Sunday, October 10, 2010
#223) DAN NORMAN
Dan Norman came to the New York Mets when he was traded along with Doug Flynn, Pat Zachry and Steve Henderson by the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for the great Tom Seaver on June 15, 1977. The outfielder started his time with the team at Triple-A Tidewater, and was promoted when rosters expanded near the end of the season. Dan made his major-league debut with the Mets facing the Pirates in Pittsburgh on September 27, 1977. One of seven appearances he would manage to close the year.
Norman returned to the Tidewater Tides for another season of minor-league baseball in 1978. Again given a September call-up, but his .264 batting average in 19 games was not enough to solidify him a roster spot to begin the 1979 campaign. "When the season started, they had me on the bench," Dan remembers. "Why, I have no idea. I was playing for a few days, I think I did pretty good, and then they'd say, no I'm on the bench again for like three more weeks."
He made the roster to stay in July of 1979 and impressed with his hustle and earned the nickname, "Stormin' Dan Norman". He was always noticable on the field for wearing his pant legs up high enough to show the blue top of his baseball socks. "I went into Joe Torre one time and told him, I said, 'Hey, I can outplay all your outfielders you have here. And it'd be nice if I could go somewhere to get some playing time. Because I don't think anybody can run faster than me, throw harder than me, or have more power," Dan said. "But, I enjoyed my stay in New York. It was great."
Norman was traded along with Jeff Reardon to the Montreal Expos in exchange for Ellis Valentine on May 29, 1981. "And all those outfielders were All-Stars," Norman said laughing loudly, "And, I'm back on the bench again."
After his playing career, Dan managed and coached in minor-league baseball. Following that he worked for the Parks and Recreation Department in Barstow, California and helped coach the baseball team at Barstow Community College.
"Oh, the fans were great," Norman recalls. "Anybody who plays, put on the Mets uniform, they liked him. And I still get cards and stuff to be signed."
Dan Norman signed his card in the set from an autograph request sent to his home on January 29, 2009.