Thursday, October 14, 2010
#12) AL MORAN
Al Moran was traded to the New York Mets from the Boston Red Sox along with Pumpsie Green and Tracy Stallard in exchange for Felix Mantilla on December 11, 1962. Moran became the Mets shortstop in 1963, but made his Shea Stadium debut during the first game played there on April 17, 1964. Casey Stengel inserted him at shortstop after Ed Kranepool had pinch-hit for starter Amado Samuel. It was one of only 16 games that the light-hitting, but slick-fielding infielder played during the inaugural season of the ballpark.
An injury contributed to the end of Al's playing career. He played through it even to his last major-league game at Shea on May 10, 1964. "It was a pulled groin muscle that went up into my stomach," recalled Moran. "In the old days, they didn't just put you on the shelf until you were ready. If you were out of the lineup, you'd never get back in there."
After leaving baseball, Al played softball at a high level and has been a member of many championship teams. "Part of my game was running," Moran said. "They time me with a sun dial now going down to first."
Al served alongside varsity baseball coach, John Saiter for 25 years. Taking the role of an assistant coach at Detroit Catholic Central High School where he had earned all-state honors in hockey, football and baseball as a student. He returned to that position in 2010 following a five-year hiatus.
"Al Moran has helped hundreds if not thousands of kids over the past 40 years—quietly, selflessly," said Livonia attorney Jim Acho. "He's done a ton of good in the community." Al worked with Acho in helping to retrieve lost pensions for many former professional baseball players that is covered in the book, A Bitter Cup of Coffee.
Al Moran signed his card in the set from an autograph request sent to his home on November 1, 2008.