Sunday, November 8, 2009
#60) BUD HARRELSON
Derrel McKinley "Bud" Harrelson was signed by the New York Mets as an amateur free agent on June 7, 1963. Bud would serve as the Mets shortstop for 13 seasons and become one of the franchises most popular players. Harrelson was a terrific fielder who earned a Rawlings Gold Glove award in 1971. When Gil Hodges became the Mets manager in 1968, Bud was concerned that he might not want a ballplayer as small as he was. Hodges is remembered to have said at the official team weigh-in, "You are by far the strongest player I have ever seen at 147 pounds." A fact that the much larger Pete Rose would learn in an on-field altercation during the 1973 National League Championship series. Harrelson more than held his own when Rose slid hard into second base trying to break up a double play, and the two erupted into a fight. It almost ended the game as Mets fans in Shea Stadium pelted Pete Rose with garbage when he took his defensive position in left field.
Bud Harrelson was a member of the 1969 World Champion Miracle Mets, and the 1973 National League champion team as well. He was selected to the National League All-Star team in 1970 and 1971. Harrelson was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for Fred Andrews and cash considerations on May 24, 1978.
After his active playing career he would return to the Mets as both a coach and team manager. Bud was elected to the New York Mets Hall of Fame in 1982. As a life-long volunteer and supporter of several charities, Harrelson received the Gil Hodges Community Service Award in 2002.
Bud Harrelson signed his card in the set from an autograph request sent to his home on October 13, 2009.