Friday, December 10, 2010
#215) DOUG FLYNN
Doug Flynn became a New York Met when he was traded from the Cincinnati Reds along with Pat Zachry, Steve Henderson, and Dan Norman in exchange for Tom Seaver on June 15, 1977. "There's pressure if you play in New York, period," Flynn said in 2010. "I don't care if you come in a Tom Seaver trade or anyone else's trade. Most people just talk about a lot of other stuff. There's pressure because you have so many people looking for angles on how to write things—I didn't have any trouble with the media, win or lose, I always tried to answer every question as best I could, but it was tough, especially with the Yankees winning all those years..." Doug indeed had a reputation of being accountable to the losses as well as excited in the victories.
A fine infielder, he was given the Rawlings Gold Glove Award for National League second basemen following the 1980 season. His sparkling defensive prowess was not always equalled with his bat. Flynn's lifetime batting average was .238, only two points higher than Bud Harrelson's career average. "Buddy and I used to laugh about that all the time," Doug remembers. "I used to tell Buddy. 'The difference though, is that you played for the '69 Mets.'"
Flynn did accomplish a record-setting offensive accomplishment on August 5, 1980. Collecting three triples in the Mets 11-5 loss to the Expos in Montreal that day. The eighth-place hitter in the lineup that had him leading off innings three times. He tripled in the third, fifth, and eighth innings and came around to score in each one. Doug finally grounded into a double play to end the game, but recalls the conversation with Expos catcher, Gary Carter. "I knew Gary well, and when I stepped into the box, he says, 'Hit another one, no one's ever hit four in a game. Hit it good'," Flynn said. "He wasn't telling me the pitches, but he was pulling for me. I know that." Doug is one of only 29 players to record three triples in a game, and the only Mets player to do so. He was given the National League Player of the Week Award in recognition of the feat.
Baseball is not the only talent that Doug showcased during his years in New York. He is a native of Lexington, Kentucky who grew up with an appreciation for country music. Flynn became a performer himself inspired by that, and played his music at a Manhattan club, called Cody's during the 1981 baseball strike. Appearing there three nights a week that summer.
Doug was traded along with Dan Boitano to the Texas Rangers in exchange for Jim Kern on December 11, 1981.
Following his playing career, he spent time working in the New York Mets minor-league system. Leaving that to head up the State of Kentucky's anti-drug program for 10 years, before venturing into the banking industry. Doug became the Correspondent Banking Officer for Central Bank in Lexington. Flynn was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2010, "They took my thyroid out, and it did a little damage to my voicebox, but I am doing good," Doug said. "And I'm going on with my normal life, and there's a whole lot of worse things, and I'm blessed they caught it when they did." His singing voice should not be lost due to the surgery.
Bryan Station High School retired his uniform number in April 2009. "I'm very humbled," Flynn said. "I was blown away when I heard that mine is the first jersey to be retired in the history of this school."
Doug Flynn signed his card in the set for my friend, Bryan at the RedsFest Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio on December 3, 2010.