Phil Hennigan
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Memories of
Phil Hennigan
Phil Hennigan
Ultimate Mets Database popularity ranking: 584 of 1043 players
Phillip Winston Hennigan
Born: April 10, 1946 at Jasper, Tex.
Died: June 17, 2016 at Center, Tex.
Throws: Right Bats: Right
Height: 5.11 Weight: 185

Phil Hennigan was the most popular Ultimate Mets Database daily lookup on April 1, 2016.


First Mets game: April 11, 1973
Last Mets game: July 7, 1973

Share your memories of Phil Hennigan


Mr. Sparkle
April 27, 2001
When I was a kid I cut Tom Seaver's head off of his baseball card and taped it onto Phil Hennigan's body. Dumb move but I still have the card.

Steve M
January 22, 2002
Despite the small sample, Hennigan was the worst pitcher ever to play for the Mets - he was playing FOR the Mets, wasn't he? This guy flat stunk. He was the human "white flag of surrender" for the Mets. I would have guessed the Mets never won a game that he appeared in.

Harvey Poris
July 17, 2002
I stll remember Bob Murphy calling him "frisky Phil Hennigan" each time he was brought in.

Robert Ross
July 28, 2002
When I was a 10 year old kid I went to an Indians game with my grandfather. We were fortunate to be sitting along the first base dugout and Phil Hennigan was walking in from the bullpen. Back at the old Cleveland Stadium the Indians were located in the 1st base dugout. I was watching Phil and another player walking and all or the sudden he tossed me the ball. I was so excited that I was speechless. This was a great memory for me that I will never forget.

July 4, 2005
Phil Hennigan was, to a kid in 1973, a great player. I'm still not sure why I thought that after looking at his stats. I remember something about him being a Vietnam Vet. (Not sure but this may have been on the back of his 1973 baseball card; wish I still had those.) Anyway, as one of the 20 least popular Mets on this site, I thought Phil needed a shot in the arm. I still like you Phil!

July 18, 2005
I remember getting his card in a pack in 1973 and thinking "who is this guy?" but I liked his "mutton chops" and "painted" cap due to the fact that the Mets got him from the Indians (for Brent Strom) in the 1972 off-season. Certainly one of the more obscure 1973 Mets along with Greg Harts, Brian Ostrosser and John Strohmayer, Hennigan was a decent relief pitcher with Cleveland (17 - 10 record over a few years) before his 0 - 4 stint with the Mets in 1973 that landed him "out of baseball" at only 27 years old.

March 17, 2006
I knew Phil when he played for the Indians. His wife, Carolyn and their sons were wonderful people. When the Mets got Phil, my sister and I decided to go to Shea Stadium when we visited New York. Phil left tickets for us every time we visited. He was one of the wonderful former Indians who we got to know in the 1970s. As a player, he certainly tried hard, but the years in the Indians' roster were rough and it seems it didn't get any better in New York.

Joe Figliola
April 30, 2009
Got off to a good start with back-to-back saves against the Cardinals in early April. What killed his Met career was his last five appearances, where he had an ERA of 16.63.

And, yes, I remember Phil's lone Mets baseball card. He was in the very first pack I bought in '73 (along with Pete Rose). I ended up losing him AND Rose playing "colors" and never getting doubles of them for the rest of the year. Talk about being punished for gambling!!!
April 6, 2012
Philip Winston Hennigan was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 4th round in 1966. He served in Vietnam doing Military Service in 1967, then returned to the pitch minor leagues. After going 10-10 at AA Waterbury in 1969, he got the September call up in having to face Hall of Famer Rod Carew in his first appearance.

Hennigan spend some more time in the minors, but would mostly pitch out of the Cleveland bullpen from 1969-1972. In 1970 he was 6-3 with three saves posting a 4.02 ERA in 42 games. He became Cleveland's ace reliever in 1971, going 4-3 with 14 saves (8th best in the A.L.) posting a 4.94 ERA in 57 games. He dropped off to six saves, third best on the Indians staff in 1972 behind Steve Mingor (10) and Ed Farmer (7) while posting a 5-3 record.

That November he was traded to the New York Mets as they wanted to booster up their bull pen. In exchange pitchers Brent Strom and Bob Rauch were sent to the Indians. Hennigan was only 27 years old at the time, but his Mets career would turn out to be short lived.

In 1973 Hennigan got the save for the Mets in their third game of the season, helping Jerry Koosman in a 5-4 win over the Cardinals in St. Louis. The next day he saved another in a tight 2-1 Mets win. Henneigan was used often in the early part of the season, but then he lost his next three decisions and gave up alot of runs.

On June 5th in Cincinnati he relieved Tug McGraw in the 10th inning with Mets ahead 5-2. Duffy Dyer had cleared the bases with a three run triple in the top of the inning. McGraw had allowed a run to score and left two men on base as well. Hennigan then gave up a three run walk off HR to catcher Johnny Bench taking the loss. After making thirty appearances he was be 0- 4 with an ERA with four saves posting a 6.23. In July the Mets were still struggling in last place, and having problems in the bull pen. Hennigan was down to Tidewater and spent the rest of the year there, as the Mets went on to win the NL Pennant.

He pitched at AAA Tidewater in 1974 as well going 0-3 finishing out his playing career.

He will forever be remembered as an obscure Met going down in hitory in his 1973 Topps baseball card, where his hat was air brushed with a Mets logo.

John Sandoz
January 1, 2016
When I was just a young man around 18 I worked with my brother-in-law Rudolf Garrett who was a Vietnam veteran on a construction site in Nacogdoches Texas, there are 2 men picking up some extra money on the job one of them and turned out to be Phil Hennigan who was a highway patrolman. When we took a break he noticed a Coke can sitting under a tree. Phil Hennigan picked up a square block, threw it at the can and he nailed it. I told him that was a good shot, he looked at me he says, "You want to see me do it again?" I said yeah. He picked another square block up and nailed the can again. I was really surprised later on when he told me that he used to play for the Mets. It was a really cool experience. Phil was a good man.

NYB Buff
October 12, 2016
Phil passed away in June of 2016. He was with the Mets briefly in the team’s ’73 pennant-winning season. On July 7, it was off Hennigan that the Braves’ Ralph Garr got an inside-the-park home run after George Theodore and Don Hahn crashed into each other and were taken out on stretchers - a moment that has lived infamously in Mets lore. It was also the last major league game for Phil in his career.

R. I. P. Phil.

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