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Johnny Lewis
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Johnny Lewis
Johnny Lewis
Ultimate Mets Database popularity ranking: 275 of 974 players
Lewis
Johnny Joe Lewis
Born: August 10, 1939 at Greenville, Ala.
Throws: Right Bats: Left
Height: 6.01 Weight: 189

Johnny Lewis was the most popular Ultimate Mets Database daily lookup on August 10, 2009, July 23, 2011, and July 3, 2013.

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First Mets game: April 12, 1965
Last Mets game: June 11, 1967





Share your memories of Johnny Lewis

HERE IS WHAT OTHER METS FANS HAVE TO SAY:

Lee
First Met game I ever saw was in the old Connie Mack Stadium ('65) in Philly. Lewis hits a home run and the Mets win.

Rick
October 19, 2001
I believe it was Johnny who broke up a no-hitter by the Red's Jim Malony, and won the game for the Mets in 10 innings.

Alan budick
January 5, 2002
On a radio interview prior to the 1967 season, manager Wes Westrum said that Johnny Lewis was the best centerfielder he had seen since Willie Mays!!!!! Well I guess he saw something we never did. Johnny was an average player at best. Coached for many years with the Cardinals and I think he still works for them.

FRED of Nyack
March 24, 2003
As a previous writer mentioned Wes Westrum liken Johnny Lewis to Willie Mays. They both wore number 24 and had tremendous raw talent, other than that- I guess it ended there. Johnny Joe had power (again as mentioned, most memorably he broke up Jim Maloney's 10 inning no-hitter- I think Roy McMillan walked ahead of him), speed, and above all a great throwing arm, along with Ellis Valentine one of the best ever on the Mets. He put it to use in starting a triple play against the Houston Astros early in the 1965 season, I believe.

I went to a game in 1965 and sat next to a stranger, probably in his mid twenties - who said that he got his ticket from the best player on the Mets. I was not yet a teen even, but felt on equal ground when arguing baseball. I asked if he meant Ron Hunt -he said no, as he felt Hunt to be a "hot dog." He said Johnny Lewis, who I liked as well, but wouldn't consider him nearly the best player on the team. We argued quite a bit and I felt vindicated as Hunt had three maybe four hits that day.

The only other thing I remember hearing, and I will always think about this when thinking of Johnny Lewis, was that he had lost his wife and was left alone with young children during his short career. Perhaps a sad and understandable reason for unfullfilled potential. I hope other aspects of his life were better.

Joe Figliola
March 28, 2003
I first heard of Johnny Lewis as a coach with the Cardinals in 1973, but was surprised to learn on a broadcast that he was a Met. And a pretty good one, too in 1965. Can anyone out there clue me in as to why he went down the tubes so quickly?

Bob P
April 1, 2003
Maybe what Fred of Nyack said above about Lewis' family had something to do with his short career.

I remember Lewis well..he had a cup of coffee with the '64 World Champion Cardinals, then the Mets picked him up that winter. He may have been the best player on the team in 1965 and he and Swoboda were my favorites as an 11-year-old. I think Lewis led the Mets in a couple of offensive categories that year, like runs scored and one or two others.

His big moment was on June 14, 1965 when he broke up Jim Maloney's no hitter at Crosley Field by hitting a home run in the 11th inning, and the Mets won the game 1-0. Maloney had 18 strikeouts that night in 11 innings.

He did fall off the face of the baseball earth rather quickly, and at the age of 27, when most players are reaching their peak, he was out of the majors. I don't know if he quit or bounced around the minors at that point. His career stats show that he was a .227 hitter, about 30 points below the league average for that period. He played in just 266 games, or the equivalent of a little more than a full season and a half.

Feat Fan
February 21, 2004
Seems that I always find a few of these marginal types to root for. Lewis actually had decent numbers in '65 and a cannon for an arm. As the Mets improved, he lost playing time and drifted out of baseball early.

A few other names that were of similar stature in that era were Adolpho Phillips, Byron Browne, Billy Cowan,Steve Whitaker,Ollie Brown... These were all talented, speedy, strong armed outfielders that had "moments" but never sustained any long term success.

Danny Brackett
August 8, 2004
I first saw Johnny Lewis in Class A baseball in Rock Hill, SC. Steve Carlton was on that team and Sparky Anderson was the Manager. They were so good most of their players advanced by mid-year. I believe Johnny had the nickname "Sweet Pea".

Jamey Bumbalo
December 10, 2006
Lewis didn't do much in his career (and kudos to FanFeat for mentioning some obscure ballplayers), but he had a decent tenure as a Cardinals coach, so he must have known what he was doing.

Tracy Lewis
June 11, 2008
My memories of Johnny Lewis are great memories; that's because he is my father. His career did not end when he left the Mets as a player. My father continued to leave his mark within the Major League Baseball organization.

My father continued his career in baseball as a manager, batting coach and a scout. He also assisted in leading the St. Louis Cardinals to many World Series in which they won.

My father's career as a player may have been short, but it was memorable enough, in order for some to remember his name. Thank you to all who have posted memories of my father.

I would like for you all to know that he recently retired from the Houston Astros and is doing very well in retirement.

Tracy Lewis

Bob P
June 13, 2008
Tracy,

Thanks so much for posting. Please tell your dad that there are many, many Mets fans who remember him fondly!

Steve T.
July 13, 2010
It's been 2 years since Johnny's son Tracy posted, but I wanted to say that my father who is a big Mets fan hardly ever pointed out to me about how good a players skills were, but he did when he saw Johnny throw. He said to me, son, that kid has a cannon for an arm. It reminded him of Carl Furillo of the Brooklyn Dodgers, strong and accurate. I'm glad that Johnny is doing well in retirement.

harry
October 19, 2011
I was 11 years old when the Mets began. I probably saw 30 games a year for the first six years. I will always remember Johnny Lewis' fielding and arm. He was a favorite of mine during his brief stay. I am glad to find out that he continued to have a great career in baseball.

John Abrams
January 4, 2013
I went to quite a few Mets games growing up, and Johnny Lewis was a big name for us in 1965. Those teams lost a lot of games, so players like Johnny gave us something to root for. I hope all continues to go well for Johnny.

Brian Mouland
January 4, 2013
Johnny managed the Calgary Cardinals of the Pioneer Baseball League in the 1970s.









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