Monday, November 15, 2010
#247) FRANK TAVERAS
Frank Taveras was traded from the Pittsburgh Pirates to the New York Mets in exchange for Tim Foli and Greg Field on April 19, 1979. The speedy veteran had broken the Pirates single season record for stolen bases with a National League leading 70 in 1977.
Taveras was involved in possibly the most odd ending to a game at Shea Stadium. The Mets were defeating the Houston Astros behind a 5-0 shutout by Pete Falcone. Astros hitter, Jeff Leonard filed out to centerfield for the last out of the game. However, prior to the pitch umpire Doug Harvey had granted "time" to Frank Taveras. Given a second chance, Leonard singled, but drew a protest from Mets' manager, Joe Torre. He argued that Leonard's at-bat did not count as the Mets did not have nine players on the field. New York first baseman, Ed Kranepool had thought the game over and headed to the clubhouse. The umpires, to Houston's dismay agreed with Torre and in his third at-bat Leonard flied out to apparently end the game once more. Not so. National League President Chub Feeney upheld the Astros protest and ordered the game resumed the following evening. With Jeff Leonard on first base, the next batter Jose Cruz grounded out to end the game a third time on August 22, 1979.
In 1979, Taveras tied the Mets single-season record for triples with nine, and established a then club record of 42 steals. Frank was named the National League Player of the Week on May 25, 1980. The light-hitting shortstop finished with one home run, 69 RBIs, and a .263 batting average during the 378 games of his three years with the Mets. New York traded Taveras to the Montreal Expos in exchange for Steve Ratzer on December 11, 1981.
Frank Taveras signed his card in the set for my friend, John Guzman during one of his trips to the Dominican Republic. Added to the collection on November 15, 2010.