Monday, December 28, 2009

#337) ED HEARN

Ed Hearn came to the New York Mets when he was signed as a free agent on February 3, 1983. He played in the minor league system until joining New York and making his major league debut on May 17, 1986. Ed would fill in admirably for future Hall of Famer, Gary Carter when the starting catcher suffered a knee injury during part of the season. Hearn earned the nickname "Ward" after Ward Cleaver of the "Leave it to Beaver" television program. His teammates felt he exhibited the same clean cut attributes of the fictional character. Ed holds the distinction of being the only member of the 1986 World Championship active roster who did not appear in a game during that series. His contributions to their success came off the field as well as prior to the World Series itself. The backup catcher was given a chance at a starting position when the New York Mets traded him along with Rick Anderson and Mauro Gozzo to the Kansas City Royals on March 27, 1987 in exchange for David Cone and Chris Jelic.

Hearn would suffer a severe shoulder injury while with the Royals that ended his baseball career. Upon retirement Ed discovered the true meaning of perseverance. "Once I stopped playing ball it happened," said Hearn "I believe that because I was a highly-conditioned athlete— and catchers are more conditioned than most—my body masked the symptoms of focal segmental glomerolsclerosis." Three kidney transplants followed that still require dozen of pills and even a device for sleep apnea to allow him to survive. Through the adversity Ed has found a meaning and currently serves as a motivational speaker while establishing a non-profit organization. His book, "Conquering Life's Curves: Baseball, Battles & Beyond.", details his development as a ballplayer and his growth as a human. In it, Hearn expresses his belief that his illnesses are a part of God's plan, and "There is no greater satisfaction in life than knowing you've done something to help somebody out."

Ed Hearn signed his card in the set (adding a World Champion inscription as requested) during a private signing held by Show-Me-State Signatures on June 25, 2009. The proceeds of which went to Ed's charitable organization.

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