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Bud Harrelson
Bud Harrelson
Inducted into the New York Mets Hall of Fame, 1986
Ultimate Mets Database popularity ranking: 21 of 981 players
Harrelson
Derrel McKinley Harrelson
Born: June 6, 1944 at Niles, Cal.
Throws: Right Bats: Both
Height: 5.11 Weight: 155

Bud Harrelson has been the most popular Ultimate Mets Database daily lookup 24 times, most recently on July 21, 2014.

ss Manager
Non-playing roles with Mets
  • Manager 1990 - 1991
  • Coach 1982, 1985 - 1990
  • Broadcaster 1983

First Mets game: September 2, 1965
Last Mets game: October 2, 1977





Named Shortstop on the National League Gold Glove team, 1971. (New York Mets)

Share your memories of Bud Harrelson

HERE IS WHAT OTHER METS FANS HAVE TO SAY:

Joe "Metsie" Feltman
I remember, when I went to the Baseball Hall O' Fame I saw his name inscribed on the gold glove trophy for shortstops...I think he won one sometime in the early 70's... kinda made me proud to be a Mets fan.

One thing I remember about his terrible offensive numbers...when he played for the Phillies in the later 70's and Carlton was pitching, Danny Ozark, the Phils manager, would bat Harrelson ninth in the order behind Carlton. I thought maybe Valentine might do that with Ordonez when Hampton was pitching.

Another funny story: when Buddy was the Mets' manager, Howie Rose used to interview him on WFAN. Rose used to ask Buddy some stupid rhetorical question like, "Wouldn't Dave Magadan be more valuble to the Mets if he hit for power?" and Buddy would always start off answering the question by saying, "Well, obviously..." or "That's obvious..." That used to tick off Howie so much that he eventually confronted Buddy about it. After a couple of arguments with Rose, Buddy stopped the interview show. Way to stick it to Howie and those stupid WFAN know-it-alls Budman!

RAUL DEL VALLE
Growing up in West New York, New Jersey in the early seventies, Bud Harrelson was the first shortstop that I got to watch on a regular basis. I never paid much attention to what he did at the plate but defensively I fell in love with the way he played. Since I was 11 years old I have been wearing number 3 on every uniform that I have worn. Now that I am 40 years old my son, Kenin del Valle, wears that number on his baseball uniforms. I hope to one day have the honor of meeting Mr. Harrelson so my son could get to see in person one of the few men that I have molded my life around.

Randy W
In response to Raul, I did have the opportunity to meet Buddy at a Mets fantasy camp in 1990. I can honestly say that whatever good things you imagine him to be, he is! I found him to be funny, nice, a good teacher to us fantasy campers, and more. What a gritty, tough, competitive shortstop! I grounded out to him during a game at the camp. He can still play! I met him again on the field at Shea during his first few weeks as manager. It's a shame he never got the chance to stick around as manager for any length of time but maybe we will see him again in a Mets uniform, coaching, managing, whatever.

murphy
I was in the stands at Arlington Stadium when Buddy hit his last career home run when he was with the Texas Rangers. I was an 11-year old Mets fan living in Dallas. I must have cheered Buddy for 30 minutes. He was the epitome of the good glove-absolutely no bat shortstops in the Mets history. I just wish Buddy could have beaten the crap out of Pete Rose. As far as I'm concerned, I hope Rose never gets in the Hall of Fame for that fight. Keep hawking your memorabilia Pete.

Phil Hessemer
Buddy has always been my favorite all-time Met. When I met Buddy at the Fantasy Camp in Pt. St. Lucie several years ago he was so natural and friendly. He signed and posed for pictures whenever asked. I recently attended a Duck game and once again he readily signed a few pictures I had taken of him several years ago in Florida. My wife and I, both senior citizens, have so much respect for him. We are so happy for his success with the Ducks.

Mr. Sparkle
December 13, 2000
Buddy was a great shortstop back in the days when they couldn't hit. I wish he pounded Pete Rose. He was the absolute worst manager of all time. He hid in the dug out to avoid being booed by fans. Despite that he's still an all time great Met.

Coach HoJo 20
March 31, 2001
I was a teammate and roommate of Bud in the minor leagues - Salinas, California in 1964.

