Ron Swoboda
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Ron Swoboda
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Game Log Memories of
Ron Swoboda
Ron Swoboda
Ultimate Mets Database popularity ranking: 46 of 1043 players
Ronald Alan Swoboda
Born: June 30, 1944 at Baltimore, Md.
Throws: Right Bats: Right
Height: 6.02 Weight: 205

Ron Swoboda has been the most popular Ultimate Mets Database daily lookup 22 times, most recently on January 12, 2018.

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First Mets game: April 12, 1965
Last Mets game: September 28, 1970

Share your memories of Ron Swoboda


I still think his catch in the '69 Series was one of the greatest plays I've ever seen.

Many people remember Ron's catch in the '69 World Series as his shining achievement mainly because it has been replayed so many times . If one truly followed Ron's career then you would come to expect the unexpected from him. Events like the two two-run home runs he hit to beat Steve Carlton the day Carlton set the single game strikeout record or the fact that he hit two home runs in his first four major league at bats are the most vivid memories I have of his career. He does an outstanding job as a sportscaster.

CodyCat Al
I remember what a feared slugger Swoboda was. However I also remember in his early years many plays where he missed the ball. Overall, My memories of Ron are good. He was great for the team and the fans. Where is Ron today?

Richard Kissel
First memory. 1965 season, "L'il Abner", as Bob Murphy called him, hit two pinch hit homers in his first four at bats. Gave up his "14" when Gil Hodges came to the Mets. Got to know "Swo", as he liked to be called, on line. He is an intelligent, articulate caring guy who belongs in baseball. I told him that I remembered him coming to our Little League dinners with his wife. He said that in those days he believed it was part of his job to promote the game. His catch WAS the greatest but he had no business diving for that ball.

David F
The first game I ever saw at Shea was in August 1969 when the Dodgers came to town. My only vivid memory of that game was when Bill Singer tried to quick pitch Rocky Swoboda. I didn't even see him hit the ball because I wasn't ready, but Rocky was; all I remember was the ball sailing over the fence. Mets won 5-3 to pull a game closer to the Cubs.

Think it was 1965. I was at a Mets-Giants game. Juan Marichal was throwing a no-hitter through 6 innings. Game won by Mets in bottom of the ninth on a home run by Swoboda. What a thrill - I was sitting in the first row mezzanine, between home and first and I remember jumping up and yelling 'they win the game!'. And I still remember this as one of my all time baseball thrills - I was 11 years old!

Eric Kaplan
April 29, 2001
My dad was a die hard Dodger fan. Wouldn't go to a game after they left til 62. We went almost every Sunday once the Mets started. In the early years, it was a nostalgia team, with a lot of old timers, like Hodges, Snider, Zimmer, etc. Dad would tell me stories about the old guys and what they did in their heydays. Then in 65 things changed. The youth movement took hold. April of 65 we are watching our first game and this kid Swoboda is hitting rockets in BP. Dad says, watch this kid. He will be a star. Well, in his own way, he was. 2 dingers to beat Carlton's 19 K's. The Mets rookie HR record (pre- Straw), the diving catch against Brooks Robinson that saved a World Series game, and the ultimate, the play that proved my Dad right when he said he thought Ron would make history - he delivered the hit (a double down the left field line) that made the Mets a winner for the first time. Time flies, and when I take my sond to watch Piazza and the boys and something great happens, I tell him my Swoboda stories. If you see a guy at Shea wearing a Swoboda jersey, it's me....

Won Doney
June 30, 2001
He was a great player and will forever be remembered as a great part of the 1969 team. It is interesting how the only especially memorable parts of his career were the 2 home runs against Carlton in that 19-k game in '69, hitting more home runs as a rookie than Mantle did in his rookie year, and arguably making the greatest catch in the history of the Series.

Flip Buttling
July 27, 2001
When I was pretty young- Probably around 5-6 yrs old. I was a Yankees fan. I lived in Queens, but had always heard about the Yanks. One night, my Dad, who was a Brooklyn Dodgers fan, then a Met's fan, came home from a game, and announced to his half asleep son "Ron Swaboda hit FOUR home runs tonight! Well, I'm sure it was because I was half asleep, as to how I got confused about the difference between "FOUR home runs" and "four RBI's off Two Home runs", but from that day on, we stopped watching Channel 11, and started to watch channel 9. (You New Yorkers know what I mean! ) I've been a Mets fan ever since.

