Wednesday, November 24, 2010

#449 Mets Rookie Stars: Jerry Hinsley and Gary Kroll

#449 Mets Rookie Stars: Jerry Hinsley and Gary Kroll
Could there be a bigger difference in appearance between these two guys? Jerry Hinsley looks like he's posing for his middle school yearbook photo, and Gary Kroll doesn't look a day over 40.

Fun facts about Jerry Hinsley:

-Jerry was born in Hugo, OK and went to high school in Las Cruces, NM before signing with the Pirates in 1963.

-As noted on the card back, the Mets claimed Jerry in the first-year player draft in December 1963.

-He opened the 1964 season on the major league roster, making his big league debut at age 19 on April 18. He allowed two runs in relief, followed up with back-to-back scoreless appearances, and then allowed multiple runs in five of six games to leave him with an 8.22 ERA. He was sent to AAA at the end of May.

-Hinsley spent the rest of that year and the following three seasons in the minors, resurfacing for a September callup in 1967. He gave up two runs in two relief innings in his first appearance, and salvaged things with three scoreless innings in his next game, which would prove to be his last in the majors.

-His MLB totals, such as they were, included an 0-2 record and a 7.08 ERA.

-He continued pitching in the minors until the 1971 season, finally calling it a career with a 44-61 record and a 3.95 ERA in eight minor league seasons.

-If you're looking for a silver lining in Jerry's brief big league career, he struck out four future Hall of Famers: Orlando Cepeda, Lou Brock, and pitchers Juan Marichal and Bob Gibson.

Fun facts about Gary Kroll:

-A native of Culver City, CA, Gary signed with the Phillies in 1959.

-He was an imposing presence on the mound, standing 6'6" and weighing 220 pounds. He pitched two no-hitters in the minors and struck out scores of batters, including 309 in 257 innings in the California League in 1960.

-Kroll debuted with Philadelphia in July 1964, but pitched only two games before being traded to the Mets in the deal that brought Frank Thomas to the Phils.

-In his first start for New York, Gary set a career high with eight strikeouts in six innings, but dropped a 3-2 decision to the Cubs.

-He pitched in 32 games in 1965, going 6-6 with a 4.45 ERA and a save.

-His only career game was a rain-shortened 7-1 win over the Giants on April 18, 1965. Gary pitched seven innings, striking out eight and allowing only four hits.

-Following a January 1966 trade, Kroll made ten relief appearances for the Astros, compiling a 3.80 ERA and striking out 22 in 23.2 innings.

-He did not return to the majors until 1969, when he put up a 4.13 ERA in 19 games for the Indians. He allowed earned runs in only five of those games, including a whopping five runs in one inning in his final appearance on July 12. Unfortunately, that was the final big league game of his career.

-In parts of four seasons, Gary was 6-7 with a 4.24 ERA. He struck out 138 runs in 159.1 innings.

-Like Jerry Hinsley, Kroll continued pitching in the minors until 1971, finishing with a 72-67 record and a 3.61 ERA.

#449 Mets Rookie Stars: Jerry Hinsley and Gary Kroll (back)


  1. I remember getting this card as a kid in '65 and my first impression was that Gary Kroll looked a heck of alot like Gomer Pyle.

  2. Anonymous,

    Then you should check out a Claude Osteen card. His nickname WAS Gomer!

  3. Boy, the Mets had some great prospects in those years, huh?

    I always find it interesting to read about guys that had very brief stays in the majors. I wonder if they spend the rest of their lives enjoying the fact that they made it at all or being unhappy that they didn't succeed. I guess it varies.

  4. Marc - I'd say you're right. Everyone has a different outlook on life.