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Hawk Taylor
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Hawk Taylor
Hawk Taylor
Ultimate Mets Database popularity ranking: 250 of 981 players
Taylor
Robert Dale Taylor
Born: April 3, 1939 at Metropolis, Ill.
Died: June 9, 2012 at Paducah, Ky.
Throws: Right Bats: Right
Height: 6.01 Weight: 195

Hawk Taylor was the most popular Ultimate Mets Database daily lookup on February 13, 2010, June 10, 2012, June 11, 2012, June 12, 2012, June 13, 2012, July 7, 2012, and April 10, 2013.

c of 1b

First Mets game: April 14, 1964
Last Mets game: July 13, 1967





Share your memories of Hawk Taylor

HERE IS WHAT OTHER METS FANS HAVE TO SAY:

Marie Coco
I think both Luplow and Hawk Taylor had the greatest ears I have ever seen. It was a tie! They were freakin' spectacular! A woman's dream! Bring back the 60's! I loved them both!

Nancy Reeme
I was a little girl when I first saw a picture of Hawk. He was a great looking man! What is he doing now? I work with this old fart that wears a rug. He told me that Hawk was not a good ball player. I told him to "Go f--k himself." He said "Thank you. It's been a pleasure."

Dave Shaw
June 24, 2001
I was 8 or 9 years old, growing up in Lindenhurst. One morning all the buzz on the street was how Hawk Taylor had smacked a pinch-hit grand slam to win the game the night before. Anyone remember this?

Jim Sullivan
August 16, 2001
Like a lot of other kids, I used to put together baseball 'teams' from my baseball cards. Hawk Taylor was THE superstar on my teams. I always had him batting clean-up and playing left field. I'm not sure why; I mean, I have never, to this day, ever actually seen Hawk Taylor play. Probably the name had a lot to do with it. What little kid could NOT be in love with the name "Hawk"? Also, he was from METROPOLIS. Superman in disguise???

As I grew older, I realized that Hawk wasn't the great player I imagined him to be, but that didn't remove him from the special place I'll always have for him in my boyhood heart. Wherever you are now, Hawk, God bless you and you're still a superstar on my team!

Alan
January 7, 2002
Hawk was a prized prospect of the Braves for several years before they gave up on him, especially after Joe Torre developed into a starting catcher. I recall him playing mostly catcher, and winning a game at Shea in 66 or 67 with long pinch home run to left-center.

rich edwards
March 16, 2002
In June 1964 I saw Hawk Taylor and Frank Thomas each hit 2 home runs in a game to beat the Phillies. I thought what a historic great game this was. Little did I realize that the next day Jim Bunning would pitch a perfect game.

Robert
September 10, 2002
I once saw Hawk Taylor hit a 3 run homer off Sandy Koufax (the Mets still hadn't beat them by this time), are Hawk and I (and maybe Koufax) the only guys who remember this?

Bob Anthony
November 27, 2002
Hawk was the first Met to hit a pinch-hit grand slam in 1966 against the Pirates (I think).

Dalkowski
December 27, 2002
From 3/4 of the comments above, you'd think Bob Taylor was a combo of Mike Piazza and Willie Mays. In reality, HE SUCKED! He batted .213 with the Mets and hit 11 homers in 183 games. He had some power, but not as much as Charley Smith or Tim Harkness, neither of whom belonged in the Majors, either.

Metsmind
December 30, 2002
Hawk Taylor's pinch grand slam (the 1st in Mets history) came on Aug 17, 1966. What's crazy is he was pinch hitting in the 4th inning! I was 8 years old and very new to watching baseball, but from the excitement in Lindsey Nelson's voice, I knew something BIG had occured, and I remember trying to explain its importance to my (non sports fan) parents.

Bluto
December 30, 2002
The first three posts (all by women) for this player are the funniest I've read on this website (they collectively beat Ian Hummel's post about Garry Templeton).