Mike Tenenbaum
August 4, 2001
I remember Ron Swoboda from an event off the field. It made headlines (well, sort of) in the New York Post.

Ron's Chinese grandfather came to town from Baltimore loaded with Chesapeake crab (Ymmmmeeee). Ron invited to his home to share in this feast Cleon Jones and Tommie Agee. According to the Post it was the first off-the-field fraternization between white and black Met ballplayers.

When asked why he invited Jones and Agee to his home, Ron just said that they told him they liked crab.

November 8, 2001
Ron was my favorite ballplayer when I was a kid. When I was 11 years old I sent him a letter asking him for his autograph (1996). I also asked if he could get some of the Mets to sign the sheet too. I sent a self addressed stamped envelope with a sheet of notebook paper. Well a couple of weeks later I received the sheet and he had the entire team sign the sheet - including the coaches. What a class act!!! I brought it into show and tell. I put it in my desk and when I got back from lunch it was gone. I was so bummed. But still the thoughtfulness of his actions never left me.

He may not have had the most talent, but he played with heart and a love for the game that a lot of todays players could learn from. He became a terrific defensive rightfielder. People remember his catch in the series, but he also had a great arm. I also cherish his game winning hit in the bottom of the 8th in the 5th game.

I have just about all of his cards, some autographs and a few other of the collectibles associated with him. If anyone reading this has any of his memorbelia for sale drop me a line.

January 15, 2002
For some reason when I was a kid he was my favorite Met. Will never forget the 69 series. That catch..what a thrill. THANK YOU RON!

By the way... Whatever happened to his sportscaster career. He used to be on CBS Channel 2 in NY years ago after he retired.

January 24, 2002
The first game my dad took me to was a Mets-Giants game at Shea Stadium on August 4, 1966. The Mets were losing, going into the bottom of the ninth. With two runners on base, Ron Swoboda came up to bat as a pinch-hitter (for Chuck Hiller, I later learned from Mr. Swoboda himself) and hit a game-winning, three-run home run (off of Bill Henry)!

I saved the picture from the next day's Newsday of Ron about to reach home plate and I still have that photo today.

rich edwards
March 14, 2002
He was so scary in the outfield. If you ever watch the video of the World Series game where he makes his diving catch, watch the last out of the inning, a medium fly ball he runs in for and actually catches the ball behind his head.

March 22, 2002
I remember when he came up. Casey thought he would hit a homer every time up. His mistake was breaking Mickey Mantle's record for home runs as a rookie. Ron was a good player and we all wished he was GREAT. In 1967 I went to a Father Son diner at St. James Church in Totowa, N.J. and Ron was to be a guest speaker. My good buddy Greg (a Yankee fan) and I were in the back of the room getting snacks and Ron walked in with his fur coat on. I walked right into him with a handful of potato chips and pretzels and smashed them on his fur coat. He just looked at me and smiled but I felt that I ruined his coat. My buddy ran back and told my dad and my dad lectured me about being more careful but wondered why a man wears a fur coat. His catch in the 69 series was the best of all time and he gave us all many happy memories.

Bill Sylvester
July 14, 2002
Ron and my dad share the same birthday, so I guess you could say that BOTH of my heroes were born on June 30th.

Some baseball memories include a mammoth homer against the Cubs (or was it the Pirates?) that hit a bus outside the leftfield fence, and his great quote after striking out five times in one game. The reporter asked if heard the fans booing. Ron responded "When you strike out five times in a game, they should line up and boo you all the way home!" (Some visual, huh?)

I have met Ron in person several times. He currently lives in New Orleans where he is still involved in baseball by broadcasting New Orleans Zephyr games. He also is a avid history buff of his adopted home town of New Orleans. A truly wonderful man, Ron gave my wife and I a guided tour of the French Quarter! And Ron, if you're reading this, here's wishing you a belated Happy Birthday.

July 19, 2002
Lived in my hometown of Syosset when I was a kid. His kids were in Little League with me. He coached a soccer team with my dad. A class act.

September 10, 2002
First time I ever saw him hit, he hit a home run that supposedly hit one of the busses parked out in the parking lot (no bleachers in those days) - don't know if it went that far, but it was a shot. He hit 19 homers as a rookie, but about 12 of them were in the first month - was neck-and-neck with Willie Mays for the league lead. I thought he was going to be an all- time great, until I saw a fly ball come his way in right field. Once saw a game in St. Louis where Mets were clinging to a 3 run lead - bases loaded, 2 out, batter hits a high pop to right, after circling a few times, Swoboda falls down and the ball fell at his feet - tie game! I thik they waited until extra innings to lose that one - those were the days!

