Saturday, July 19, 2008

Early Memories of a Mets Player with a Lanky Build

1967 Topps #91 - Johnny Lewis - Courtesy of
One of my earliest memories of being a Mets fan was watching Johnny Lewis on TV. Johnny was the New York Mets outfielder from 1965 to 1967. For some reason, the incident that sticks in my mind is on Johnny stepping up to the plate, and the announcer saying, "Johnny Lewis: the fans like his lanky build." Over the years, I've thought this could have sounded condescending, but in 1965, this would have merely been looking on the bright side.

Johnny never really got the bat going. He was a lifetime .227 hitter, but in 1965, he had a career year, hitting .245 with 15 homers and 45 RBIs. I assume that, on some other team, he might have had about 70 RBIs, but I don't think the Mets were putting a lot of guys on base in front of him in 1965. Johnny's other claim to fame in 1965 was that he homered in the 11th inning to break up Jim Maloney's no-hitter and win the game for the Mets, 1-0. With wins rare at the time, this must have been a euphoric thrill for the fans.

Johnny was also an excellent fielder who was third in assists in 1965.

Johnny, thanks for providing some nice memories for this Mets fan!

Johnny Lewis - full stats at the Baseball Almanac

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