The Mets only had two general managers during the 1970s, and while neither of them particularly stood out, Bob Scheffing's tenure will be better remembered than that of his successor, Joe McDonald.
Scheffing became the Mets' new general manager in 1970 after Johnny Murphy's untimely death. His first major move was to trade the popular Ron Swoboda to the Expos for center fielder Don Hahn.
The 1971-1972 offseason will be what Scheffing will be most remembered for. He first traded Art Shamsky, sold Ron Taylor and released Donn Clendenon before making arguably the worst trade in Mets history when he dealt Nolan Ryan to the Angels for Jim Fregosi.
All the blame for this should not be put on Scheffing, though, because Ryan had demanded a trade, seeing as he wanted to leave New York. Scheffing, however, could have gotten a lot more in exchange for Ryan than just Fregosi.
The next string of Scheffing's moves as general manager ended up benefiting the Mets.
In 1972, he acquired Rusty Staub, promoted Yogi Berra as the Mets' new manager after Gil Hodges' death, and acquired the legendary Willie Mays. Prior to the 1973 season, he also acquired Felix Millan and George Stone from the Braves. Both had a major impact on the Mets that year.
Outside of selling Fregosi, Scheffing did not make any moves on the surprising NL pennant-winning 1973 Mets, who lost to the Oakland A's in the World Series. Mays retired following the season.
Scheffing did not make any moves during the 1974 season, but the team finished 71-91, considerably worse from the previous year. M. Donald Grant and the rest of the front office apparently became very upset and immediately reassigned Scheffing to be a scout, while promoting Joe McDonald as the new general manager.
This turned out to be a terrible move, seeing as outside of 1976, the Mets never found any success during McDonald's tenure. Had Grant and his staff not canned Scheffing right after 1974, maybe the team would have been better. Nonetheless, Scheffing's time as the Mets' general manager was good overall, outside of the Nolan Ryan trade.