Chris Angelus
April 2, 2003
I just had shivers reading about Hawk Taylor's HR vs. the Pirates in some other posts. My Dad got us seats in the press box (now they're suites) on the first base side for that particular game. I was 8 in '66. I don't really remember the shot per se, but I sure remember the noise from the grand slam, and what happened afterwards. People went nuts when he hit that, because the Mets just didn't hit that many homers, much less grand slams. To our right, in the seats next to us, there was a lot of commotion after Hawk touched home plate. Well, truly one of the most memorable moments in Met history for me: It turns out the guy next to us had a heart attack... and was pronounced dead by the time the paramedics arrived. Killer home run. (sorry, couldn't resist.) True story.

Sol Lippman
January 19, 2004
I always enjoyed watching the Hawk play. He had fire, enthusiam and a will to win. I thought he would have been a good MLB manager too.

I also remember when Hawk was involved with galoshes. He was great!

Does anyone know what he's been up to since his baseball playing days ended?

Hawk, if you' re out there let us know.

FullMetalLindseyNelsonJacket
April 22, 2004
True story - - I got only 2 pro athelete autographs in my entire life, both of which I've since lost: 1) Hawk Taylor; 2) Muhammad Ali

I bet the Hawk Taylor would be worth something if I still had it.

george trost
September 24, 2004
My favorite player as a kid was Hawk. Number 19 is the number I always tried to get when I played sports. And because of him, 19 is my favorite number.

Bob P
June 3, 2005
Back to a comment from 2002: Hawk did indeed hit a home run off Sandy Koufax! It was a three run homer in the bottom of the fourth inning at Shea on Thursday afternoon, July 30, 1964.

Hawk's homer gave the Mets a 3-0 lead vs. the Great One, but as usual, Sandy beat the Mets, 5-3.

Ed K
February 24, 2006
Hawk was an original "bonus baby" signed by the Milwaukee Braves in the 1950's. I think he was one of the first prospects to sign for over $100,000, a huge amount back then. MLB tried to discourage large signing bonuses by making such prospects sit on a MLB bench for two years before they could go to the minors. Perhaps as a result, few bonus babies lived up to their supposed potential - Harmon Killebrew being the notable exception. In the 1960's, MLB instituted an entry-draft to discourage bonus babies further.

The Braves had great attendence and lots of money in the 1950's after moving to Milwaukee, but by the 1960's attendence had dwindled and they were in a financial pinch that eventually led to their moving to Atlanta. Before that, they sold off players to the Mets on a regular basis and Hawk was one of them.

Hawk wasn't all that bad as a back-up catcher when you consider the other catchers the Mets had in the early 1960's. He hit a few notable homers mentioned in the other posts. I do not recall the pinch grand slam but recall the thre-run dinger off Koufax vividly. It allowed a young Tug McGraw (a starter back then) to post the first Met win ever against the future Hall of Famer.

tony56
June 15, 2006
I have to correct the last entry in this section. Hawk did not play in the game in which Tug McGraw became the first Met pitcher to beat the great Sandy Koufax. The home runs hit in that game were by Joe Christopher and Ron Swoboda. I believe that they were back to back homers that were hit off of Johnny Podres who relieved Koufax in the 7th inning. Hawk was not a bad role player. He was decent pinch hitter who supplied power off the bench and he was capable back up behind the plate and in the outfield.

judy brink carter
August 19, 2006
Used to call him "Benchwarmer" around 1960-61. A lost love. Where are you? Remember St. Louis? He loved baseball and his family back in Metropolis. Also married his highschool sweetheart and I believe became a coach at Murray Collage in KY. He had a great red car in the 60s that I wrecked and wore English Leather aftershave. A really nice person, his parents brought him up well. I was a Cardinal cheerleader. Oh, to be young again.

Mike Ike
October 28, 2006
More on the Hawk Taylor pinch-hit grand slam game...

