Rod Kanehl
vs. Other Teams
Game Log Memories of
Rod Kanehl
Rod Kanehl
Ultimate Mets Database popularity ranking: 313 of 1043 players
Roderick Edwin Kanehl
Born: April 1, 1934 at Wichita, Kan.
Died: December 14, 2004 at Palm Springs, Cal.
Throws: Right Bats: Right
Height: 6.01 Weight: 180

Rod Kanehl was the most popular Ultimate Mets Database daily lookup on December 29, 2004, December 30, 2004, December 31, 2004, January 24, 2012, December 31, 2015, January 22, 2016, and May 18, 2017.

2b of 3b 1b ss

First Mets game: April 15, 1962
Last Mets game: October 4, 1964

Share your memories of Rod Kanehl


Rod was my favorite player as a kid. He was a gritty "Pete Rose" type who had more desire and determination than talent. Thats why we could relate to him. I used to practice diving at ground balls, just like he did. When I was 12 or 13, I was taking the 7 train home and guess who was standing next to me? It was the thrill of my short lifetime. (Yes, a lot of players used to take the subway home from a game.)

Steve Voorhees
One of the first books I ever read was "The Amazin' Mets". My favorite part was where they talked about the first ever Mets banner to be held up at a game. It read: Hot Rod Kanehl

December 28, 2000
Hot Rod Kanehl would have been one of my favorite players, if I had been alive in 1962. I have read a lot about him, and I wish I would have been able to see him play.

Richard Kissel
March 30, 2001
Supposedly, Casey Stengel wanted Hot Rod on the Mets because he remembered that, when he was a Yankee farmhand, Kanehl hopped a fence to catch a flyball in the outfield.

August 1, 2001
I remember rod hit the 1st grand slam in Mets history.

Mr. Sparkle
April 3, 2002
The Sunday paper had a section dedicated to the 40th anniversary of the 62 Mets. Everyone was retired or deceased except for Hot Rod. He is a part time caddy in Palm Springs. Can you imagine having Hot Rod Kanehl carrying your bag?

Paul Briamonte
April 25, 2003
I remember I went to an old timers game one day in the late 60s or early 70s and they had a woman in a long dress escorting all the players on to the field. When Kanehl was introduced he stepped on the womans dress as she was walking and it came off! The woman ran to the dugout in a slip. Lindsay Nelson (at the mike) laughed so hard he almost had a coronary.

Ken Morrison
October 13, 2003
I believe Rod was the only one to ever collect on Casey's standing offer of $50 to anyone who would get hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

Feat Fan
March 23, 2004
Hot Rod was Fun! And quotable: "Baseball is a lot like life. The line drives are caught, the squibbles go for base hits. It's an unfair game."

April 1, 2004
Anyone look at all the positions Kanehl played? This guy was Joe McEwing before Joe McEwing!

September 12, 2004
He was a real character. They called him "The Mole," because he was fascinated with the New York Subway, and spent a lot of time riding it, talking with subway crews (who recognized him and gave him a little special treatment).

He made up for his lack of great ability with his hustle. Rod got his uniform dirty, and that's the way to play.

Part-time golf caddy

CJM from New York City
December 31, 2004
Mr. Kanehl passed away on December 14, 2004. God rest his soul. "Hot Rod" was a fan favorite, for good reason. Made up in hustle what he lacked in raw ability - the best that the '62 Mets could offer.

Bob P
January 2, 2005
Another loss from the Mets family this year: Tug McGraw, Bob Murphy, Jesse Gonder...

A funny story from the book "Once Upon the Polo Grounds" which also appeared in Kanehl's obituary in the 12/31/04 New York Times: Kanehl had been in the Yankee organization before coming to the Mets and so both George Weiss and Casey Stengel were familiar with him. Stengel liked Kanehl but Weiss did not. The story goes that Weiss told Stengel "I ain't seen him do anything in the field." And Casey replied to his boss, "You're full of baloney, he can run the bases!"

Rest in Peace, Rod, and thanks for being a part of New York Mets history.

Jonathan Stern
January 10, 2005
Most wags called the subway-loving Kanehl, "The Mole." Casey Stengel called him "My Little Scavenger."

I wish I had seen him play. It sounds like he was every bit as classic a classic Met as was Kranepool, Weis, Agbayani, Swoboda, Mookie, etc. Of course, unlike those of the above-mentioned, Kanehl's teams lost. Prolifically. Historically. But through it all, he busted his butt and gave it his best. Mets fans clearly cherish him far more than they will ever cherish most of the "stars" that have worn the orange and blue (and black, and...) over the years, even a number from the all-too-few post-season squads. The again, the Mets have always been more about "little guys" than about superstars.

RIP, Hot Rod. You brought more pleasure to Mets fans during a losing era than did most winning Mets. There is a place for you at Shea's Monument Park.

May 9, 2005
Hot Rod will always be part of the orange and blue. A man who brought much joy to fans at the Polo Grounds and many NYC women alike. Now you're riding that IRT into the sky where the first stop is the Polo Grounds. May God keep Hot Rod. Long like Hot Rod.

jamey bumbalo
November 23, 2005
Since I, like the Mets, was born in 1962, I never saw Hot Rod play. However, he seems to have been a fine, scrappy utilityman. He was one of only three Mets to have two baseball cards in 1963. He, along with Al Jackson and Roger Craig, appeared on cards for both Topps and Fleer.

August 24, 2006
Rod was my Boss in Wichita, Kansas when he owned the Fox and Hounds. What a place it was. The bar was not that big but when you walked in at any given time you would see a lot of guys wearing their World Series rings and of course when the Baseball Congress games were in town everyone knew Rod and he would keep things going to no end until the wee hours in the morning. His wife Blanche and daughter Leslie helped run the place too. He came and recruited me out of a competitor's restaurant with Blanche in tow. Now that lady had a lot of class. They were living the dream and everything they did was first class. I will always remember Rod in the kitchen, in an apron, singing and making some of his home-made soup at 6:00am. What a guy!!! I guess he finally returned to the big league in Heaven. God Bless him.

John Mac
April 20, 2008
I'm 8 years old and attending my first Mets game ever: July 10, 1962 at the Polo Grounds, against the Cards. Bottom of the eighth, Mets up 4-1 and Rod Kanehl comes up as a pinch hitter with the bases loaded...PINCH HIT GRAND SLAM HOME RUN! Are you kidding me? What a great game and great memory that I'll never forget!

Bob P
April 21, 2008
Just to clarify John Mac's post: that game was played on Friday might July 6, 1962 (the All-Star game was played on July 10). And while Kanehl did hit the grand slam in his first plate appearance of the game, technically it ws not a pinch grand slam. Hot Rod had replaced Frank Thomas in LF in the top of the eighth and he hit the grand slam in the bottom of the eighth.

August 5, 2009
Rod Kanehl was the first autograph I got on the back of a Silhouette nightclub matchbook in 1962. The Silhouette was on Utica Ave. in Brooklyn and many of the Brooklyn Dodgers and early Mets hung out there.

Larry Foss
July 13, 2010
Rod always got a kick out of his mastery of the N.Y subway system. Since Rod and I were both from Wichita, Kansas, we were close friends. I remember one time after a game, Rod ushered us through the system, and were on our third drink at the Silhouette club, when some of our team mates, who had a car arrived. The "mole" loved that. He was a great guy and a good friend.

September 5, 2011
For one magical summer in 1963 his son Phil and I were like brothers. We got to play stickball in front of many original Mets. I even went to an ice cream party in the house "Hot Rod" was renting.

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