March 24 is a big day for dynastic baseball families with ties to the Mets. Three Alomars and six members of the Alou clan have made it to the major leagues. A full two-thirds have donned the orange and blue at some point during their careers.
The first to do so was Sandy Alomar, paterfamilias to future Mets Roberto and Sandy Junior, who was acquired on this date in 1967. General manager Bing Devine shipped outfielder Derrell Griffith to the Astros for the elder Alomar and even though Griffith never found his way onto Houston's active roster, it'd be difficult to rate the trade as a win. That's how badly Sandy Senior's New York tenure went. Alomar came to the plate 22 times as a Met. All 22 times he returned to the bench having made an out. His .000/.000/.000 is easily the worst triple slash line among non-pitchers in team history. Since 1962, every other position player who's received 15 or more at-bats as a Met has reached base at least once. With that kind of pedigree, it's a wonder Roberto Alomar hit as well as he did during his time in New York.
As for the Alous, the first member of that family to suit up for the Mets was Jesus, who turns 71 today. The youngest Alou brother patrolled Shea's outfield for 62 games during the 1975 season and the experience must have been traumatic for him, because he took a two-year hiatus from baseball after his Flushing stint. Jesus's nephews, ex-Mets Moises Alou and Mel Rojas, are no strangers to trauma, either. While playing for New York, the former suffered a succession of injuries that ultimately ended his career and the latter's utter ineffectiveness as a late inning reliever inflicted serious psychological damage on fans.
Shortstop Garry Templeton is 57. The three-time NL All-Star ended his 16-year career with the Mets, hitting just .228/.257/.306 over the course of 80 games. There were few memorable moments for Templeton at the plate during his New York stay, though his first homer as a Met helped Doc Gooden pick up his 21st career shutout on June 15, 1991.
General manager Steve Phillips made a savvy pickup on this date in 2002 by trading utility man Lou Collier to the Montreal Expos for a 22-year old minor league slugger by the name of Jason Bay. Of course, Phillips would revert back to his short-sighted ways just five months later and flip Bay, who was posting a nice .859 OPS for Binghamton at the time, for middle reliever Steve Reed.
Game of Note
The Mets and Pirates traded runs for eight innings during a spring training matchup on March 24, 1966. With the game tied 5-5 in the bottom of the frame, Roberto Clemente strode to the plate and promptly unknotted the affair by launching a Darrell Sutherland offering far, far over the center field fence. According to UPI's recap, the homer traveled at least 500 feet. Sutherland told a stringer after the game that the ball was "still going up as it went over the fence."
Amazin'-ly Tenuous Connection
Congress passed the Tydings-McDuffie Act on this date in 1934, a piece of legislation that turned the former U.S. territory of the Philippines into a self-governing commonwealth. Unlike Japan, baseball never quite caught on in the Philippines during American occupation, though seven players of Filipino descent have made to the majors since the end of World War II. Two of the septet have played for the Mets: outfielders Benny Agbayani and Chris Aguila.