Saturday, April 10, 2010
#123) DUFFY DYER
Duffy Dyer was selected by the New York Mets in the first round (ninth overall) of the free agent draft on July 2, 1966. He made his major league debut as an end of the season call-up on September 21, 1968. That put him in great position to be added to the roster for the Miracle 1969 season. Duffy would begin his role of serving as the back-up to Jerry Grote and became a member of the World Champion team in his rookie season. "Well, the Mets had always been the clowns of baseball," Dyer said. "When we won the World Series, nobody could laugh at us anymore. The perception of the New York Mets changed from that day on."
Injuries to Grote allowed Duffy the opportunity to play in a career high 93 games with the Mets in 1972. He would respond with eight home runs and 36 RBIs, both career highs. Dyer even got his lone appearance in the outfield that year. When an injury to starting left-fielder, John Milner occurred in the third inning of the game against the Giants something creative had to be done. Duffy had started the Shea Stadium contest as the catcher on July 11, 1972. So Jerry Grote was inserted behind the plate and Dyer was moved to right-field to keep both of them in the line-up. The ball always seems to find a fielder out of position. It did this day when Duffy looked like a catcher playing the outfield on the only ball hit to him. In the seventh inning, Bobby Bonds hit a drive that was misplayed by Dyer and resulted in two runs of the 6-1 loss to San Francisco.
The next season found Dyer returning to his back-up role, and also saw the Mets return to the post-season. This time falling to the powerhouse Oakland Athletics in the World Series in 1973. Duffy failed to get into a game during the fall classic or the National Championship series. He was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for Gene Clines on October 22, 1974.
After his playing career, Dyer has been a coach and manager, but more recently became a roving catching instructor for the San Diego Padres.
Duffy joined several other members of the 1969 Miracle Mets team in a tribute to the 40th anniversary of their World Championship on August 22, 2009 at Citi Field.
Duffy Dyer signed his card in the set from an autograph request sent to his home on November 1, 2010.