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Who Was The First Third Baseman in Mets History?

SportsLiferCorrespondent IIAugust 1, 2010

From the Dodgers to Mets, Red Sox to Yankees, he was known as a baseball lifer.

Can you name this former baseball player, coach, and manager?

1. He was replaced by Brooklyn’s Sandy Amoros just before Amoros made his famous catch that helped the Dodgers beat the Yankees and win their first World Series in 1955?

2. He was the first third baseman in New York Mets history?

3. He was the last player to wear #14 for the Cincinnati Reds before Pete Rose

4. Among other nicknames, he was called “Popeye” and “The Gerbil.”

5. He rented Bucky Dent’s house in New Jersey when the Yankee shortstop was traded to Texas in 1982?

6. He initiated the discussion with Billy Martin that turned into the Pine Tar incident  in the summer of 1983?

If you guessed Don Zimmer, you are correct. Zimmer began his career with the Dodgers in 1954, later played for the Cubs, Mets, Red, and Senators, and retired in 1965 with 91 home runs and a .235 lifetime batting average.

Zimmer is still remembered in Boston for the Red Sox epic 1978 collapse, most notably for starting Bobby Sprowl instead of Bill “Spaceman” Lee in the finale of a four-game New York sweep called the Fenway Massacre that turned the season around for both teams.

He later managed the Red Sox, Rangers and Cubs, and was Joe Torre’s bench coach during the Yankees run of championships in the late 90s. Nearly 80, Zimmer is still active with the Tampa Bay Rays as a senior advisor.

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