Mets Rumors & News
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David Wright had a monumental few days this week. On Tuesday he got his 1,000 hit, and yesterday he passed Ed Kranepool to become the all-time franchise leader in doubles with 226. Wright is recognized as the face of the franchise today (sorry, Gary Matthews Jr.), but Kranepool has been the real Mr. Met for as long as the team has existed. Where are all the Ed Kranepool retrospectives and celebrations this week? He may not have been the greatest player in baseball history or even on his own team or even on his own team at his own position, but there’s just something about the big lug that we all love. He has an indefinable quality – maybe he just epitomizes the Mets’ underdog history better than any other player. But what do we really know about him besides the fact that he’s a Met legend and holds many, many franchise records? For the kids out there (I’m always thinking of the kids), here are some facts about Ed Kranepool – and no, they’re not Chuck Norris−like facts. Ed Kranepool doesn’t need hyperbole; he’s Ed Kranepool.

-Born on November 8, 1944.

-Attended James Monroe High School in the Bronx.

-Made his major league debut for the Mets on September 22, 1962, as a defensive replacement for Gil Hodges. He grounded out to second in his first at-bat later in the game. He was 17 years old.

-Made his first start the next day, going 1-4, with a double.

-He wore #21 until the Mets acquired ageless (or was it aging?) Warren Spahn in 1965. Kranepool gave his number to the future Hall of Famer and former Milwaukee Brave in exchange for 10 pounds of bratwurst (I’m just guessing, though I think I saw the swap take place on one of those Mets Yearbooks SNY shows) and wore #7 the rest of his career.

-Made his only All-Star team in 1965. He was not allowed to play in the game, though.

-From 1962 to 1970, Kranepool batted .246 with an OPS of .656, but after switching to Gillette Foamy he hit .278 with an OPS of .732 for the rest of his career (well, a commercial he filmed in the late ’70s credits his switch to Gillette for that improvement).

-His career high in homers was 16 in 1966, RBI’s 58 in 1971 and batting average .323 in 1975.

-He batted .313 against Bob Gibson in 115 career at-bats, and .444 in nine at-bats against longtime teammate Tom Seaver after he was shipped off to the Reds.

-Hit a home run in game three of the 1969 World Series.

-Hit two home runs in a game six times, had six four-hit games and had one game where he was caught stealing twice.

-He was the only Met player invited to owner Joan Payson’s funeral.

-In 1971, he led the league with a .998 fielding percentage.

-From 1974 through 1978, he hit .396 as a pinch hitter, with a high of .486 in 1974 (with 17 pinch hits).

-His career numbers: .261/.316/.377, 1,418 hits, 225 doubles, 25 triples, 118 home runs, 614 RBI’s, 15 stolen bases.

-Franchise leader in games played, plate appearances, at-bats, hits, sacrifice flies and GIDP.

-Was called out in Chico Escuela’s book, Bad Stuff ’Bout the Mets. Here’s an excerpt: “Ed Kranepool: Borrow Chico’s soap – never give it back.”

-Retired at the age of 34 after the 1979 season. In his last game on September 30, 1979, he pinch hit for pitcher John Pacella in the seventh inning, doubling to right. Gil Flores pinch ran for him. The Mets beat the Cardinals, 4-2.

-Inducted into the New York Mets Hall of Fame in 1990.

-Still alive and entertaining Met fans everywhere with his stories and anecdotes about Casey Stengel, Buzz Capra and Bruce Boisclair.

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