Monday, June 28, 2010
#84) DON CARDWELL
Don Cardwell came to the New York Mets when he was traded along with Don Bosch from the
Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for Dennis Ribant and Gary Kolb on December 6, 1966.
He made his Mets debut on April 11, 1967, but his greatest contribution to the club came during the magical 1969 season. Don was a member of the regular season starting rotation and excelled during the final months of the year. The Mets overcame a 10-game deficit to win the division from the Chicago Cubs. During that time, Cardwell won four games in which he started, and yet another in a relief role. Highlighted with a 28 consecutive scoreless innings streak during that span.
"He was a tremendous mentor to the young guys on our staff," teammate Tom Seaver said. "When he said something you listened. He was the ultimate professional."
Ron Swoboda remembers Don sticking up for his fellow Mets during a fight with Houston in 1969, and dropping Astros third baseman, Doug Rader with one punch. "I think it helps calm you down when you've got a guy like that who's ready to do what it takes," Swoboda said. "When you got to fist city you needed some guys that were ready to go."
The Mets sold Don's contract to the Atlanta Braves on July 12, 1970. After his baseball career, the man who had thrown a no-hitter with the Chicago Cubs in 1960, became an executive for auto dealerships in his hometown of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Cardwell was also an excellent golfer who played on the celebrity tour during the 1980s.
Don Cardwell passed away on January 14, 2008 at the age of 72. He had been suffering from Pick's disease, a form on dementia.
I created his card in the set from an autographed index card given to me by my friend, Jessie on June 24, 2010.