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UnforMETable, Episode 41: Bill Denehy

Denehy was a young, right-handed pitching prospect who came up with—and appeared on a famous baseball card with—Tom Seaver.

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Welcome to UnforMETable, an Amazin’ Avenue Audio show that looks back on less heralded, more obscure Mets players from the past.

Bill Denehy was a wild, fireballing young right-handed prospect in a Mets organization suddenly rife with them in the 1960s. Denehy’s fastball was considered second only to Nolan Ryan’s, and the team likely envisioned both of them headlining a rotation with the team’s recent young acquisition—Tom Seaver.

The Topps baseball card company agreed, featuring Denehy on a now quite valuable Mets’ Future Stars card alongside Seaver. Unfortunately, while Tom Terrific cruised to the National League Rookie of the Year Award, Denehy struggled and dealt with injuries, leaving the Mets willing to part with his as compensation to bring in the team’s desired manager from Washington—Gil Hodges.

Injuries and battles with addiction and rage short-circuited Denehy’s career, but he had a colorful and ultimately redemptive post-baseball life, and recently reminisced fondly about his former teammate and baseball card neighbor.

As always, you can listen or subscribe to this and all of our wonderful Amazin’ Avenue Audio podcasts through Apple Podcasts, where we encourage you to leave a review if you enjoy the show. It really helps! And you can find us on the Stitcher app, or listen through the embedded player below.

If you’ve got an idea for a player to be featured on UnforMETable, let us know in the comments.

Make sure to follow Rob on Twitter (@WolffRR), and you can now follow the show, too (@unformetable). Tune in next week for another tale from the Mets’ past.