Mets Rewind Timeline

The 1972 New York Mets season began with heartbreak when manager Gil Hodges died of a massive heart attack at age 47.  The season was marred by injuries (Rusty Staub, Bud Harrelson, Jerry Grote, Cleon Jones and Jim Fregosi) and offensive mediocrity. Willie Mays arrived, Yogi Berra was named manager, Nolan Ryan was traded and Jon Matlack won the 1972 Rookie of the Year honors.

March 5

Fregosi breaks thumb
Jim Fregosi, obtained by the Mets from the Angels in the off-season for Nolan Ryan, breaks his right thumb during a spring training workout. The all-star infielder will suffer through an agonizing season, batting only .232 in 101 games, after being touted as the team's solution to its revolving door at third base.

April 1972

Mets introduce bullpen buggy
The New York Mets created the bullpen buggy by legendary automotive designer Harry Bentley Bradley - debuts. At 20 horsepower and maximum 15 mph, the baseball-capped vehicle will chauffeur Mets relievers for the next five seasons.

April 2, 1972

Hodges dies of heart attack
After playing a round of golf in West Palm Beach with his coaches on Easter Sunday, Mets manager Gil Hodges, two days shy of his 48th birthday, suffers a fatal heart attack. The club will name current first base coach and former Yankee skipper Yogi Berra to run the team when the strike-delayed season begins. “Gil is here in each man, and he will be all season,” said Tom Seaver. “The man made a terrific impact on this ballclub.”

April 5

Mets trade Singleton, Foli, Jorgensen
The Mets trade outfielder Ken Singleton and infielders Tim Foli and Mike Jorgensen to the Expos in exchange for 28-year old all-star right fielder Rusty Staub. The 'Le Grand Orange' will miss most of the season due to injuries, but will play a major role in New York's 'Ya Gotta Believe' pennant-winning team in 1973.

May 11

Mets acquire Say Hey Kid
The Giants trade Willie Mays to the Mets for pitcher Charlie Williams and $50,000 cash. San Francisco owner Horace Stoneham, who could not guarantee Mays an income after retirement, extracts a promise from the Mets that they will pay the 'Say Hey Kid' $50,000 a year for the ten years after the future Hall of Famer stops playing.

May 14

Mays homers in Mets debut
Willie Mays hits a home run off Giants reliever Don Carrithers in his first game at Shea Stadium. The Mets win 5-4 on Mother's Day.

October 2

Stoneman no hits Mets
The Mets are no-hit by Bill Stoneman and the Montreal Expos, 7-0, at Parc Jarry, on the final weekend of the season. Stoneman’s no-hitter was the fifth time the Mets had been held hitless in the first decade of existence.

September 30

Matlack surrenders 3,000th hit to Clemente
Roberto Clemente, playing in what would eventually be his final major league game, collects his 3,000th hit at Three Rivers Stadium when he singles off Mets starter Jon Matlack.

November 2

Mets trade Gentry, Frisella to Braves
The Braves trade George Stone and Felix Milan to the Mets for Danny Frisella and Gary Gentry, who will combine to win just nine games for Atlanta over the next three seasons. Stone and Millan play key roles in the Mets’ 1973 World Series push.

November 21

Matlack wins Rookie of the Year
Jon Matlack (15-10, 2.32) is selected as 1972 National League Rookie of the Year. Matlack is only the second player in team history to win the award, joining teammate Tom Seaver, who copped the honor in 1967.

November 27

Mets trade Agee to Astros
The Mets trade Tommie Agee to the Houston Astros for pitcher Buddy Harris and outfielder Rich Chiles, who will appear in only eight games for New York. Agee, who will be dealt to the Cardinals in August, will retire at the end of the 1973 season.

Read about the Mets as we dig deeper into memorable moments in franchise history, including games, player profiles and the record books.