Better Know an 86 Met: Ron Darling
The 86 Mets were great. They had attitude, they kicked ass and knew it. In fact during spring training then manager Davey Johnson told his players "were not going to win, were going to dominate". It turns out he was right the Mets would go on to win 108 games finishing 21 games over the second place Phillies.
So I am choosing Players at random and writing about their life, career, retirement and overall stats. I am starting with Ron Darling.
Darling was born in Honolulu,Hawaii on August 19,1960. Darling had a diverse family with his mother being Hawaiian-Chinese and his father French-Canadien. He grew up in Millsbury, Massachusetts and was ironically a Boston Red Sox fan.
After High School Darling attended Yale University where he Majored in both French and Asian History. He also played Baseball for Yale and started out as a position player, he did not pitch untill his sophmore year.
While pitching for Yale Darling squared off against future Mets teammate Frank Viola (who was pitching for St.Johns at the time) in what was to be remembered as one of the greatest college baseball games ever played. Darling took a No hitter into the 12 inning but gave up a run on a double steal to lose 1-0. This remains the longest no-hitter in NCAA history.
Darling was drafted by the Texas Rangers in 1981 and left Yale a year before he was set to graduate. While in the Rangers farm system Darling posted average numbers and in 1982 he was traded to the Mets along with Walt Terrel for outfielder Lee Mazzilli.
In 1984 Darling won a spot in the rotation and never looked back. Winning 28 games through the next two seasons. Then came the 86 season Darling won 15 games with an ERA of 2.81.
After the world series Darling had two more good years winning 29 games, before begining a decline where he went 26-29 in his last two and a half years as a Met.
On July 15, 1991 Darling and a minor leaguer were traded to the Expos for closer Tim Burke. The expos then traded Darling for two Minor Leaguers to the Oakland A's. Out of all three Minor Leaguers the Expos got during the Darling trades none played more than 2 games in the "show'.
Darling played a few seasons with Oakland having only one good year and was released by Oakland in 1995. He subsequently retired. his overall record was 136-116 with a 3.87 ERA.
In retirement Darling has enjoyed a succesful career as an Analyst and Broadcaster for the last 9 years. He also has had a book Published this March.
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