While I can recall a great number of incredible defensive plays he made, several of which saved ball games for me (as a pitcher), I think the two things I recall that impressed me even more than his play in the field were his enthusiasm and his loyalty.

Day after day he exhibited his ability to put those around him in a mood that had us ready to play well. As for his loyalty - in the season following 1964, while we were in the California National Guard, he received his contract for 1965. No raise, just another contract like the one the year before. I advised him to send it back, rationalizing that he was the only young shortstop in the Mets organization with the potential to play in the big leagues. He looked at me, said "I don't have time for stuff like that, I just want to play for the Mets." He signed it and mailed it. His loyalty was to his organization.

Later, as I spent some of my vacation time going into nearby cities to watch the Mets play, he always spent some time with me. He didn't have to - but his loyalty again took over - this time to old friends.

Enthusiasm and loyalty - that was and is Bud Harrelson.

Marty C
April 3, 2001
Class act, all-time great Met player, overmatched as a manager; the Ray Handley of the Mets.

Jerry Gehrke
September 13, 2001
I was a teammate and roommate of Bud in the minor leagues - Salinas, California in 1964.

While I can recall a great number of incredible defensive plays he made, several of which saved ball games for me (as a pitcher), I think the two things I recall that impressed me even more than his play in the field were his enthusiasm and his loyalty.

Day after day he exhibited his ability to put those around him in a mood that had us ready to play well. As for his loyalty - in the season following 1964, while we were in the California National Guard, he received his contract for 1965. No raise, just another contract like the one the year before. I advised him to send it back, rationalizing that he was the only young shortstop in the Mets organization with the potential to play in the big leagues. He looked at me, said "I don't have time for stuff like that, I just want to play for the Mets." He signed it and mailed it. His loyalty was to his organization.

Later, as I spent some of my vacation time going into nearby cities to watch the Mets play, he always spent some time with me. He didn't have to - but his loyalty again took over - this time to old friends.

Enthusiasm and loyalty - that was and is Bud Harrelson.

Mike
November 29, 2001
Buddy once hit a ball off the wall in Veteran's Stadium - on the fly. It was off Steve Carlton, no less, and it prompted Lindsey Nelson to exclaim, "Oh-h-h-h-h...where did supershort get that power?" A banjo hitter but one heck of a shortstop. Nobody could go back on fly balls or go to his left behind the mound for those choppers like Buddy. My all-time favorite Met. But oh Lord, he was always getting hurt. I was afraid he'd lose his job to Mike Phillips that one year he got stuck on the disabled list. And who can forget the scuffle with Rose in the '73 Playoffs? Would love to see him in the 1st base coaching box at Shea. Seaver and Staub and Harrelson: they should bury them all in their Mets' uniforms.

Mike Friedman
January 27, 2002
I met Bud Harrelson at the fantasy camp in 1992 and my favorite memory was accepting the Bruce Froelich award from him at the end of my magical week. He was probably the most approachable person at the camp.

About 2 years later he made an appearance at a local shopping mall and I bet my wife dinner that he would remember me and she said he wouldn't.

I was able to approach him and got a greeting usually given by family members or close friends. I'll never forget him.

Larry Burns
May 30, 2002
The consummate scrappy player who took on superstar Pete Rose to lead the Mets in the 1973 playoffs---he will always be a Mets Classic! But his reign as skipper was a nightmare. How does a guy who dukes it out with Charlie Hustle become such a pantywaist that he hides in the dugout. Completely out of character for Buddy. He now coached the LI Ducks. I guess he was not ready for a major league gig. His failure as a manager was one of my worst Met memories.

dp
September 12, 2002
I remember how he and Seaver used to bust on Ralph when they went on Kiner's Korner. They had a lot of fun and Ralph took it in stride.

Metsmind
December 24, 2002
Buddy always remained a prominent local figure. My cousins and I used to ride our bikes on Burr Rd in East Northport hoping he would come out of his house. We saw him a few times. We were young, and couldn't understand it when we heard he was getting divorced from his wife. (We liked watching for Evette too.)

