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Don Cardwell
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Don Cardwell
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Memories of
Don Cardwell
Don Cardwell
Ultimate Mets Database popularity ranking: 161 of 1043 players
Donald Eugene Cardwell
Born: December 7, 1935 at Winston-Salem, N.C.
Died: January 14, 2008 at Winston-Salem, N.C.
Throws: Right Bats: Right
Height: 6.04 Weight: 210

Don Cardwell was the most popular Ultimate Mets Database daily lookup on January 14, 2008, January 15, 2008, January 16, 2008, January 17, 2008, January 18, 2008, July 12, 2008, August 4, 2010, and October 30, 2016.


First Mets game: April 11, 1967
Last Mets game: July 10, 1970

Share your memories of Don Cardwell


Jack F.
One of the best hitting pitchers I've ever seen.

March 19, 2001
I never knew Don when he played, but I got my baseball mitt in the early 60's. His name was on it. Never new anything about him until I found my old mitt today and looked him up on the Internet. Wonder what he is doing now?

February 21, 2002
I remember a holiday double dip against the Pirates at Forbes field. The Mets won both games 1-0 on RBI's by pitchers, Koosman in the first game, and Don Cardwell in the second.

rich edwards
March 14, 2002
Didn't Cardwell deck Doug Rader during a Met-Astro brawl in 1969?

Steven Gallanter
March 18, 2002
I recall that Don Cardwell had a physical confrontation with Ron Swoboda on a bus to or from an airport when Swoboda was wearing "love beads." My recollection is that Cardwell thought that Swoboda was showing disloyalty during the Vietnam era. Does anyone else have any memory of this incident?

September 16, 2002
I remember his son hitting one into the left field bullpen during a father son game the Mets held anually

Bob R.
January 8, 2003
Has anybody noticed how much ERAs have gone up since the '70s? His ERA of 3.01 in '69 wasn't considered anything special then, but today it would make him a Cy Young candidate. Anyway, I remember him pitching a brilliant game against the Cardinals early in the '69 season, but he lost 1-0. Don was a decent pitcher who played a role in them getting to the Series that year. And yeah, I remember reading about the Swoboda love bead incident. I guess it was a generation gap thing.

Fred Stratton
April 10, 2003
Don Cardwell is alive and well in his hometown of Winston Salsm. NC. He works as a fleet truck manager for Parkway Ford in Winston and enjoys talking about old times with the Mets. I've had occasion to talk with him in person and on the phone and he is one of the most likeable guys you could imagine. If you look at his stats, check out how many 1 and 2 run games he has lost, a few. If he played for a better hitting Mets team, his record would have been much better. He wears his 1969 World Series ring proudly with only 2 pictures on his desk. One of the 1969 Mets and the other a newspaper article of when he pitched his no-hitter framed on a stand. He is truly a great guy.

Don Wojciechowski
January 19, 2004
Just spent the last two days at the Cubs Convention 2004 in Chicago. Lots of players with long lines to sign just about anything you could think of. One line was very short and taking the path of least resistance I saw it was Don Caldwell. Some people will stand in any line not knowing who it is that will sign a baseball, but I recognized him right off.

When my turn came, I told him I remembered watching his famous "no hit" game with my uncle who is no longer living, and had to explain to my wife who he was when the only picture I found of him pitching that game is hanging in the Dime Store in downtown Branson MO, with a "not for sale" sign on it. He lit up like a Christmas tree and after he signed my baseball, he dated it 5/15/60 and carefully signed my shirt. He said I was the first person to even ask him about that day. Spent lots of time talking, posing for pics, while others (getting impatient) were waiting and he didn't care.

Looked like in great health and lots of energy. He looks a lot older to me now, but I'm looking through these "older" eyes.

May 16, 2004
I just bought a vehicle from Don Cardwell and saw his World Series ring. Nice man.

July 8, 2005
About Cardwell's no-hitter, there's some trivia about it. He's the only pitcher to get traded and pitch a no-hitter in his first game with his new team. During the 1960 season, Don was traded from the Phillies to the Cubs and had his no hitter in his first Cubs start a few days later.

July 10, 2005
I remember vividly attending a game at Shea that Cardwell pitched fairly early in the '69 season against St. Louis (defending NL champs). He was brilliant, allowing just one run, but the Mets didn't score at all so he lost 1-0. It was one of his best performances of the year.

Bob P
July 11, 2005
Bob R, that was Cardwell's first start of the 1969 season, a 1-0 loss to the Cardinals on April 12. Unfortunately Cardwell gave up two doubles in the same inning (top of the third), first to Cards pitcher Dave Giusti and then to Curt Flood.