Tom Tuerff
October 7, 2002
Not sure what Ron is doing now, but some years back he was a sportscaster in Phoenix, AZ. The station that hired him developed this HORRIBLE teaser campaign to promote his ultimate arrival at the station: billboards, TV and radio asking the question, "What's a Swoboda?" Of course, most people knew who Ron Swoboda was so it was a stupid campaign. And as sportscasters go, Ron Swoboda was a great baseball player.

I hope whatever he's doing now he's happy!

Mr. Sparkle
January 3, 2003
I love this guy. He never hit for average but I always thought of him as clutch. He was quite a character and should have been a Met longer. He never quite lived up to expectations but was still a decent player in the 60's. He will always be remembered for the great World Series catch and the two 2-run homers to beat Steve Carlton the day Carlton struck out 19 Mets. Way to go Rocky!

Bob R.
January 7, 2003
Ron's talent was limited but his enthusiasm wasn't. He was fun to watch, and every so often he'd surprise you and do something great. His catch in Game 4 of the '69 Series was miraculous, and it came at exactly the right moment. It might have saved the Series for the Mets. Thanks Ron!

Steven Gallanter
March 29, 2003
I remember that Swoboda hit a Grand Slam against the Pirates in 1969. They were playing a day game and I was sneaking glimpses at it in between running around a sprinkler on a brutally hot day.

I was so happy! I was 11 years old.

April 24, 2003
I was on vacation in New Orleans in 1990 and met Ron Swoboda. A radio station was doing an outdoor broadcast and he was there. Quite a surprise and I came away with a great photo of him. Nice guy.

Tom B
September 14, 2003
I saw Ron hit a 3-run homer in the first inning of a game against the Astros or Cubs when I was nine years old. He was my favorite Met so it was quite a thrill. He had some great moments for the Mets especially the '69 World Series.

December 24, 2003
Of course we all remember the incredible diving catch in the World Series. But another amazing catch is in my Swoboda memory bank and it came when he was playing for the Yankees. He was in right field and went back on a ball that was heading out for a home run. Swoboda went back to the fence (3 or 4 feet high, in front of the 344 Ft sign) and leapt for the ball. He caught it as he stretched as high for it as he could. He was going to come down on the other side of the fence, in the seats...a nasty spill for sure. But an usher, in a red coat, leaned over, braced himself against the back of the wall and Swoboda landed on the usher who prevented him from falling onto the seats/concrete floor. Swoboda came up throwing towards the infield. An amazing catch and a skull-cracking save by the usher. Please, does anyone else remember this play at the old Yankee Stadium? I'm guessing it was the 1972 season.

Frank the Met
January 3, 2004
Hey Frankie, I certainly remember the catch you're talking about. It was, I believe, in 1971 or 72, but what I absolutely know for sure is that it was the first game of a televised doubleheader, Yanks against Red Sox. Swoboda's catch was as you described and, I recall, it came in the 9th inning as a gamesaver. After the game (between games of the doubleheader), they interviewed Swoboda, and of course, everyone was comparing it to his World Series catch.

I have a memory of another obscure great catch by Swoboda. In 1970, while still with the Mets, he came running in from right field and made a shoestring catch on a bloop fly without diving. I recall Lindsey Nelson calling the play, and when the catch was made, he yelled, "Swobodaaaaa!" What made this catch somewhat less obsure is that it then appeared on the opening of all Met telecasts in that montage of Mets plays while "Meet the Mets" music was playing in the background - and ended with Cleon Jones sliding into home. Anyone remember that great old opening?

Maxwell Kates
March 17, 2004
Actually, the comment about Swoboda's "Chinese grandfather" is a bit of a misnomer. According to Maury Allen's "After the Miracle," Swoboda's Chinese grandfather was not a blood relation. His natural grandfather died, after which his grandmother married a Chinese restauranteur from Baltimore. I figure anyone who includes Chinese food and Maryland crabcakes in their cooking repertoire is a good guy in my books.

Here's my favourite Swoboda story. Spring training, 1968. The Mets were playing, and it was Ron's turn at bat. But Swoboda was nowhere to be seen. In the dugout? No Swoboda. In the clubhouse? No Swoboda. In the outfield or the bullpen or the stands? No Swoboda. So where was he?