In 1983, Buddy was giving private batting lessons at a batting cage in Bellmore. We would see him there and think "look how far he has fallen," but later he would resurface as Mets manager.

Give him credit-- he was always out in the community, and still is from time to time.

Oh, and maybe only Mookie Wilson hustled harder than Harrelson in a Met uniform.

Doc B
September 13, 2003
Met him at a Little League dinner when I was 11 and he called my number to win a baseball glove. He was walking with a cane getting over a knee injury. He couldn't have been friendlier.

Nolan's Nephew
April 22, 2004
I remember my Topps baseball card having some trivia on the back of it in either the late 60s or early 70s that Bud got an inside-the-park homeroom because the fly ball he hit got stuck in a beer cup that had blown on the field. I also remember that he used to eat a half gallon of ice cream in one sitting trying to put on weight so that he would have more power.

Jonathan Stern
July 19, 2004
I have only one vague memory of Buddy as a player. On TV, I saw him brought in for defensive purposes in a game when he was with the Rangers - his last season, as it turned out.

As a coach, that's him running down the third base line with Ray Knight in Game 6, '86, a Miracle Met blessing the greatest miracle ever with a fist-pump before Knight stomped onto home plate with both feet and pandemonium broke out (Seaver watching in astonishment from the visitors dugout). It was all too good - and too symbolic - to be true.

As a manager... as a manager...

How is it possible for a man to seem so insecure and clueless as a manager, yet be one of only four Mets managers to amass an above-500. winning percentage (third-highest in team history for a major manager), yet never be hired again as a manager, by the Mets or by any other major league team? The Mets did put together several winning streaks of ten games or more during his tenure, and were in playoff contention throughout all of 1990 and most of 1991.

But watching Buddy in the dugout during those games was brutal. He could not stand being booed by the fans and hated the media. You would think he, of all people, would know New York. His dugout altercation with David Cone and uneasy attempts at a cover-up, his refusal to take control over the Jefferies-WFAN fiasco, Darling vs. Whitehurst, his sending Stottlemyre out to make a pitching change then admitting afterwards that he sent Mel out because did not want to be booed.

A sad and strange episode in the history of a strange team.

Herb Sweet
August 3, 2004
I remember going to a game in early 1967(I believe). It was an afternoon game. Bud hit a rocket over the fence. It must have gone over the 371 mark and probably the longest hit he ever had.

Kiwiwriter
September 15, 2004
The best shortstop the Mets ever had...fiery, talented, eager, hard-working, beloved. A joy to watch him field.

As a coach, good, knowledgeable, hard-working.

As a manager, in far over his depth, frightened, terrified of his players and Met fans, unable to leave the dugout to yank a pitcher for justifiable fear of being booed at length.

The "Peter Principle" in action.

Won Doney
November 16, 2004
Bud Harrelson for Fred Andrews... What exactly were they thinking? After being a key member of the team for 14 years, they trade him for someone who never would play for the Mets and had a grand total of 29 career at bats.

Mike Friedman
February 21, 2005
Bud was the greatest to me at the 1992 Mets fantasy camp. He gave me a big hug as I won the Bruce Froelich Memorial Award for the most inspirational player in camp that year. I saw him a year later at a local mall appearance and I bet my wife dinner that he would remember me. She said no way. I was able to get to him and he gave me that same big hug and said hi Mike, How are you? Too bad I never collected on that dinner bet.

KMT
March 8, 2005
Buddy is truly a tale of two maybe three men! As a player, he never gave up, scrappy, fight to the end kind of guy! He should have cleaned Pete's clock though! As a coach, he was okay. As a manager, he apparently listened to the wrong people all of the time. I hated him for turning on Ron Darling! His decision to go with Julio Valera is all he'll be remembered for as a skipper. It cost us the division in 1990! Yes, he's a Met Hall of Famer, only as a player.

Ken
March 14, 2005
One of my all time favorites #3. Does anyone remember the instructional book he put out in the 70's? I had it.

I met Bud in 2000 in Nashua, NH when the Long Island Ducks came to play The Pride. My dad and I went just to meet Bud. We actualy lucked out that day because Jerry Grote was a special guest that night and coached first base for the Ducks.