Bob R
July 13, 2005
That sounds right, Bob P! I was sitting in the grandstands (ticket price: $1.30) and remember it was a cool, sunny day. The other thing I remember about Don Cardwell in 1969 was that doubleheader in September where he drove in the only run in a 1-0 victory against Pittsburgh. Amazingly, in the other game of that doubleheader, Jerry Koosman drove in the only run in his 1-0 win! Cardwell was a very good hitter, while Koosman was a pretty bad hitter. Man, doesn't that tell you how magical 1969 was?

April 12, 2006
On 5-15-1960 my dad took to Wrigley Field to watch the Cubs play the Phillies. That day Cubs pitcher Don Cardwell threw a no hitter. I still have all 5 tickets. What a day. I'll never forget.

Bob P
April 19, 2006
And what a performance by Cardwell in the game Thomas Lara refers to above! It was the second game of a doubleheader at Wrigley. The Cards had 12 hits in game one.

In the top of the first with one out, Cardwell walked Alex Grammas, the second Cardinal batter of the game. He then retired the next 25 batters he faced! Only nine Cardinal battters were able to hit the ball out of the infield, and three of those nine came in the ninth inning.

Cardwell struck out seven, including Ken Boyer twice, and pinch-hitter Stan Musial.

Shmuel Sisso
January 16, 2008
A great man and a good ballplayer. Who can forget the doubleheader in '69 when the Mets won both games 1-0 and the pitchers drove in the runs?

Don Cardwell. He'll be missed.

Todd Schuster
January 16, 2008
Although I was too young to remember the 1969 Mets, I read about Don Cardwell's contributions to the team. He was the elder statesman on a staff that included Seaver, Koos, Gentry, McAndrew and Nolie. Cardy came through with some big games, including 5 straight wins during that 38-11 stretch the Mets had to overtake the Cubs, then beat the Braves and shock the O's to win it all.

Now there are 5 1969 Mets deceased with Cardy, Tugger, Koonce, Agee and Clink Clendennon. Hard to believe next year with Citi Field opening it will also be the 40th anniversary of the Miracle Mets.

Other highlights with Cardwell include the twinbill in Pittsburgh where the Mets won both games 1-nil with Cardy and Koos driving in the winning run in both games. Also threw a no-no with the Cubs in 1960, and was a pretty good hitter with 15 HR's. Not too shabby.

Although his W-L record was 102-138, Cardy was a serviceable pitcher who wouldn't hurt the team. I met Don once at a Met card show some years back. He was a nice man, a gentle giant.

After retiring, he enjoyed many years in the car business back in Winston-Salem. His associates said he was a nice man. Thanks for the contributions, Donald Eugene Cardwell and rest in peace.

Kevin C. Delahanty, MD
January 16, 2008
I remember this imposing gentleman from the 1969 season. He seemed to bring a sense of calm to the ballgame. I never knew him or met him. But I miss him, somehow.

How does baseball do this?

January 16, 2008
What I found so cool about Don was the style Rawlings glove he used while he was with the Mets. If you look at his Mets Topps baseball cards or the pictures of him in the Mets yearbooks, he had a distinctive style glove that I didn't see other Mets pitchers use. Another interesting note is that Don was the opening day starter in '67 even though Seaver really deserved to get the nod. Manager Westrum didn't think it would be fair to put that kind of pressure on a rookie to pitch opening day so he named Cardwell to pitch with Seaver making his pro debut the next scheduled game.

William H. Clark
January 16, 2008
Yesterday in the Knoxville News-Sentinel, I read about the passing of Don Cardwell. The first thing that came to mind was the 1-0 victory he had in the 1969 doubleheader against the Pittsburgh Pirates, where he drove in the only run of the game. I listened to both games of that doubleheader (Jerry Koosman, who couldn't hit a lick, also won his game 1- 0, by hitting a sac fly, if I recall correctly.) I remember one of my earliest Topps baseball cards being a 1968 Don Cardwell card. If I remember correctly, the back of the card stated he pitched in tough luck during the '67 season. He never got very much in the way of recognition for his role in helping the Mets of 1969 go all the way, but he did go 8-10 for them, with a 3.01 ERA (which ain't bad, especially these days.) I never met him, but from the accounts I've read, he seemed like a pleasant man to talk to. You can't always judge a man's success by his won-lost record, I suppose. May he rest in peace.

Herb Sweet
January 17, 2008
I remember that Don pitched a great game and the late great Bob Murphy commented in his inimitable style that "Cardy pitched his heart out."

At 37, he was 8-10 with a 3.01 ERA and so clutch down the stretch.

I wonder what he would have gotten in 1970 at age 38 in this current market. If others at 41 can command millions with a track record of lasting less than an inning in the most important game of the season and shrugging it off as no big deal, I think Cardy's worth could have been double that.

Also, the deal that brought him to the Mets in 1967 turned out similar to the Hernandez--Perez deal for Nady.

