Monday, March 07, 2011

#144 Ed Kranepool

#144 Ed Kranepool
I'm going to start this post with a reminder that you can track my progress in completing this set by peering at the left sidebar. Now that I'm so close to the finish line, I've decided to take matters into my own hands. If I see a card that I still need and the price is right, I'll plunk down some cash for it. With a few such purchases over the weekend and another small trade, I now have 570 of the 598 cards. This puts me over the 95% mark...I can barely believe it! Thanks to everyone who's helped out, even if you just stopped by to read my words and offer a few remarks of encouragement.

Fun facts about Ed Kranepool:

-Ed was born in New York City and signed with the fledgling Mets at age 17 in 1962.

-He bolted through three levels of the farm system and debuted in New York on September 22, 1962; he was the youngest player in the majors at the time.

-Despite a couple of midseason demotions to AAA Buffalo, Kranepool was the Mets' most frequent starter at first base in 1964. He batted .257 with a .310 on-base percentage and .393 slugging. Among starters, only Ron Hunt and Joe Christopher topped his 100 OPS+ for the lowly club.

-A great first half in 1965 (.287, 18 2B) earned Ed his only All-Star selection. However, a second-half slump dropped his average to .253.

-In 1966, his team-leading 16 home runs represented a career high. Ken Boyer (61 RBI) was the only Met to surpass the first baseman's 57 runs driven in.

-He was not one of the stronger hitters on the 1969 "Miracle Mets" club, and Donn Clendenon got most of the starts at first base in that year's World Series. However, Ed's solo home run capped the scoring in a 5-0 victory over the Orioles in Game Three of the Fall Classic.

-After a disastrous 1970 season (.170 AVG, no extra-base hits in 43 games, a demotion to AAA), Kranepool rebounded the following year with a line of .280/.340/.447, 14 homers, and a personal-best 58 RBI.

-Near the end of his career, he settled into more of a supporting role. From 1974-1977, he batted .299/.349/.419 overall and had a .447 average (42-for-94) as a pinch hitter. His 17-for-35 performance (.486) in 1974 was the best-ever mark for a pinch hitter with 30 or more at-bats.

-Ed retired after the 1979 season having played for the Mets in each of their first 18 seasons of existence. He had a .261 career average, 118 home runs, and 614 RBI. His 1,853 games played are still a franchise record. David Wright currently stands at 1,004, and will have to remain healthy and stay in New York for six more years at least to top Kranepool.

-He has been a stockbroker and restaurateur in his post-baseball days, and was selected to the Mets Hall of Fame in 1990.
#144 Ed Kranepool (back)


  1. I went to so damn many Met games as a kid. I 'adopted' Stretch Kranepool as my rooting interest. All that ended after the '69 Series. At that point I decided all Mets were evil. Felt that way for about 20 years.

  2. Bob - I was just telling a friend on Saturday that I can tell that my O's fandom is in my blood because I was born 13 years after the 1969 Series and I still flinch when I come across a card of Al Weis or Tommie Agee.

  3. I got to meet Tommy Agee a couple of times through my uncle who was a friend of his. Nicest guy you could ever hope to meet, absolutely no ego, nice as could be to kids.

    I hated his guts anyway. :::shrug:::

  4. I have similar feelings about Rod Gaspar and J.C. Martin...

  5. Bob and Doug - Do the Mets' current horrendous financial problems give you any satisfaction?

  6. J.C. Martin........ aaaaah!

    No Kevin, I've gotten over all that as I've aged. Same for the Colts. And NC State upsetting my Houston Cougars. Age gives a better perspective, time heals all wounds, that sort of thing I guess.

    But I gotta tell ya that every time I see that clip of Jim Valvano running around the court like a mad mad, or hear the name 'Ron Swoboda' or see someone with a flat top haircut, a piece of my soul chips away.

  7. Kevin, I was a school kid in Upstate New York in 1969 and had to live through Colts/Jets and Orioles/Mets. Even the Baltimore Bullets were taken out by the Knicks around then, I believe. Still hurts...

  8. As a kid from Ohio and a Reds fan, the Mets created an excitement and a disbelief when they advanced to the series to take on Baltimore. I remember after watching the 1st game of the series the feeling that the rest of it probably was not going to be worth it--that Baltimore was starting the onslaught.

  9. THE great Eddie Kranepool story revolves around the infamous Memorial Day DH at Shea against the Giants, where the second game went 23 innings. The day before, Kranepool had been at AAA Buffalo, and played both ends of a DH there. After the second game, he got word that the Mets had recalled him back up to the Majors. He immediately drove right down the Thruway to New York, getting to Shea at about 9 am. He took a nap on the training table....and proceeded to play all 32 innings of THAT DH.....

    As Casey used to say, you can look it up on Retrosheet....