As cited in the "Baseball Hall of Shame" series, Swoboda was "on the toilet taking a crap."

Feat Fan
June 6, 2004
"Amazing strength, amazing power - he (Ron Swoboda) can grind the dust out of the bat. He will be great, super even wonderful. Now, if he can only learn to catch a fly ball"

This from Rocky's first big league skipper, Casey !

Rich Weksberg
October 21, 2004
I was listening to this album by the one hit wonders Dramarama. (Anything, Anything). Anyways there is a song "Steve and Edie" which includes the line " I talked to Ron Swoboda about the Russian Coda. He just kept saying the same thing, he wasn't doing nothing."

They were from Wayne,NJ must have been Met fans.

Barry Snoddon
March 19, 2005
I recently met Ron Swoboda on a cruise in the Caribbean. He was part of a baseball legends program headed by Stan Bahnsen. His candour, enthusiasm and willingness to share with those who attended the programs was commendable indeed. His favourite memories stories were not only interesting but exceedingly humourous.

Paul Zavaglia
March 21, 2005
Ron "Rocky" Swoboda was my idol growing up as a boy in Bayonne NJ. I remember my father asking me all the time: "Ron Swoboda!?? Ron Swoboda!?? Why not Tom Seaver? Why not Cleon Jones?" As a young fan I cried when he was traded to the Expos for Don Hahn. I remember every time Dan Hahn came to the plate I walked out of our T.V. room in protest. I'll never forget the catch Ron made in the '69 series. I am a baseball fan true and true. My 3 sons all play little league baseball and are baseball fans too. Now they ask me: "Ron Swoboda??"

Jonathan Stern
April 4, 2005
If you read Maury Allen's book on the 1969 Mets, you will come away admiring Swoboda. Most ex-ballplayers rewrite the past to make themselves look good. In fact, that's what most people do. Not Swoboda. He was man enough to admit his jealousy towards Seaver and his reckless shooting off of his mouth in 1970. He was one of the more colorful and interesting 1969 Mets. And the fact that his whole career boiled down to one amazin' catch makes him the starting RF on my Ultimet team.

One thing: when I was a kid, I was entertained by Sparky Lyle's "The Bronx Zoo." Any adolescent will enjoy reading his first "dirty book," especially if it is about baseball. I remember giggling about a particularly sophomoric incident described by Lyle (involving birthday cakes), but after rereading the book for the first time in over twenty years today, I discovered that the incident involved Swoboda when he was a Yankee. I didn't know of or appreciate Swoboda back then, so the name went past me. All right - I guess that was my "Beavis and Butt-head" moment on the site.

July 5, 2005
Back in 1969 I was thirteen years old. Ron Swoboda was my hero. I had a life size stand up of Ron holding a six pack of RC Cola in my bedroom. When we would play baseball I was always Ron Swoboda at the bat! I used to love the commercial of Ron and Pamela Austin all alone in Shea singing the RC Cola song and running the bases till he flips Pamela on second base. My dad took me to Shea with great seats. My hero Ron strikes out four times right in front of me! No problem 'cause he was RON SWOBODA.

Hank M
July 11, 2005
I met Ron Swoboda recently in New Orleans. He is a radio analyst for the New Orleans Zephyrs of the AAA Pacific Coast League. I saw him in the broadcast booth and we spoke for a few minutes before the game. He also signed my scorecard with "1969 Mets" under it. It's good to see that he is still involved with baseball more than thirty years after his last game.

Louis Delia
July 13, 2005
When I think about Ron Swoboda, so many great memories come flooding back: growing up in Queens in the 60's, bonding with my Dad, going to games at Shea, baseball cards, yearbooks, just having fun.

Ron Swoboda may not have been the best baseball player. In the scheme of things, he was at best mediocre. But he was and still is a hero to a generation of kids who grew up in Queens during the 60's. Why Ron Swoboda? He's just like most of us. He went through his career and did his best as we all try to do. Never a superstar, he had some great moments and key contributions to the '69 pennant drive and World Series victory for which he will always be remembered.

We all can't be superstars, but if we look back on our lives we may find that we have had some "Ron Swoboda" moments. Times when we did the unexpected, succeeded at a crucial moment, did something heroic, something that we can look back at, smile and say to ourselves "Wow ,I did that!"

