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Rod Gaspar
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Rod Gaspar
Rod Gaspar
Ultimate Mets Database popularity ranking: 183 of 984 players
Gaspar
Rodney Earl Gaspar
Born: April 3, 1946 at Long Beach, Cal.
Throws: Right Bats: Both
Height: 5.11 Weight: 165

Rod Gaspar was the most popular Ultimate Mets Database daily lookup on November 12, 2008, September 29, 2012, and April 3, 2014.

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First Mets game: April 8, 1969
Last Mets game: October 1, 1970





Share your memories of Rod Gaspar

HERE IS WHAT OTHER METS FANS HAVE TO SAY:

Mr. Sparkle
April 27, 2001
Marginal player at best, scores a huge run to help the Mets win a game in the 69 series and then pretty much fades away. Still, I'd take his career any day. The guy's gotta feel lucky to have been at the right place at the right time.

Big Dave Shaw
June 2, 2001
I remember my Dad piled me and about 7 friends into the family station wagon for Mets vs. San Fran on 5/30/69. I was in the bathroom when Shea crowd of 52,000-plus erupted 'cause Gaspar hit his only major league HR. I raced back inside just in time to see him crossing the plate. Mets won 4-3 on Duffy Dyer's pinch single late in game for victory #3 during important 11- game winning streak.

Mike Tenenbaum
August 3, 2001
Right after clinching the 1969 NL pennant, Gaspar told Lindsey Nelson of the club's chances of beating the Baltimore Orioles, which many then-experts said was one of the greatest teams ever put together. "We'll beat 'em in four straight!" Gaspar exclaimed.

And after game five of the World Series, there was Lindsey Nelson interviewing Rod Gaspar. "Didn't I tell you? Didn't I tell you we're gonna beat them in four straight?"

Mike Dolitsky
August 5, 2001
A follow-up to Mike Tenenbaum's posting...before the World Series, a reporter relayed Gaspar's prediction that the Mets would win in 4 straight to Frank Robinson. Robinson's response was "Who the hell is 'Ron' Gaspar"?

Robby found out the answer in game 4 of the series when Gaspar scored the winning run on the infamous J.C. Martin play.

Gilinfiji
February 7, 2002
I was only 2 when the Mets won the '69 series, but I'll always remember him because of how Bob Murphy described him throwing out a Giant in a game down the stretch, on my old "Miracle Mets" record. How many of how you out there have that, too? Remember? "...the throw coming by Rod Gaspar and he is OOOOOUUUUUUT at the plate!!! Oh, what a throw by Gaspar!! Grote...rolls the ball back toward the mound on the gorund, now Clendenon picks the ball up, fires to third and (Bobby) Pfeil tags McCovey, double play! Double play and the side is out! An unbelievable throw from the left-field corner...An unbelievable throw by Rod Gaspar...the ballgame will go into extra innings."

jamesl
May 1, 2002
I remember during the miricale year of 1969 coming home from Rockaway beach and going in the bath tub to relax. I bought my radio in the bathroom. The Mets were playing the '68 NL Champs the ST. Louis Cards. The Mets are ahead 1-0 late in the game and the Cards have a runner on second. The batter gets a hit and the runner is going to test Rod's arm and try to score. The announcer (I think it was Murphy) is yelling " here comes the throw and he is (long pregnant pause) OOOUUUUTTTT!!!" Mets go on to win 1-0.

Am I remembering this right? Does anyone know who the runner or batter was?

I think Rod had 12 outfield assists as a sub. Word was he had a weak arm, therefore teams ran on him.

Guess they never caught on.

JohnB
September 2, 2002
I recall Gaspar as one of the ultimate role players in 1969. He didn't put up great stats, but he always seemed to be doing something to help the Mets win.

Robert
September 10, 2002
Hey jamesl, I don't remember who the batter for St. Louis was, but I'll swear the runner was none other than Lou Brock. Gaspar had an ungodly number of assists for a guy who only played an inning or two a game.

Jonathan Stern
September 12, 2004
A classic Met - a little guy with marginal skills who made good when it was all on the line, then faded away. But Rod's story is a little less inspiring than most - or perhaps it isn't. You decide.

