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