I was all of seven years old (it's amazing the stuff we remember from our youth), but I remember being jealous of my older brother whom my father took to the game at Shea, while I stayed home and watched on TV (black and white, of course). I think Bob Veal was the starting pitcher for the Pirates, and I also believe that the Mets were down 7-1 at one point. My jealousy turned into amusement, especially since the weather didn't look so great (I think there might have even been a rain delay). The Mets eventually won the game, 8-7, and in my seven-year-old mind, that was the most incredible victory and most incredible home run humanly possible. UNTIL...

A week or two later, I went to MY first major league ballgame at Yankee stadium, and saw Mickey Mantle hit a two-run pinch-hit WALK-OFF home run (batting right- handed -- I remember seeing from the third-base side that big Number 7 on his big back) to beat the Tigers. (I found out recently that Mantle hit 7 pinch-hit HR's in his career.)

Metsmind
September 6, 2008
I have been thinking of Hawk Taylor's PH grand slam vs Pitt in 1967, the first one in Mets history, and discovered more bizarre facts surrounding that event

Not only was Taylor pinch hitting in the 4th inning, he was batting for #8 hitter, Eddie Kranepool, and NOT for the pitcher. Jack Fisher had only lasted 2 innings , so even after Taylor's heroics, the Mets trailed 7-6. The Mets got great relief from Billy Hepler and Bob Friend, who held the Bucs scoreless the rest of the way to win 8-7. But most ironic of all is that after delivering a PH hit grand slam and being hit by pitch in a subsequent AB, Westrum pinch hit FOR Taylor with 2 out nobody on in the 8th!!

Mark Stasiak
May 7, 2009
I had the pleasure of meeting Hawk when he played for the Mets. My Dad worked with and was a friend of Hawk's father, Flop Taylor. When Hawk came to my hometown of Chicago we would head to the ballpark to watch him play.

The date was July 20, 1969. A Sunday double-header at Old Comiskey Park. Kansas City Royals vs. White Sox. It was the 5th inning. Hawk was on deck. We started cheering and asking him to hit one out! Hawk looked our way, smiled, and nodded yes. Sure enough Hawk connects for a home run. He had 5 RBI'S that day.

July 20, 1969 was the day the U.S.landed on the moon. If Hawk should read this, thank you for the good memories!

Bob P
May 15, 2009
Mark, thanks for sharing that memory!

Hawk was 3-for-4 with a walk in that game. And as it turns out, that was Hawk's final major league home run.

Hawk batted fifth for the Royals that day. One more bit of trivia: KC's cleanup hitter in game one of that doubleheader was Lou Piniella.

Don L Huneycutt
June 16, 2010
I knew Hawk as baseball coach for Lambuth University (where I taught) and attended many games as we were racquetball buddies. (I beat him on occasion which he might deny!) As Professor of Piano (and avid baseball fan) I knew his wife Marie well. She taught piano at Murray State University and we exchanged recitals between the two schools. Great people.

We have visited periodically and vacationed together with our children at his home on Kentucky Lake.

One interesting point about Hawk. If you were to find an all-time baseball team with nicknames emulating birds, animals, or reptiles (Moose Skowron, Goose Goslin, etc.), Hawk Taylor would be your catcher. A notable and not unimportant point!

mlittle12
November 11, 2011
I grew up in Syracuse NY, and my 9-year-old world in 1968 consisted of looking forward to going to bed so that I could listen to the Chiefs on my small transistor radio. Hawk Taylor was my idol. He hit cleanup on that team and always seemed to come through with timely extra-base hits. I had the chance to meet him once, as my dad was childhood friends with Jack Morse, the local radio broadcaster who announced their games. Great guy, and the reason why I became a catcher through my high school years.

Tom Sullivan
July 7, 2012
Sorry to see that the Hawk had passed. He was the Met catcher in my first live game at Shea June 16, 1967 vs the Cubs.

George Trost
February 1, 2013
A sad day today. I just found out Hawk died. And it was very near my wife's home town. Small world. I have always listed him as my favorite player. When you say favorite, you are not talking about just skill, you are talking about likeability.









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