Well the Ducks lost. You figured big deal, this is not the Bigs, well it was not easy for anyone to speak with Bud as he made his way back to the clubhouse; he was pissed. This impressed me; a game's a game.

So we waited outside, with the handful of ex-New Yorkers, alone and lonely in Red Sox nation; good for us though no crowds.

We first met Jerry who spoke with us and took photos. He left and got on the bus. Then out came Bud. He still looks like he could take the field at Shea today. He was still not a happy camper, but was very gracious. The awesome thing was, once he was going to pose for photos, he said, "Wait, let me go get Grote." An automatic response I suppose for any Met from the 69 team. We told him he had spent some time with us.

Great night. Good Guy. And a true competitor.

Jack Oftenn
July 8, 2005
Recall a game in the 70's on the road, maybe in the Astrodome that Buddy homered and when reaching the dugout no one congratulated him on the round tripper.

Lifelong fan
July 25, 2005
When he skippered the Mets and, if I remember correctly the Mets were in a chase for the division, he started a young pitcher who had a live arm and a calm demeaner. The kid got shelled and Sal Marsciano asked, "Do you now have second thoughts about starting him?" Bud said, "No, I'm not going to second-guess myself. Who's second guessing me?" Sal said, "I am." To which Bud said, "I don't care what you think." From then on, he wouldn't talk to Marsciano who he used to even hang out with. Nevertheless, who couldn't love Bud?

Shickhaus Franks
November 4, 2006
There is this awesome new book out called "For Mets Fans Only" and besides great stories from a lot of Mets fans and players, they have every Sports Illustrated cover involving the Mets including Buddy on the Sept 7th 1970 issue and who is on the cover as well? None other than Pete Rose! And that was 3 years before the famous 1973 NLCS brawl. My friend Kathy is always saying that the organization should retire No. 3 forever since Mr. Harrelson is her all-time fave Met.

Chris Coraggio
June 24, 2007
I turned 41 years old today but I still feel like a kid when I think of Buddy Harrelson. My 10-year old son loves hearing me talk about Buddy and how he is still my favorite Mets player. My son is a little league all-star shortstop and he wears #3 in honor of Buddy. (That makes me very proud). Even though these days, many shortstops are more known for their hitting, I still believe catching the ball is the most important thing when you play that position....and nobody did that better than Buddy.

Let's Go Mets!!!

SoCal Mets fan
September 22, 2007
Harrelson will always be my favorite major leaguer. Playing Little League and Pony League, I couldn't hit to save my life but I could field grounders and chase popups all day long. When someone suggested I shorten my swing (because of terrible eyesight) I pictured Harrelson choking up and slapping at the ball and it actually worked.

When I was 12, I got to come to New York to visit my grandmother and uncle for a week. We drove to West Point for a Mets exhibition game and then saw a game at Shea the next day. At West Point, Harrelson actually pitched for a couple of innings. Couldn't tell what kind of junk he had, but he had some velocity.

Favorite Harrelson moment: the day after the fight with Pete Rose when Bud showed up for batting practice with a Superman t-shirt with band-aids all over.

agee_of_aquarius
October 20, 2007
Harrelson choked up using a rubber knob on his bat about two inches above the real wooden knob at the end.

I mention this because there's not a lot going on for me today.

RF Mojica
March 30, 2008
I remember in the early 70s, I was the bitterest Met hater around, and the two Mets I hated the most were Tom Seaver and Bud Harrelson, who, it was always said, were good pals. I thought Seaver was an arrogant, loud mouth wise guy who thought he was the greatest thing that ever happened to baseball (I was young, so didn't think that maybe this claim had some justice, especially where the Mets were concerned). Harrelson always reminded me of Barney Fife on the Andy Griffith show--a little loud mouthed guy who felt secure shooting off his mouth because any bigger guys would be ashamed to call his bluff and take him on. I always wanted someone to kick his skinny little butt.

In the 73 playoffs, I was rooting hard for the great Cincinnati Reds to slaughter the lousy Mets who didn't even deserve to be in the playoffs with their barrel over .500 record. Ahhh, what a bitter pill to swallow when the Mets, of all teams, beat the Reds and made it to the World Series. I did get a great deal of satisfaction from seeing Pete Rose beat up Harrelson. I was yelling at the TV for Rose to smash his face and kick his butt! The the next day, what glory when Rose hit a home run to beat the Mets! Surely, the Reds would take the series from there! Oh well, I was just a little kid at the time and had to learn to live with disappointments.

