it some thought.
Nearly as if on cue, Kranepool lined a two-out single that sparked a two-run rally that might ultimately finish on a towering residence run by The Hammer – John Milner for you unwashed youthful Met followers. Shea Stadium shook to it’s basis as the group, delirious with satisfaction, have been up on their ft cheering on the high of their lungs as your entire stadium resonated with bursts of, “Lets Go Mets! Lets Go Mets.” It was superior.
After all, what I didn’t know then, was that Ed Kranepool would go on to change into one of the preeminent pinch-hitters within the historical past of the sport, and to this present day, he nonetheless holds the file for the best pinch-hitting batting common in a season, .486 in 1974 (min 30 PA).
Ed Kranepool wasn’t a big-time bat, as his profession .693 OPS would attest, but when ever there was a shining instance of a clutch hitter – Eddie was it. He was additionally an integral a part of that 1969 Miracle Mets crew, rising to the event each time the sport was on the road in that magical season.
In 48 plate appearances with two outs and runners in scoring place, Kranepool batted an unbelievable .342 in 1969, with a .479 on-base proportion, and a .953 OPS in 1969, with 4 walk-off hits.
Ed Kranepool has earned his place in Mets royalty, and it’s not as a result of he performed for them longer than every other participant. Eddie was as clutch as they got here, however he was additionally one of many classiest gamers ever to put on the Orange and Blue and a real fan favourite. He stays of the true nice ambassadors the Mets have ever had.