If you haven't seen "Frequency", go rent the video. It captures the essence of growing up in Queens as a Met fan in the 60's. Jim Caveizel's character talking to his Dad played by Dennis Quaid about the '69 Mets: "I'll love Ron Swoboda till the day I die."

That says it all. Thanks Ron.

Bob R
July 16, 2005
Ron was the embodiment of the '69 Mets.... a so-so player with tremendous spirit who won games with sheer hustle. His catch to save Game 4 will always be the greatest World Series catch in my book.

September 27, 2005
Ron has been doing the Zephyrs games in New Orleans for many years now! Can't say he was my favorite player back then, but I always liked him. He gave his all every day! I was mad when he got traded! Another of those deals which helped neither team. I remember hearing how Gil Hodges and Ron would go at it over playing time. Gil liked to platoon Ron and Art Shamsky; Ron obviously wanted to play every day. For some reason I always thought that was why he got shipped out! I still remember the N.Y. Daily News having a full page picture of Ron in his new Expo uniform a few days after the trade. Sad!

gary shell
February 18, 2006
The catch in right field in '69. We've all seen it on replays but I was there at Shea that day. It was game 4 of the Series. Seaver got the win. I was 17 and had followed the Mets and their follies throughout their beginnings. I laughed at the Mets and with the Mets but this was 1969. The days of laughing were over. The Amazin's were going for it all.

I'll never forget Swoboda's diving catch. Seeing it live, at Shea; it was like a special gift to the Mets' loyal fans.

Bob R
February 26, 2006
The 1969 catch was not only an incredible feat, it also may have saved the game and prevented the Orioles from tying up the World Series. Had the ball gotten past him, the Orioles would have scored a second run and taken a 2-1 lead into the ninth inning. Instead, the game was tied and the Mets won it 2-1 in the tenth inning. So, you can make a strong argument that Swoboda's catch was the key play of the 1969 Series.

But then I remember Swoboda making an almost identical catch a year or two later! I believe it happened in Montreal. Since the situation was relatively unimportant, almost nobody recalls it. But I bet Ron would if you mentioned it to him. It literally was a carbon copy of the 1969 catch.

Tom Ellwood
April 19, 2006
Ron Swoboda personified growing up in the 60's. He was a flower-power ballplayer that had charisma, charm, and a flair for the dramatic that no one could rival in NY sports at that time. His "challenge authority" attitude in dealing with the anal Gil Hodges was marvelous to watch! His love beads, big whiffs, great smile, love of the fans, and huge memorable moments make him one of NY Mets fans most loved athletes ever. Rock on Rocky!

Michael Schiano
May 24, 2006
A friend of mine recently put it quite well: every time you see the clip of Swoboda's catch, you say, "No, he'll never get it," even though you've actually seen him make the catch a hundred times.

Vince Carbone
August 19, 2006
I was 15 yrs old and my buddies and I had spent all summer at Shea. We were there for the Cubs series (black cat and good bye Leo), the division finals and the World Series. If you don't go to many games it's sometimes hard to tell whether a fly ball is going out of the park or is just an infield pop-up. By the the World Series I had a good sense of what a fly ball would do. When, whoever it was, hit the line shot, I sunk in my seat. There was no way anyone, especially Swoboda, was going to catch the ball. I will always remember his diving catch and the crowd going from despair to total craziness in an instant.

September 11, 2006
i was privileged to be in (old) Yankee Stadium Labor Day 1971 when Swoboda made a phenomenal catch, robbing Reggie Smith of HR at the low-fence, 344 foot sign. My recollection is that Swoboda was still running with his back to plate and caught the high line drive over his right shoulder then fell into the seats. It was more tremendous than '69 WS catch and belongs on any list of greatest-ever catches. I saw ESPN's top-10 all time web gems recently and some of the OF catches on its list were so routine compared to Swoboda's. The ESPN list at least prompted me to surf the internet where I found this great site. Frankie and Frank the Met had postings here about Swoboda's catch but unfortunately had no email addresses. Hopefully they can email me.

harlan smith
November 7, 2006
I was 12 years old during the '69 run. He was my favorite. My room sported several of his posters. Every ball hit out to right was an adventure early in his career, and then "the catch" and the clutch double in game 5. I was so proud to call him my hero. All I wanted to do was meet him and spend hours talking baseball with him. And then in 1989, I met him at a baseball card show. He was so nice and approachable, but at 32, all I could say was thanks for the memories. Growing up really sucks sometimes!

