This Date in Mets History: December 24 - Happy Birthday to Ginter and Taveras

Here is a photo of Matt Ginter. - Ronald Martinez / Getty Images

Birthday boys Matt Ginter and Frank Taveras have combined to win one game and hit one home run for the Mets, but which player achieved which feat? The answer may surprise you. Though it probably won't.

December 24 is a historically slow day for the New York Mets. There's no real news to commemorate and the team hasn't made any transactions on this date. There have been two near-Christmas babies to don orange and blue, though.

  • Matt Ginter turns 35. The Mets traded Timo Perez to the Chicago White Sox during spring training in 2004 to obtain Ginter. The righty made 14 starts for the team that year, winning one and losing three. His lone triumph came on May 21 against the Rockies and was actually one of his worst performances: five earned runs allowed in five innings pitched. The Mets, however, clubbed ten extra base hits off Colorado hurlers to make a winner of Ginter.
  • Frank Taveras is 63. The Mets' starting shortstop from 1979 to 1981, Taveras was the type of no stick/no glove/all speed infielder that thrived in the cocaine and greenies era of Major League Baseball. He's one of three Mets to make more than 500 outs in a season, but unlike his fellows in that exclusive club (Jose Reyes and Felix Millan), Taveras didn't contribute any value via good base running or slick defense. He was caught in just over 30 percent of his stolen base attempts as a Met and, according to Baseball Reference, cost the team two wins above replacement in the field during his tenure. Still, Taveras did hit his only career over the fence home run while playing for New York, a solo shot off Mike LaCoss of the Reds on August 18, 1979. On the bright side, that does put him ahead of Hall of Famer Yogi Berra on the Mets all-time home run leader board.

Amazin'-ly Tenuous Connection
This connection is really tenuous, but appropriate for the date. Today would have been the 126th birthday of director Michael Curtiz, the man who helmed such classic films as Casablanca, Mildred Pierce, and White Christmas, which starred Bing Crosby, a long-time minority owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Crosby's Buccos faced off against the Mets in the first game in Shea Stadium history, but that fact is really just an excuse to link to the best cover version of Bing's classic Xmas jingle. Happy holidays!

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