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Cal Koonce
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Cal Koonce
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Game Log Pitching
Memories of
Cal Koonce
Cal Koonce
Ultimate Mets Database popularity ranking: 182 of 1043 players
Calvin Lee Koonce
Born: November 18, 1940 at Fayetteville, N.C.
Died: October 28, 1993 at Winston-Salem, N.C.
Throws: Right Bats: Right
Height: 6.01 Weight: 185

Cal Koonce was the most popular Ultimate Mets Database daily lookup on November 18, 2006, and March 2, 2016.


First Mets game: August 6, 1967
Last Mets game: June 7, 1970

Share your memories of Cal Koonce


Kelly Koonce Taylor
March 22, 2001
I have no memories of my father's playing days, which is why I am e-mailing. I am looking for some video footage of my father and have yet to find any. He has four grandchildren now who would love to see the grandfather they never got a chance to meet. If anyone reads this and has access to videotape or information on how I could receive any footage of any of his games, especially the 1969 World Series, please e-mail at the address above. Thank you for any help you can give me. Kelly Koonce Taylor

Joe Figliola
November 18, 2002
My memory of Koonce has nothing to do with pitching; but, rather, singing. When the Mets made their appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1969 to sing "You Gotta Have Heart," Cal's name (along with the other Mets) is flashed on screen. Unfortunately, his first name is spelled with a "K" than a "C." Someone sure needed a proofreader back then!

Bob R.
January 7, 2003
Cal pitched some clutch games for the Mets in '69, even though I don't think he pitched in the World Series, which may be why its hard to find any film or video of him pitching. He was one of the many average players who rose to the occasion and brought the Mets their first championship.

Steven Gallanter
April 2, 2003
I remember watching Banner Day on TV and there was a banner dedicated to Cal Koonce: CAL KOONCE: GREATEST PITCHER ALIVE, POUND FOR POUND, OONCE FOR OONCE!

Ed K
November 27, 2003
Cal had an excellent 1968 season. His 1969 season was less consistent as he had some outings in which he got bombed (hence the high ERA) but he also came through in a number of clutch situations. He was basically the Mets third reliever behind Taylor and Tug.

Jim Go Mets!
July 4, 2005
Does anyone remember a TV commercial for Brylcream? Gil Hodges inspects his pitchers before a game by making them take off their caps and Cal Koonce is caught using "greasy kids stuff" on his hair! Do I have this right? It was a long, long time ago. A little dab'll do ya.

August 27, 2005
Gosh, I remember when Calvin made the "Big League". That was certainly the talk around Hope Mills and Fayetteville. He was my second cousin but six years older than me. I just remember watching Calvin and his brothers throwing the ball around--a lot. Such a sweet, loving, and gentle family.

December 28, 2005
Here is my apology to the late Cal Koonce! On Clendenon's page I mistakenly forgot Mr. Koonce as a '69 player who also left us too early! It is with great shame that I offer my apologies to his family and to the many other fans who remember him kindly! First Cal, then Tommie, Tug,and Donn! Saddest of all, these were the Mets of my youth. When I need them, I pop in a tape, and they're all there again just as I remember them! Young and full of fire! Rest in Peace, Cal.

Robert Flinn
October 5, 2006
Mr. Koonce was my PE teacher when I was in the 11th grade (1975-76) at South View High School in Fayetteville, North Carolina. He was a genuinely nice person and good teacher. For such a highly regarded athlete, he was very humble. I remember we kids were fascinated by his World Series ring.

Lisa Burke
October 13, 2006
Cal Koonce was my P.E. teacher at Southview Sr. High School in 1978. I remember him as a man with integrity. I consider it an honor to know him. I wish his family well. God Bless.

Robert Flinn
April 19, 2007
Mr. Koonce was my PE teacher when I was in the 11th grade (1975-76) at South View High School in Fayetteville, North Carolina. He was a genuinely nice person and good teacher. For such a highly regarded athlete, he was very humble. I remember we kids were fascinated by his World Series ring.

Larry Nicholson
October 7, 2007
I was the batboy for Campbell University when Coach Koonce (that what I called him) was there. I was 8 years old. I remember him always in control during games and everybody had a great admiration for him. Campbell was a small private school and despite lack of funds always lobbied for me to go on road trips and get meal money!

He was responsible for some of my fondest memories of my childhood.

Ron Malinowski
October 27, 2007
Since the Red Sox are in the World Series I started to think back to my childhood. I was 11 years old in 1971 and I was friends with Chris Koonce - Cal's son. The Koonce family was renting a house in Needham, Ma which was just behind our house. The Koonce family was nice enough to bring me to my first Red Sox game ever! It was the Boston Red Sox against the Milwaukee Brewers. Sitting with us was Rico Petrocelli's wife and another Red Sox player's wife. Today I looked up Cal Koonce on Google and was sad to see that he passed away at age 52 in 1993. I would like to say thanks to Cal for my first baseball game and a great memory.

Bobby Burke
December 23, 2009
Coach Koonce was my P.E. instructor in 1979 at South View Sr. High. My fondest memory is when that year he saw me throwing the ball and noticed I was left- handed. Coach said, "Bobby, why not try out for the team? We could use a lefty." I said sure. I was excited and nervous the day I showed up for try-outs. I didn't have the right stuff, but he had me shagging balls, and then came batting practice. The pitcher had graduated a few years before me and was a very good pitcher. He started zipping them by me, and strike was heard over and over, ha ha. Coach told the pitcher to slow 'em down so I had a chance, in which the pitcher said, "If I do, I'll have to throw 'em underhanded."

Coach Koonce was the man, and I had so much respect for him. Never bragged or boasted, just taught us the best he could. Miss you Coach K, and my thoughts go to his family.

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