Danny Gleason
November 10, 2006
I have great memories of Ron growing up in Brooklyn in the 60's. I remember getting an authentic #4 Swoboda Met uniform for my confirmation present. I was so estatic. I too, like other fans here, liked Ron because he was an average guy who rose to the occasion. I was devastated when he was traded to the Expos. I still have baseball cards and newspaper clippings from all those years ago.

December 8, 2006
He was my first sports hero back in the 60s. I remember my mother and brother took me to see him when they had Met fan club night. I was too scared to say hi. My mom had to speak up for me. He was very nice.

December 10, 2006
Remember the comment from "Bull Durham"--million dollar arm but a nickel for a brain. Swoboda is one of the leaders in HR by the all-star break his first year and gets interviewed by Sports Illustrated. Ron tells the reporter: "I don't know why they keep pitching me high fastballs, that is where I like them." Ron hits only like 4 homers the rest of the season and sees very few high fastballs the rest of his career.

Dick Tez
April 1, 2008
I was just 6 years old during the World Series of 1969, but this is my most distant vivid memory. My father, mother, and I were watching on the couch when Swoboda made the greatest catch in World Series history. He instantly sprang up and threw the ball home, which was late but not by much.

My father, once the catch was made, sprung up from the couch in amazement and lifted the heavy wood table right off the ground with his knees and it tumbled over almost crashing into the TV. My mother, who knew absolutely NOTHING about baseball before the series, looked at my dad and I was sure she was going to rip into him. He looked at her in fear as she began to speak and she said something I will never forget. "Shouldn't he have thrown to first and got that man out?" He didn't understand what she meant, and she explained that if Swoboda would have the thrown to first, the runner who was on first could have been doubled off and the run wouldn't have scored, something she learned about the rules watching the Series. Never saw my dad so speechless.

Every time I watch the replay, you can see the runner from first hustling to get back once the catch was made. I spoke with many people who remember the play, and not one has ever brought that angle up. From the mouths of babes.

Feat Fan
April 4, 2008
May 8, 1965: Cub Scout Pack 448 takes us to the game. Swoboda hits two home runs in 4-2 win and leads the NL with 8.

Ron Carcich
April 4, 2008
The hat coming off on his desperate cross-field runs to compensate for being out of position. He made it all look so dramatic, and that is why we watch, isn't it ?

RF Mojica
April 12, 2008
I remember reading a Tom Seaver interview many years ago. I may remember it wrong, but I think Seaver said something like: "Swoboda was the type of player we had to get rid of if we wanted to be a winning team"! This was after Swoboda was traded. A nice thing to say about a former teammate, but Seaver always impressed me as being a stuck-up snob. Odd thing is they might not have won the Series in '69 without his famous catch. The O's would have won that game and tied the Series and very possibly would have won it.

I think it was in 1969, we went to a Saturday night game at Shea vs. the Giants. My father was a fan of the Giants going back to their Polo Ground days and always liked to see them when they came to town. Mike McCormick took a no-hitter into the sixth or seventh inning, the longest no-hitter I've seen at a game in person, and Swoboda broke it up with a home run. (The other things I remember about that game was that it was the first night game I ever went to and the first with a rain delay.) For some reason I have a memory that this was an old timers game (though it couldn't be because I don't think they had old timers games at night back then) or maybe they had some kind of ceremony before the game. Also that it must have been shortly after Steve Carlton's 19K game vs. the Mets, when Swoboda hit two home runs, because I remember hearing someone talk about that when Swoboda broke up the no-hitter. This was so many years ago, and I was very young, so I might have a bunch of different games mixed up.

I remember thinking at the time that Swoboda, with Agee, Jones, Seaver, Koosman and Grote, were the real "name" Met players, so it's surprising to remember that he wasn't really with the team that long. And how many NY fans of the time even remember him playing with the Yankees?

Joe Figliola
April 14, 2008
Found out something about Ron that I was never aware of. He tried to make the Braves roster in 1974, but was cut about a week and a half before the season began.

Also: Am I the only one who remembers when he attempted a comeback with the Mets during spring training, 1976?

Paul Reynolds
April 24, 2009
When I was about 10 years old my friends and I hopped on our bikes and rode to Ron Swoboda's house in Syosset to get his autograph. When we arrived at his house his wife answered the door and said Mr. Swoboda was not home but if we wanted to wait, we could go in the backyard and play on the swings. We did, and got to play with his son (Chip I believe). Mrs. Swoboda even came out with cookies and milk for us. Sure enough, Mr. Swoboda came home and give us all autographs. Not only that, but he played baseball with us in his backyard and gave us all batting lessons! Now that's a memory I will never forget.