Funny how maturity changes one. Now I see Pete Rose (along with Billy Martin) as one of the all-time low lifes in the history of baseball. And Harrelson, well he wouldn't have a chance in MLB now, which is too bad because the little guys still deserve a shot if they can play. He still was never a great player, and I don't think he was any better than Gene Michael, who was the Yankee shortstop at the same time Harrelson played for the Mets. He wasn't as good as Met fans remember him, but he wasn't deserving of the scorn I heaped on him when I was 8-10 years old!

Mark
July 19, 2008
Bud Harrelson - Great Fielder - not a bad hitter (in the clutch) crummy manager (although he did have a winning record), but still an all-time Met.

buddy3
September 6, 2008
Yes, Mark, Bud is an all-time Met! He was a player, coach, manager and a broadcaster for the team over the better part of a quarter century. He is also the only man to wear a Mets' uniform for four division championship seasons.

Bud had a quality career as a player. He was as good a shortstop as there was during his time. He wasn't a slugger (a home run every 2 to 3 years), but still not a bad hitter. A 16-year career that includes two All-Star Games, two World Series and a Gold Glove is very admirable.

Since his days with the Mets, Bud has become a baseball entrepreneur. He's done a lot in the development of the independent Atlantic League. The Long Island Ducks, for whom he is an owner and coach, have benefited from his presence.

For over 40 years, Bud has contributed his services to the national pastime. If there was an award for a lifetime dedication to baseball, he would be well-deserving of it. Bud Harrelson is a baseball man in many different ways.

Steve T.
October 13, 2008
My favorite all time Met. I loved to watch him play. No one including Jose Reyes could go back an a popup better then Buddy. He was never flashy, but he could pick it with the best shortstops of his era. He had no fear of being taken out on the double play. Does anybody remember the 73 playoffs? Pete Rose still can't believe that someone would stand up to him. But that is Bud Harrelson. Still the greatest shortstop the Mets ever had. Sorry Jose.

Gets by Buckner
October 18, 2008
I agree with Steve T that Buddy Harrelson is the greatest Met shortstop of all time. Isn't it ironic that for the past few years, Buddy was a coach for the Long Island Ducks and Pete Rose's son PJ is a member of his team? I wonder if they talk at all about the 1973 fight!

feat fan
October 20, 2008
Whoa, hold up you guys! I love Buddy as well and as much as you do. However, what you really love was the time in which he played, what he shared and accomplished, especially in the '69 and '73 seasons. Make no mistake, Reyes is the absolute best SS that this organization has or might ever hope to have! That being said, his emotional immaturity and low baseball IQ are enough to drive you nuts. Would you trade him and for what deal?

My favorite Buddy story was in early August '67 when his batting average hovered around .290. I remember bragging to our camp counselor Jerry on the bus heading out to our day at Broad Channel Day Camp about how great a hitter Buddy was! After all, .291 seemed like a very high average to this 12 year old at the time.

Jerry immediately pointed out that he is a seeing eye hitter, devoid of power and will be lucky to finish at .250. I was crushed but he was right in as much as Buddy hit .254 that year.

It turns out that Jerry was himself a former low minor league shortstop in the Washington Senators system. He was beaten out by another 5'6 slick fielding speedster, one with a little pop named Zoilo Versalles. And that's how you get to coach a bunch of rowdy street players on the way to camp on a creaky, smelly and noisy school bus!

agee_of_aquarius
June 12, 2009
He was smart; he was a great fielder; had a good on- base percentage; he hit behind the runner; he knew when to take the extra base; he didn't run the team out of an inning with foolishness, and he didn't give away at-bats trying to hit the ball a mile.

Harrelson wasn't selfish. Are you listening, Jose Reyes?

Paul
August 6, 2013
I remember him not only for his career (and especially for the fight with Pete Rose) but for being a guest star on "Beat The Clock" sometime in the mid-1970s.









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