Sunday, August 14, 2011
#30) WILLARD HUNTER
Willard Hunter was sent to the New York Mets from the Los Angeles Dodgers to complete an earlier deal on May 25, 1962. He was the "player to be named later" from the trade that brought Charlie Neal to New York in exchange for Lee Walls the previous December. Hunter debuted with New York that year, which makes him one of the Original 1962 Mets.
The left-hander found himself back in the minor-leagues with Triple-A Buffalo for the 1963 season, but earned a promotion back to New York on June 18, 1964. He would throw an inning of scoreless relief to end a 10-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates that day.
"Hawk" Hunter had his best day as a New York Met on August 23, 1964. The reliever would pitch in both games of the double-header at Shea Stadium that afternoon. Willard was credited with victories over the Chicago Cubs in each of the contests. It took just a combined 1-2/3 innings of work to accomplish the feat. The two wins accounted for half of his career total with the Mets. The southpaw finished with a 4-9 record and 5.06 ERA over his two major-league campaigns in New York.
Hunter ended his professional baseball career throwing a final season in Buffalo. During 26 games of the 1965 season there he compiled a 0-2 record and 6.19 ERA.
Willard Hunter signed his card in the set from an autograph request sent to his home on October 4, 2008.