Like too many Mets, Rod let his 1969 success go to his head... and stomach. He showed up to Spring Training 1970 under the full assumption that he was a member of the Opening Day roster. But Gil Hodges and the Mets saw him play, and thought otherwise. Gaspar did not handle his demotion well. The Dick Schaap book on the 1969 team portrays Gaspar as a cocky young colt who did not handles benchings well either. Gaspar never did reestablish himself as a major leaguer following his 1970 demotion.

In Maury Allen's book, Gaspar describes his post-baseball embracing of religion. "We were blessed" is stated often during the interview. Then, some years later, in the "Alumni" section of a mid-90's issue of Inside Pitch, there was no religion talk. Only the lament of an unhappy man who, by his own admittance, wasted his big-league career. Gaspar deserves a lot of credit for being so honest with himself and Mets fans. Still, that Inside Pitch article made for very sad reading.

The Big Train
October 20, 2004
I briefly corresponded with Rod. It was quite clear that he is still a man who practices his faith openly.

Bill Parrinello
March 14, 2005
I was 12 in 1969. During June of that Championship season I wrote a fan letter to Rod Gaspar and other members of the Mets. My letter to Rod was simple, just telling him that he was one of my favorite players. I also wrote to some other players, Agee, Seaver, Harrelson, Jones and Charles. Hey when you're home in June from school you have free time. Anyway the only player I heard from was Rod Gaspar. He even sent me a autograph picture which I still have today. I never did hear from the other players; only Gaspar. So here it is 36 years later and Rod still rocks in my childhood memories!

Mark
May 4, 2005
Thanks Gilinfiji for reminding me of that great replay from the Miracle Mets record. I remember the play and it was a great throw by Gaspar. Rod Gaspar has to rank up there with Ringo Starr as one of the luckiest guys of all time. He played one full season in the majors, and it was with the Miracle Mets. Although his numbers may not show it he was an important piece of the puzzle in 1969. Where would the team have been without his many outfield assists?

Jamey Bumbalo
February 12, 2006
As many fans have observed, Rod Gaspar was without a doubt a lucky player who was with the right team at the right time. He did indeed play a crucial role in 1969 (his 1970 Topps card noted that he was mostly used as a defensive replacement). After 1969? I don't know about his outfield play, but in 1970, '71, and '74 he batted 5 for 45.

Mark
June 29, 2008
If we are all remembering the same play, it was against the Giants in Candlestick. The batter was Willie McCovey and the runner was Bob Burda. What made it more impressive was that the Mets had put on a "McCovey Shift" where the outfielders moved over towards right field and Gaspar was lined up basically in left-center. McCovey then hit the ball to deep left - so Gaspar had to cover some ground before fielding and throwing the ball.

Witz
November 11, 2008
I had to add this to a (years) earlier post that only tells half of one of the great stories to come out of 1969: Frank Robinson said something to the effect of 'Bring on Ron Gaspar!" When informed by teammate Merv Rettenmund that "it's Rod, stupid," the great man replied, "OK, then bring on Rod Stupid!"

That story and his run scoring highlight from the Series, is all I know about Rod.

RF Mojica
December 13, 2010
In 1969, when I was only seven years old, my father, who was an old Giants fan, took us to a game at Shea to see the Mets play the Giants. Since I was so young, all I could remember about the game was that it was the first night game I ever went to, that Mike McCormick had a no-hitter going into the seventh inning and that Ron Swoboda broke up the no-hitter with a home run. With these facts, I looked up the box score of that game on the internet and discovered that it took place on May 30th and Rod Gaspar also hit a home run in that game.

Looking up his record here, I find it was the only home run he ever hit in the major leagues. So the game had some distinction. Instead of seeing a no-hitter in person, I got to see Rod Gaspar's only major league home run in person. Maybe not as memorable as a no-hitter, but it's still something.

Sixty-Niner
April 8, 2013
During the '69 World Series celebration, Rod poured champagne over the head of Mayor John Lindsay on national television. Hizzoner himself returned the favor to him right away. How many players with career stats that feature a .208 batting average with one homer in 178 games played can say they did something like this?









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