Don Bosch was the guy that Mets really wanted in that deal. Cardy was a throw in similar to Perez. Met fans like myself were irate that Denny Ribant was given up. In the end ,Cardy was the most valuable player in that deal.

Feat Fan
January 17, 2008
In 1967 the Cub Scouts brought in a bunch of NY METS to address us young cubbies. Cardy, Little Al and the Krane all showed up and DC was so gracious and gentle.

Stu Paul
January 22, 2008
Todd, you are right about Don being the 5th player from the 1969 to pass on and like the other 4 you have mentioned, Cardwell will definitely be missed.

Besides his contribution to the 1-0 wins in the doubleheader against the Pirates at old Forbes Field in Pittsburgh on September 12, 1969, I recall his previous start on Camera Day, Saturday, September 6th, which I watched on Channel 9 at Shea Stadium. It was a cloudy day and the field looked horrible because of the rain. Cardy blanked the Phillies, 3-0 that day as the Mets were chasing the Cubs, who were being swept by the Pirates at Wrigley Field in all 3 games that weekend.

Cardwell was aided by a Jerry Grote home run but how about two great defensive plays that helped him. The Phillies had the bases loaded in the 6th inning and their centerfielder, Johnny Briggs, hit a bullet toward second base and Ken Boswell made a diving catch to save 3 runs and it ended the inning. Then late in the game, Don Money hit a drive down the rightfield line and Ron Swoboda made a skidding, diving catch in the corner. I felt for him since he was skidding along the grass and all of the water splashing up on him and he got a little bit muddy when he finally stopped at the warning track. Of course, we remember Rocky's catch in Game 4 of the WS, but this catch was unbelievable. It did make the 1969 highlight film, "Look Who's Number One". They showed the catch when Ron explained his turnaround during the season after a slow start that year and he was down and all. However, he came through and so did Cardwell, winning 4 of his last 5 games. RIP Don. Very nice man! You will be missed! My thoughts and prayers and condolences.

Chrs M.
March 30, 2008
I was fortunate to be at Shea on May 6, 1969 when Don pitched a complete game 8-1 win against the Reds. He also joined Cleon, Ken Boswell and Wayne Garrett in hitting one out. When I hear his name, though, the first thing I think of is that double-header against the Pirates. I watched both of those games on WOR and, if my memory is correct, both winning hits were singles up the middle. I couldn't believe what I was seeing! I still find it incredible, especially when you consider the fact that Koosman barely knew which end of the bat to hold, he was such a bad hitter. God was really a Mets fan that year. RIP, Don, and thanks for the memories.

jim corsair
December 30, 2010
Unsung hero in 69. The tall Tarheel. The doubleheader sweep in Pittsburgh Sept. 69: 1-0 Koosman; 1-0, Cardwell. They drove in the only runs. Amazing.

Steven Gallanter
January 9, 2011
Don Cardwell had a very good 1968 Strat O Matic card.

tom murphy
July 22, 2012
I recently had privilege of meeting Don's son, Brent, at Winston-Salem Costco. I worked with Don in early 70's and would run into him only a few times until a day at a golf course in the 90's. I was in group behind Don and after his group teed off on first tee, I said hello and he was very gracious but I knew he did not remember me. At 2nd tee, my group hung back about 30 yards. After Don's group hit, he walked that distance back to me and apologized for his "senior moment" and made comment acknowledging he remembered me. The guy was a 1st class gentleman without an ego. Contrary to prior comment, I felt that getting Don to talk baseball was like pulling teeth. I believe Brent is chip off the old block and his pride in being Don's son is well warranted. P.S. Hadn't heard about Swoboda's beads before but I love the Big Guy's reaction.

Harold cardwell
August 8, 2015
Don Cardwell was my uncle and he was truly a great guy to be around. Don had the quiet confidence in himself. I had so many wonderful times with my uncle. He would always treat our family to see him when he came to Los Angeles to play the Dodgers. Don would come to our home and enjoy the time we had together. We saw him pitch to the Dodgers with great match ups of he and Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale. It was a great time in my lifetime and I will never forget him.

Dennis Cardwell
August 11, 2015
There is so much that I could say about my uncle Don. Yes he was a very humble nice man as this is a trait that runs in the entire Cardwell family. Don was a huge inspiration to me in so many ways. I am very proud of his accomplishments both on and off of the baseball field. In 1969 I was serving our country in the Republic of Vietnam with the 1st. Marine Division. I missed the World Series that year with the amazing Mets but my uncle did not forget that he had family serving our country at that time so the comment about the beads to Ron Swoboda was a reflecting of my uncle's love for his country. A number of members of his family served our country and Don was very proud of that. He was great in my world and will always be in my heart and prayer service. I look forward to seeing him again in heaven! You can count on him as a starter in heaven for he was truly a good man and loved our God with all of his heart! I thank all for your nice comments on my uncle Don! May God bless your lives! Dennis Cardwell

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