This Date in Mets History: March 23 - Bud Harrelson departs, Fernando Tatis arrives

Jared Wickerham / Getty Images

The relationship between the Mets and their longtime shortstop ended on this date in 1978. It wasn't amicable.

One month after Bud Harrelson informed Mets brass that he felt "unwanted" in Flushing, general manager Joe McDonald found him a new home on March 23, 1978, trading him to the Philadelphia Phillies for infielder Fred Andrews and $50,000 cash.

The deal brought a close to a Mets career that spanned 13 years and 1,322 games, all of them at shortstop, the position at which Harrelson excelled defensively. In 1971, Bud became the first Met infielder to win a Gold Glove, taking home honors after a season that saw him amass a league-best 3.0 dWAR. While Harrelson's prowess with the leather what kept him in the starting lineup, he wasn't a one-dimensional player. He never hit for a high average (just .234 as a Met), nor much power (you can count the number of homers he socked on one hand and an opposable thumb), but in his peak seasons, from 1969 to 1974, he was more than willing to take a walk (including a then-team record 95 free passes in 1970) and once on base, he would swipe bags at a decent clip (a 77% success rate).

Injuries took a toll on Bud, however. Knee troubles limited him to 34 games during the 1975 season and within two years, his slash line had slipped to .178/.255/.227. Citing a need for more offense, manager Joe Torre named Tim Foli the starting shortstop during spring training in 1978, a move that precipitated the trade consummated on this date 35 years ago today.

Birthdays
Mike Remlinger is 47. Remlinger had a long and fairly successful career as a lefty specialist, turning in several excellent seasons (including one All-Star campaign) for the Braves in the early naughts. His years with the Mets (1994-95) were less impressive, in part because the team tried to use him as a starter. Remlinger made nine starts in 15 appearances for New York, compiling a dismal 1-6 record and walking nearly as batters as he struck out. His only Met win came, incidentally, against Atlanta and it was a real Dallas Green special: an eight inning, eight walk performance on August 2, 1994 in which Remlinger somehow limited the Braves to a lone unearned run.

Transactions
Omar Minaya brought Fernando Tatis into the fold on this date in 2007, signing the former St. Louis standout to a minor league deal. Playing his first full season of organized baseball half a decade, Tatis posted an OPS of .844 for Triple-A New Orleans. He earned a spot on the Mets bench the following year and was excellent in limited duty. He was merely decent in 2009, terrible in 2010, and once again out of the sport by 2011.

Amazin'-ly Tenuous Connection
On March 23, 1909, approximately three weeks after leaving office, former president Theodore Roosevelt kicked off his "retirement" by departing for a year-long African safari. During the trip, Teddy and his expedition captured, killed, and catalogued approximately 11,400 species of animal, including 512 big game specimens. While Africa's wildlife stood next to no chance against a marauding force like TR, the Mets have fared decently when opposed by one of the man's namesakes. Batters in orange and blue have rode roughshod over Ted Lilly (born Theodore Roosevelt Lilly), taking the lefty deep six times in his seven appearances against New York. That's good for a .428 team slugging percentage and an OPS+ of 107.

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