February 19, 2003 Well first let me make the proverbial full disclosure - - I grew up outside Philadelphia and the Phillies were my first love. I got to know (or worship - I mean I wasn't even 10 and players were gods in those days) Solly when he came from Cards to spend two years with the Phillies in the late 50's and then went back to the Cards before heading to the Mets as a coach.
So anyway it's 1961 and Solly is back in St. Louis but he is still a personal favorite and that's the year the Phillies lost 23 in a row. I lost faith in everything -- how could my team be that bad? Heartbreak and cynicism and I'm not even a teenager yet.
So then it's 1962 and Solly joins the Mets and praise the Lord, there is at last a team somewhere worse than the Phillies . . . .
And so Solly escaped the Failies before they lost the 23, but ended up with the Mets and goes into legend anyway. He was an above average player, perhaps a below average manager, I am sure a great coach and one of my all time favorites.
And I gotta hand it to the Mets. They got Solly and ended the decade with that super year. As for the Phils -- well in 1964 I learned the true meaning of heartbreak.
Go Mets! (most of the time, anyway)
July 4, 2005 From the dugout, Solly tried to distract Sandy Koufax as the lefty was pitching his first career no-hitter against the 1962 Mets. He failed. After the game, Solly and the Mets maintained that, the way he was pitching, no one on any big-league team would have gotten a hit off Koufax that day. They were probably right. But, as the Mets were well on their way to 120 losses, they had to say it just the same, if for no other reason than to maintain what was left of their dignity.
January 26, 2006 Solly was great to all of my kids back in the early 1960's. He shared things with them.
I miss his ernest laugh.
A man among men. And that's a good thing.
October 14, 2006 Having read several baseball books about the 1960s (most notably Jim Brosnan's books) it sounds like Solly was not very respected as a manager, which may explain why he was involved with the early Mets.