Wednesday, August 11, 2010
#10) LARRY ELLIOT
Larry Elliot joined the New York Mets when they purchased his contract from the Pittsburgh Pirates on December 16, 1963. The left-handed hitting outfielder made his Mets debut on April 15, 1964. He entered the first game ever played at Shea Stadium two days later on April 17th. After Jim Hickman was struck by a pitch in the fourth-inning, Larry came in as a pinch-runner and remained as the new centerfielder. Collecting his first hit at the new ballpark in the eighth-inning on a single past the Pirates shortstop.
Elliot would make 80 game appearances during the 1964 season. Hitting a total of nine home runs during his first year with the Mets. He slugged four of them in four consecutive games between July 21st through July 24th. Three of those blasts coming against the Cincinnati Reds. The same team that would sign Larry to play for them in the minor-leagues for 1965.
Larry returned to New York after a year absence. He started the 1966 season at Triple-A Jacksonville where he hit for a .303 batting average. That earned him a promotion to the Mets on July 5th. Elliot was again used as a centerfielder, but ended the season as primarily a pinch-hitter and finished with five home runs and a .246 batting average.
The team traded him to the Kansas City Athletics in exchange for Ed Charles on May 10, 1967. He would not appear in another major-league game before retiring following the 1969 season.
Elliot remained around baseball following his playing career. He became a very successful head baseball coach at Mira Mesa High School in San Diego, California. A man who always tried to remain behind the scenes during that time. "Maybe we, as coaches, toot our horn a little too much," Larry was quoted. "I coached a water polo team two years ago and we didn't win a game. I was doing the same things then that I'm doing now. The only difference is that we won the championship last year, I had a lot of talented players."
Larry Elliot signed his card in the set for me from an autograph request sent to his home on November 24, 2008.