Thank you Ron Swoboda!

April 27, 2009
When I was 10 and in the 5th grade at P. S. 222 in Brooklyn in 1976 I played Ron Swoboda in a school play. He was an announcer at that time and that's what I was in the play--an announcer. I could have been anyone but I picked him because he played for the Mets and I liked his name. I wore my baseball undershirt from my Little League team and wrote "Ron Swoboda" in magic marker on it so everyone would know who I was. I have always regretted being too young to remember seeing him play. I will always believe that his fully extended diving catch in the 1969 World Series is the greatest catch ever.

Kevin Brady
August 11, 2009
I have so many memories of Ron Swoboda during my childhood. The two 2-run home runs against Steve Carlton and the Catch are the obvious standouts as a player, but my fondest memory was meeting him in person at his Dugout restaurant in Amityville. He was bigger than life and I was truly in awe of meeting him in person. I have worn #4 for my entire baseball career, even now at 54 my softball uniform number is 4. I just bought a Ron Swoboda baseball bat card. It has a piece of his bat on the card. Any item related to Ron Swoboda is a great thing to me!

lorrin bird
May 4, 2010
Interesting factoid regarding Swoboda's fielding abilities. During 1965, he had the highest putouts/inning ratio's for Mets centerfielders and rightfielders with at least 100 innings at those positions. It appears he could get to balls better than most in CF and RF, even if some were not played as cleanly as they could have. 1969 is consistent with his stats.

June 16, 2010
Ron was my favorite Met when I was a kid. The Yankees had Mantle and Maris, we had Kranepool and Swoboda. My brother liked Ed, so to be different, I picked Ron. When Ron came through in such spectacular fashion during the '69 Series - when I was 10 years old - was really great.

Frank the Met
October 15, 2010
I haven't written about Swoboda here in over six years, but I have something to add about The Catch. Although Swoboda's World Series catch is arguably the most famous catch in baseball history, I recently watched the replay of Game 4 of the 1969 World Series with Curt Gowdy and Lindsey Nelson announcing.

What astounded me was that Gowdy did not make a big deal at all about the catch. He did call it a "fine" play, but focused more on the clutch hitting of Brooks Robinson who tied the game with that sacrifice fly. It was only after the game when the Mets won an inning and a half later that Gowdy again referred to the catch. Also, Swoboda batted in the bottom of the ninth, and they showed the crowd giving him a standing ovation.

I guess it was one of those things when -- only in retrospect -- was it considered such a great catch. Naturally, I expected to hear Curt Gowdy and Lindsey Nelson going crazy, but they were amazingly low key about it. I wonder if the Mets had lost that game and the series if the catch would even be remembered. Unlike Carlton Fisk's homer against the Reds, which is talked about endlessly, even though the Sox lost the series.

Jim Eckert
February 15, 2011
After his rookie year when Swoboda made some waves there was a Sport Magazine article on him. It was reported that in the Mets locker room hung a copy of a Russian newspaper titled "Svoboda" (which means "freedom"). I think, but not sure, that Swoboda had Czech ancestry. Anyway it was punned in the article that Swoboda was being hailed as the one to "free" the Mets from the dull routine of losing (it was still 1965 when the Mets had had nothing in their history but rotten clubs). It went on therefore to say that "with Swoboda the Mets still lose just as often, but now the losses are rarely as dull."

June 17, 2014
In 1965, met fans did not have much to be excited about. But as a 10-year-old child, who passionately loved that team, I got my excitement watching a rookie belt out home runs. The future did not look so bleak. My uncle would take me to a game once a year. He was a former minor league player himself, who used to play ball with Whitey Herzog. In the mid sixties, Herzog was a coach with the Mets. They both conspired to get me in the clubhouse to meet some of the team. They set it up so that when I walked in, I would be approached by Ron. By far my favorite player. We spoke for what seemed like hours. I never came down from that experience until I arrived home. This was an experience that I still talk about today. When my kids ask me who my favorite all time Met is they expect to hear Piazza, Strawberry, or Seaver. My answer to them has produced a lifetime of strange looks. A five-minute conversation that I'm sure Ron has forgotten about long ago still remains one of the greatest experiences of my life. Thank you for those five minutes.

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