Sunday, November 29, 2009
#1) TIM HARKNESS
Tim Harkness joined the New York Mets when he was traded with Larry Burright from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for Bob Miller on November 30, 1962. A native Canadian, Tim played with the Mets in 1963, but established his Shea Stadium claim to fame the following year. On April 17, 1964 the Mets played their first regular season game at the new ballpark. Tim was the lead-off hitter making him the first Mets batter at Shea. When he singled in the third inning off Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher, Bob Friend he had established the first Mets' hit as well. On July 28, 1964, the Mets sold Harkness' contract to San Diego of the Pacific Coast League. A roster spot was needed to add outfielder, Bobby Klaus who had been acquired off waivers from the Cincinnati Reds. Tim would play a couple more seasons in the minor leagues, but the first season of Shea Stadium would be his last in the majors.
After his active baseball career Tim served as a scout for the San Diego Padres and was named the Canadian Scout of the Year in 1996. Harkness was the manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and led them to a Intercounty Baseball League title in 2002.
On April 17, 2008, the New York Mets commemorated the first team to play at Shea Stadium by inviting back Tim, along with Ron Hunt, and Jack Fisher to change the sign in left-center field counting down the number of remaining games to be played there.
Tim Harkness signed his card in the set from an autograph request sent to his home on November 28. 2009.