Mets Memories: Doug Flynn

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Mets Memories: Doug Flynn

Looking back into the Mets past is fun these days, especially since the 2009 New York Mets are seemingly going in a different direction.

In addition, this is not the place to discuss the present and future. It’s a place that myself and hopefully a long list of viewers who are over 40 years old can look back and remember a different era in baseball—where the news of the day was the game and not who was taking this or who was using that.

Doug Flynn is known most for being a part of “The Midnight Massacre” on June 15, 1977,  which sent “The Franchise” Tom Seaver packing his bags and sending him off to Cincinnati for Doug, Pat Zachry, Steve Henderson and Dan Norman.

Dave Kingman, for all you nostalgic Met fans, was also traded the same day to the San Diego Padres (I almost said Chargers) for Bobby Valentine and Paul Siebert.

Flynn did not receive the wrath of the Mets fans and neither did Henderson. Instead, Pat Zachry was booed mercilessly as one might think he caused the trade (Pat’s nostalgic piece will be next in this series).

Doug Flynn was born on May 25, 1951, in Albany, New York. He came up with the Reds in 1975 and was part, albeit a small part, of the “Big Red Machine” from 1975 to 1977. In his two and a half seasons in Cincinnati, he played in 218 games. He was never a serious threat to unseat perennial All Star Joe Morgan, but he was productive in his time there.

In 379 at-bats he collected 104 hits for a .274 BA, along with 13 doubles, three triples, and two home runs. He drove in 45 runs. When he was traded to the Mets, he immediately became the Mets starting shortstop but was quickly moved to second base.

He played with the Metropolitans for five seasons and became a fan favorite. He batted eighth in the order for more than 95 percent of the time and played 469 games at second, 165 games at short, and two at third during his career as a Met. His overall numbers were far less than spectacular.

Over five seasons he played in 636 games. His BA for the period was .234. He had 58 doubles, 26 triples, and five home runs. He drove in 155 runs, but he was best known for his outstanding defense and his overall hustle on the field.

After leaving the Mets in 1981, he bounced around the majors for another five lackluster seasons and retired in 1985. In 1980, he won the only Gold Glove of his career, beating out Davey Lopes, Joe Morgan, and Manny Trujillo.

Flynn managed the Gulf Coast Mets in 1997. He has now returned to his home in Louisville, Kentucky, where he is currently a banker.

Flynn played with the Mets in some of the darkest moments of their existence. He was part of “Grant's Tomb,” which will be thoroughly discussed in the next segment of my self-acclaimed series “Anatomy of a Franchise,” due out next week.

You will find it here, as well as on www.rsmclosersblog.blogstop.com.

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